Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (67 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 - Final candidates list

On 1/15/20 7:39 PM, Gerald Pfeifer wrote:
[ Delayed by 2 weeks plus a night due to DNS/mail server mis-config. :-( ]

On Thu 2019-12-26, Ish Sookun wrote:
It's 26 December! The call for nominations and applications for the
openSUSE Board election has ended. We received four applications.
The list of candidates is as follows:

Thank you, Ish! And a huge thank you to the four candidates
for stepping up and volunteering their energy and time.

Should you have any question for our candidates, please feel free
to ping them.

1. What do you see as three, four strenghts of openSUSE that we
should cultivate and build upon?

1. How easy it is to contribute to. Compared to many other distro's the
barrier to making a first contribution is often quite low this is a
message that we should continue to sell and cultivate by making sure our
documentation for new contributors reflects this.

2. We have many large communities in places where some of the other
major distro's struggle due to language and cultural barriers, at the
same time we can probably try and do more to get these communities
talking to each other.

3. How easy it is to use. One of the things that drew me to openSUSE was
YaST and how it made it easy to do a number of different things that can
be quite hard to do on other distro's. I certainly think we can improve
some of our marketing in this area (Its nice to see discussions around
that). At the same time I think we need to be careful not to dumb other
areas down to a point where it makes life hard for existing power users.
There is certainly a fine line of how much do we want to allow users to
shoot themselves in the foot in some areas.

2. What are the top three risks you see for openSUSE? (And maybe
ideas how to tackle them?)

I think the biggest risk for any open source projects is not continuing
to train / bring in new contributors, in any project it is inevitable
that over time existing contributors will want to go of and do new
things and explore new ideas meaning that if there aren't new
contributors coming through to take there place the project will slowly
die. This extends beyond developers to community organizers etc

Secondly I see complacency as a big risk for the project, while we now
have two very good capable distro's it starts to become easy for us to
sit back and stop really innovating despite the fact that tumbleweed is
an amazing distro for innovation.

Less of a risk more of a thing we can still improve, there are many
parts of the world where openSUSE is still not as well known as other
distro's its certainly worth investigating ways to improve this,
although often the best way is to find someone willing to be active in
there local community and finding the first person to do this is the
hard first step.

In many ways I think the solution to all three of these questions is
somewhat linked, by focusing on attracting new users in existing and new
communities be they geographical or open source communities where we
haven't had a significant presence. We can then work toward getting some
of those users to contribute to area's they are passionate about which
will hopefully lead to more innovation. In reality its probably more
complex then that. Maybe a solution here is to encourage existing
members of the openSUSE community to join other open source communities
of interest to themselves.

3. What should the board do differently / more of?

This is a hard one for me to answer having been in the board for the
last two years, there was definitely parts of the name vote we could
have handled better. Given the work that's currently going on with the
board I wouldn't be looking to change much and do to many different
things until the foundation issue is sorted out. If the foundation goes
ahead then there will be a number of foundation related things where the
board can start to look at differently and it will be interesting to
explore those.

4. If you had a blank voucher from the SUSE CEO for one wish,
what would that be?

To extend SUSE's commitment to provide all the "core" resources that
openSUSE need to function to include providing administration staffing
for a foundation. It is far easier and more efficient for a large
company such as SUSE to employ one more person then it is for a
foundation to set up all the overheads it needs to employ someone.

Second on the list would be for SUSE to provide openSUSE and the open
source community at large with a full time designer. Products that look
and feel polished are much more likely to attract users. While community
contributors have stepped up a lot in the last year or so the projects
web presence lacks a consistent design and flow with some parts of our
web presence not seeing significant design changes for a number of
years. It would also be wonderful to have unique and well designed
branding across all our major desktops for Leap 16. Then when openSUSE
design is looking in a good shape to help some of the other open source
projects we use alot.

5. What is your take on the Foundation? What do you consider
a realistic outcome of that endeavour? (And if different, what
outcome would you like to see?)

Having spent a large amount of time looking at this question over the
last 2 years, I believe that the proposal the board put forward at the
last conference is a realistic way forward and the best way to proceed.

Having looked in detail at a number of possibilities I believe that the
only two realistic proposals are the one that was put forward and to
continue not to have a foundation.

For a foundation of our size the question of having a sponsor to help
handle the administration work is an absolute prerequisite without such
I think it would be very unwise to pursue a foundation without such
given the amount of extra work that would be required and that the
project hasn't been able to find a replacement treasurer to cover the
existing stuff we need to do.

Even looking at an e.V. I believe that it would be unswise to go down
that path without this being satisfied as well as additional risks about
how the scope of the project could change over time as such I almost
certainly wouldn't support a proposal for a foundation based around an e.V.

Similarly from the existing foundations we have spoken to about
partnering with there are concerns that we as a project are probably two
big and would create to mich work for them it would also potentially
become very expensive for us to the point where we could look at doing
our own thing anyway.

So in summary I believe going with a proposal other then the one the
current board has suggested has to much long term risk and it would be
unwise to go down that path as such i'm unlikely to support any
alternate proposals should we not be able to work through the details of
the current one with SUSE.

Anyway I've probably written more then enough for now but if you have
questions feel free to ask you can also find slightly more info at my
platform page


Simon Lees (Simotek)

Emergency Update Team
SUSE Linux Adelaide Australia, UTC+10:30
GPG Fingerprint: 5B87 DB9D 88DC F606 E489 CEC5 0922 C246 02F0 014B

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