Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (479 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Questions for the candidates
On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM, Vincent Untz <vuntz@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I read the platforms of all candidates, and I have a few questions :-)
I'd appreciate if you could take some time to answer them; it'll help me
vote in an informed way.

1) You described various issues you'd like to get fixed and goals you
  want to achieve. Will you still work on (or help with) those tasks
  if you're not on the board, or do you think you really need to be on
  the board for some of those tasks?

I will work on them, even if I am not on the board. But I may not be
able to spend much time contigously, in case I am not elected.

2) How much time per week can you secure (approximately) for the board?
  (I know it will be 0% of your time for some weeks, and much more
  for some other weeks; I'm interested in the average)

To be honest, I have not done an estimate of it. But all my evenings
are open mainly for openSUSE work. So I should be able to spend
*atleast 7 hours* atleast per week on an average (not counting dayjob)
for openSUSE's Board activities, for the foreseeable future.

3) Did you attend IRC board meetings already?

I have not attended all the board meetings in the past mostly due to
different timezones. However, I try to keep irc logged in and read the
logs. I have attended some meetings but not actively driven a lot of
issues and just participated. However, I have attended the project
meetings regularly and participated in discussions of some activities
as well (like creation of youtube channel for openSUSE, 11.3 release
marketing planning etc.)

4) It's interesting that I see nearly no note about budget/money in
  platforms. When (not if ;-)) we'll have the Foundation, the board
  will have to work on a budget. So a few questions about this...

  4a) Have you experience with creating/dealing with a budget?
  4b) Where will we find money for the Foundation?
  4c) What should we use the money for?

I don't have much idea/experience about handling money in a project
administrative scale. But I intend to learn it on the job with the
help of people who are more experienced in this regard. I try to bring
in different set of skills to the board, in return.

5) I do think it'd be useful to have some board-related meeting at
  FOSDEM. That should help the newly-elected board members to know
  faster what's happening, and how things work. Will you come to
  FOSDEM? (I know some people, and that's most probably true for the
  non-European, will likely not be able to attend; that's not an issue)

FOSDEM is in the first week of February. Board results will be
announced by the last week of January. So, that does not give me much
time to get my VISA approved by the European union. If I am elected
and VISA is also ready, I can attend this. (VISA processing cannot
begin without corporate backup for business visas from India. So
anticipatory-visa-fetch is not an option)

7) Do you care more about Free Software or Open Source? Just to be
  clear: there's no wrong answer. But it helps understand why you
  contribute to projects like openSUSE.

As a developer, I feel putting your source out in the open, is the
right way to develop good software. Only if your source code is open,
your code will mature and your coding skills will improve. I have
learnt more from my pet projects in open-source than my day job
(proprietary projects).

I care about Freedom of software. Not just from the users perspective
but from the developer's perspective also. I believe things like
copyright reassignment take away some kind of freedom from the
developer and I try to evangelize for freedom whenever I could. But I
don't confuse supporting software freedom, with, *blindly supporting
FSF*. For instance, I won't advocate for calling our OS as a GNU/Linux
distro, or participating in hate-campaigns against Microsoft.

It may be a bitter truth, but most users don't care about giving up a
little bit of freedom because they are mostly focussed on Getting
Things Done. We couldn't move people to give up symbian phones in
favor of openmoko by talking about freedom, however, once Android came
in, it made symbian almost non-existent. People (most of them) buy
their phone to make calls, not to study how it works.

Personally, I love GMail and use it even if I lose some kind of
freedom by using it. Giving up a little bit of user freedom is fine
for most of the people in the world. It may not work well for
revolutionaries such as Julian Assange, but majority of our users use
our distro, not to change the world, but to just live their lives. So
for me, *open-source is vital, developer freedom is vital, user
freedom is important* and any restrictions to user freedom should not
be coming as surprises and should be pre-known [to the user].

World will be dull without flickr, youtube, wordpress (it aint fully
free imho), skype and twitter. Mr. Stallman may be happy with sending
an email to retrieve a webpage and not use a browser, but it is an
extremity which I won't recommend for a common home user.

The primary reason why I contribute to openSUSE is neither for
open-source evangelism nor for software freedom, but because of
*People*. It is based on a selfish need but without evil motives ;-)
openSUSE participation gives me a lot of new perspectives by working
with people of different cultures. It helps to talk to people in irc
whom I consider as inspirations. Due to this cross culture
interactions, my opinions on a lot of things such as religion, women
rights, vegetarianism, management styles, music etc. have changed in a
lot of ways from what it was 5 years ago, when I had seen just one
culture. Participating in openSUSE is like taking a virtual world trip
for me. Also, it has helped me improve technically also tremendously.

Sorry for the long answer to this question, but it's a sensitive
question and I wanted to make my points clear. (while we are at it
please read Linus' post on this: )

 Sankar: some of your long-term tasks are partly technical (make
        openSUSE an attractive development platform, make the distro
        accessibility-friendly). How do you think the board can help
        with that?

Making attractive to developers: One thing that we could do for it is
to make people use our OBS (via open-id) from sites like github and
get binaries for their projects. Even though this could be achieved by
any openSUSE member, I believe having to communicate with third
parties via a formal board representation will gain more

Yes, some of the goals are technical but I believe setting them as
project goals (a11y, usability etc.) via board, will help in
increasing the focus on these items by the subteams.

I wish you all the best for the election :-)

Thanks :-)

Sankar P
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