it is a pleasure to face these discussions when the tone is like yours. Thank
you. Please read below.
On Wednesday 27 November 2013 18:47:11 Richard Brown wrote:
Thanks for your email Agustin, below are my thoughts,
On Wed, 2013-11-27 at 17:40 +0100, agustin benito bethencourt wrote:
What do we want to achieve? Goals
1) Add focus to increase alignment among contributors.
Why? for what purpose and to what end? Does that alignment include
finding ways to make openSUSE and SLE more aligned such as introduced by
Ralf Flaxa at oSC 14?
How do we address the obvious concern that adding 'focus' might
disenfranchise contributors who do not agree with the chosen direction
for that focus?
There are many examples that reflects what I refer to when talking about
alignment. One could be the oSC'13. The other one the relation between KDE and
GNOME within factory.
Yes, as Ralf, pointed in the keynote, we are also looking for ways to
contribute more in the project and, at the same time, make that contribution
valuable for us. SUSE is not a big corporate, but a healthy medium size
But focus also refers to our target.
Many of us contribute for ourselves and for someone else (use cases said
Wolfgang ). We would like to work on getting a common picture, if possible, of
who are those "someone else". Any step in that direction would help the
project in my opinion.
2) Foster the community and the user base.
- Starting from our current community, we want to keep increasing the
number of contributors, specially those working on core parts of the
Sounds good, I agree
- The openSUSE user base needs to grow. We
propose to be even more open
to new niches.
Why? More users is never a bad thing, but why do we *need* to grow the
users? We could be a distribution by our contributors, for our
contributors. What's the case that makes it clear we *need* to grow the
number of users?
We could be yes. That is an approach close to what I perceive in other very
technical oriented distributions. I think though, that our user focus is one
of our strengths. We should base our future effort on them, as pointed in the
3) Catalyze openSUSE maturity process.
- openSUSE has an interesting number of contributors. Now we think it
time to reinforce our structures.
What is 'interesting' about the number of contributors? They've doubled
in 3 years
Examples: have a strong Advocate Program, bring back the editors/marketing
group, support the artwork team...
Let me describe one example.
For the openSUSE Conference 2013, the travel support managed over 20k € in
reimbursements. That is about the same amount than the whole previous year and
about double the one from the year before.
This is only possible because of a combination of focus bringing alignment and
a solid structure (TSP), among other things. This combination makes easy for
us (for any future player) to support the project more than in the past. The
willing was always there. The community provided us the tool to make it happen
with little risks. Now we only need to refine the work to be very efficient but
we have a good tool for the future.
Later in the plan I talked about using OBS to complement the Release.
The number of packages and repos has grown so much that now the pressure has
increased over the tool to find them. The openSUSE Team and the OBS crew has
applied effort on this. But more is required.
Having more packagers (contributors) and more packages (contributions) is very
good, but not enough to be successful.
- Having more solid structures/groups will
allow openSUSE to assume
responsibilities and deliver.
- In general, we think we need few rules but good ones, easy to follow
If we're talking about encouraging people to coalesce and work in
'Teams', similar to the way the GNOME team currently operates, I can
certainly say it works very well for us and I can happily support the
idea of promoting the approach to other parts of the Project.
It is more than that. But yes, GNOME and KDE are examples to follow in
contrast with the idea of one package-one person. Again, we are talking about
"principles" and "direction". They won't work in every case.
4) Attract new players by becoming more
attractive to new players.
- The Free Software ecosystem is now full of companies/non-profits that
deploy, develop and/or understand Free Software and its benefits.
- We want to support ideas toward increasing our value for them so they
come to openSUSE and become good citizens of the project.
An interesting idea, I'd certainly like to see/hear more about that.
Based on these goals, there are 4 aspects we
propose to focus on:
We would like to put effort in Factory in the following direction:
* New process getting the best of Factory, Tumbeweed and devel projects.
need everybody contributing in a single point for a single purpose. We
just too few to spread efforts.
I can certainly see the benefit of such an idea. Are we talking about
effectively 'obsoleting' Tumbleweed by making this 'new Factory' a
stable, usable, rolling release?
We cannot leave anybody aside. We simply are too few to afford it. Whatever we
do in factory we will try to do it in agreement with Tumbleweed, in the same
way we are collaborating with Berhnhard in openQA, for instance.
* Improve development process based on our
strengths. What are we very
at? Let's base the new process on that.
What are we good at? That's a huge question that could be debated for
some time. My opinion, put as briefly as possible, would be that we're
best at being a 'Swiss-army knife' distribution - We're able to do
everything (Desktop, Server, CrazyProject#942, whatever) well, meaning
you can learn openSUSE in one environment and then apply that knowledge
and use openSUSE in many other use cases.
OBS really is a big part of that capability, with its support for
building and publishing stuff as working 'add-in' repositories.
We are able, yes, but that do not mean we are successful at everything. And
even if we are, we do not live isolated. If others do better in each
The number of Linux users is huge now.... How many of those need the latest
desktop and a four year old LAMP component in the same DVD? How many need only
one of the two? Can we provide both separate with better quality, with the
same effort? Is it worth it to pic just one, be really successful at it and
then use that momentum to focus on the second target?
* Clarify roles and responsibilities. Redesign
processes so we increase
community participation in key areas. Teams instead of champions.
Sounds good, but how about we aim for increasing community participation
in *all* areas?
I think we need focus to become more successful. Pick up a few, put energy on
them, be successful and then go for other ones.
* More stability and QA. Testing before
submitting. Factory should be
* Rolling distribution based on release early/release often principle.
This proposal will be more in depth described tomorrow on Factory mailing
list where we will expand the bullet points mentioned here.
Sounds good, I'm looking forward to it
Overhauled openSUSE Release
All sounds very ambitious. I'm interested in hearing more
Open Governance Model
While I think I get where you're coming from and don't disagree with
some of the specifics you're proposing (The evolution of SUSE from Owner
to eventual Patron), I strongly believe that the Governance of the
openSUSE Project is an issue for the openSUSE Board and our openSUSE
Nobody has questioned that. We are good citizens. And if there are areas in
which we can improve, please point them. We will analyze what happen.
I don't want the changes you've proposed to be seen as SUSE imposing its
will on the Project.
I hope your proposals will be seen by our members as food for thought, a
starting point for discussion, which might possibly lead to changes down
the road from here.
I want to stop a little in this point because I have also read a couple other
comments pointing some fears about SUSE not acting like a good citizen in
openSUSE in the future.
Neils Brauckman, President and General Manager at SUSE, in his opening
keynote at SUSECon'13, Ralf Flaxa, VicePresident of Engineering at SUSE,
in his keynote at oSC'13 or Michael Miller, Vice President of Global
Alliances & Marketing, in previous events, has provided their view about
openSUSE from SUSE perspective. From their words, there are no reasons to fear
anything. I thnk it is exactly the other way around.
Since we are an independent business unit from the Attachment Group, can you
point at any relevant action that might justify those fears? If that is the
case, please point them. I am very interested in discuss them.
On the other side, look at the people from SUSE that are actively working in
openSUSE. Do you think they fear that? I don't think so but they should confirm
I think that any company act as a good citizen within a community when
presents a clear idea, the motivations behind it, is open to discuss it, put
effort in making agreements and back up the result with effort.
 SUSE web page:
 Check the last minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0W4izFu_WM
* Technical governance model adapted to our new
few but clearer rules. Mentoring ecosystem.
This is certainly an area I'm interested in seeing what the rest of our
community feels. Our current Governance body (The Board) is strictly
forbidden from making Technical decisions.
I understand the philosophy for Technical Governance to date has largely
been 'those who do, decide'. If changes are made in this area, I'd like
to think they can keep that spirit, the idea anyone can get involved and
that changes are made on their technical merits, not political ones (eg.
does the submitter sit on the right steering group? who is their
Today we will present our proposal for factory. One of the goals is to open
the process, which means that we would need to adapt the current Technical
Governance Model to it, not the other way around.
We have not proposed to change the scope of the Board in this regard. It would
have been pointed already.
Share your thoughts
There are some questions we would like you to answer:
1) Do you agree with the proposed goals?
See my responses above. With the way they are currently presented, I
would say that my agreement is 'mixed' with a general positive interest.
2) Are there any other aspects relevant in this
discussion? Can you
The openSUSE Team at SUSE are making a lot of proposals. Assuming broad
community acceptance of these ideas, how much of this work are you
expecting your team to shoulder, and how much of the burden will the
'wider community' be expected to pick up?
What we are putting on the table is a proposal in which the openSUSE Team
would be able to focus the following 3 years in alignment with the community
and SUSE. Again, I cannot predict the future but that is the message I can
3) Which are the major risks you see in this
With the discussion from yesterdays thread still going on I think there
is a risk of all of these ideas & thoughts & proposals getting 'lost' in
each other, especially as its Thanksgiving for our American
Once your promised mail about the changes to -factory hits tomorrow, I'd
suggest at least a few days to let everyone digest this very large
turkey dinner of new information and ideas. - see what I did there? :)
Our plan is to publish one more proposal today and probably Monday. But we can
delay the one on Monday a few days if people feel it is too much. We also need
time to answer properly.
4) How do you think we should proceed in order to
go from these ideas to
Let's start by talking about them first.. I'd really like to see what
everyone else thinks about these large emails before I can really make
any suggestion about a sensible next step.
5) What suggestions do you have for this
"New Factory" and "New Release"?
I think I need to see the detailed proposal promised tomorrow for 'New
Factory' before I can make any sensible suggestion.
Thank you for the comments.
Agustin Benito Bethencourt
openSUSE Team Lead at SUSE
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