Making of SUSE Studio's Failwhale

Nov 3 2009

One of the best features of SUSE Studio is the ability to boot your appliance remotely on our servers without downloading it first. It’s cool to test and improve the appliance as you can actually bring the changes done interactively back to the appliance project.

Of course there are times when everybody wants to do that at the very same time, so we have a queue system to accommodate the situation with limited resources. As this is not exactly a pleasant thing for the user we thought to make it less annoying by providing a nice graphic to look at while waiting. The first idea was to have a couple of Disters (our robot mascot) standing a line.


But it looks a bit depressing, doesn’t it? Instead of cheering up the user waiting, the image of a long line actually strengthens the negativity of the situation. So back to the drawing board. How about focusing on the fact that we have our hands full rather than the user waiting.


As the sketch worked well and got approved, I went ahead with tracing it. The beginnings are always hard as the graphic doesn’t seem to work until the very last moment. But in the end we’ve gotten ourselves a brand new failwhale: