Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (63 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 - Final candidates list
  • From: "Sarah Julia Kriesch" <ada.lovelace@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2020 21:31:47 +0100
  • Message-id: <trinity-ede2b1fe-127b-4877-8a21-42d7e8262040-1579725107299@3c-app-gmx-bs65>

Gesendet: Mittwoch, 22. Januar 2020 um 16:32 Uhr
Von: "Richard Brown" <rbrown@xxxxxxx>
An: opensuse-project@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Betreff: Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 - Final
candidates list

Hi Sarah,
Hi Richard,
You have misunderstood a lot of my answers.

I feel there are a number of factual inaccuracies and tonal concerns I
wish to raise with your answers

Where are the concerns? You are the first one who has responded.
That is a mailing list and I am open for discussions.

Background: I was asked really often at open source events how
another company can sponsor openSUSE. We had to say that it would not
possible because all of our money is going via a SUSE credit card and
the money would be lost (same with the GSoC money, which has to be
transferred to other organizations because of this issue). No company
wants to pay Open Source Developers with such a background of an
open-source project. Therefore, most openSUSE Contributors are
working for SUSE or SUSE Business Partners. This topic popped up more
than 3 times during my last Board Membership (really created by SUSE
employees each time!).

There are a number of other ways besides money that other companies and
projects can, do, and have sponsored openSUSE.

Yes. But that all has the issue that we don't have a foundation.
We had supperior offers for hardware sponsorships and they had been canceled
"SUSE Linux GmbH" is listed as a co-contractor[0]. Such companies would accept
a foundation.

Another case is the sponsorship for openSUSE Conferences. I have organized a
organization in the past. There were a lot of problems to receive information
about sponsorships
before. We sponsored the food then. But during a meeting this year, I heared
that our Board
does not want to support openSUSE any more because of these problems. You can
watch the food of
the last conference. Do you want to have only sandwiches for guests at the

The topic "paied Open Source Developers" is coming from a study conference of
the SBB foundation.
A speaker told about "New Work" and that it is modern to offer 20% of working
time for non-profit
projects. I know different IT companies who want to support open-source
projects on this way.
Do you mean, they want to give us these Developers without being allowed to
publish the openSUSE
logo on the homepage? What is the requirement for doing that? They have to be a
sponsor, too.

I disagree with the implication in the above that openSUSE is not able
to recieve any such sponsorship.

My experience at openSUSE shows the opposite.

Obviously I agree that direct monetary sponsorship is currently
problematic, but given openSUSE is rarely short of money for the
activities we do, I do not think it's the highest priority for the
Project at this time.

Solution: Creation of the foundation! I had to suggest this solution
more than 3 times before that was accepted by SUSE employees in the
Board. I told about all the benefits how we can manage our own money
then, receive new sponsors, SUSE can use more money for their own,
SUSE can sponsor us continuously and we would be able to receive more

The idea of an openSUSE Foundation has been a recurring topic for the
openSUSE Project since before 2011.

I outright reject the statement that you "had to suggest this solution
more than 3 times that was was accepted by SUSE employees in the

We had long discussions about resolving the problem with the money.
Google Summer of Code and openSUSE Asia Summit are only examples of our
Board Meetings. Every time, I have repeated the suggestion with the foundation
with all benefits for us and SUSE. I have experience with foundations from my
student life and one employer who wanted to safe his open-source project with
After 1.5 hours discussions without any predictable end (topic openSUSE Asia
in the past) all the other Board Members agreed that this would be the only
possible solution. We can use the time for other topics in the future.

There is no difference between the Board members who are democratically
elected by the community, and I think it is inappropirate for a
potential Board member of to express a "them vs us" outlook between
those elected Board members employed by a certain company and those who
are not.

Yes. That is right. There is no difference in the Board. But it was peculiar
that all the time SUSE employees were complaining about money topics at the
openSUSE Board. The shortest way is another one.

2) openSUSE infrastructure in Provo
Background: I am one of the Founders of the openSUSE Heroes Team and
was allowed to coordinate our first wiki project between Germany and
Provo. The openSUSE infrastructure is in Microfocus hands and they
need very long to respond on issues and we are not allowed to receive
access as a community. Additionally, SUSE is not part of Microfocus
any more which makes it more difficult to receive good support in the
Solution 1: Migration of all openSUSE systems from Provo to Nuremberg
/ Prague (perhaps missing space?)
Solution 2: Migration of all openSUSE systems from Provo to any
German hosting data centre with access for openSUSE Heroes

It is my personal and professional experience that issues I report to
admin@xxxxxxxxxxxx are no more likely to be resolved if they relate to
openSUSE infrastructure in Nuremberg than if they related to openSUSE
infrastructure in Provo.

Really? We are waiting for a database dump for our forums since September.
A one line fix for the broken rss feed needed 2 months.
In my experience our Heroes Team interacts mostly faster.

openSUSE also recently experienced a prolonged outage of one piece
infrastructure hosted by a German hosting data centre with access for
openSUSE heroes.

Since somebody joined the Heroes again, infrastructure topics from
Germany have been resolved faster. That counts for hosted at SUSE and
in the data centre.

Therefore I disagree that moving anything from Provo to Nuremberg or
anywhere else is mandatory or necessarily helpful in order to fix

Do you prefer a non working infrastructure? The Heroes Team is giving all.
But that is not possible with MF-IT.

I agree that openSUSE needs to have vastly improved support of its
infrastructure, but I do not think the Board should be demanding the
details of what steps should be taken to reach that solution.
I strongly feel the details should be left to the volunteers and
sponsors who will be responsible for providing that support.

That is necessary if you want to keep that in Provo. Admins don't work
there without escalations. Our new Chairman had to ask for a database
dump[1]. I prefer such topics as Heroes topics, too. MF-IT does not listen
to our Heroes Team. Therefore, we need escalations via the Chairman or
another place for the infrastructure.

3) Bad reputation of openSUSE Leap & openSUSE Tumbleweed
Background: We are the openSUSE project with many different sub-
projects. We don’t offer only Linux distributions, but we are well
known for that and most people are associating us with that. I had
given many presentations about openSUSE during my last Board
Membership and represented us at different open source events. The
existing openSUSE Board does not do that very much. They have another
focus at the moment.
Solution: We need more openSUSE Contributors representing openSUSE
and I can do that as an openSUSE Board Member again. After that, we
can be one of the top Linux distributions again. 😉

I disagree that you need to be a Board member in order to represent
openSUSE and I dislike the implication that those two roles are somehow

You are writing what I have written as a solution...
I wrote that we need more openSUSE Contributors there. It is not necessary
to be a Board Member to represent openSUSE. It is welcome to see openSUSE
Board Members at open-source events. That is giving openSUSE an higher value
there then.

I think it would be a much better to encorage that anyone can, and
should, represent openSUSE regardless of their status in the Project.

One role does not suspend the other one. Read my solution correctly.

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

The existing openSUSE Board is working mostly on the topic with the
foundation. That is good. Thank you! But the role of a Board Member
contains the representation of the community, too. We would have one
less risk with that.

As I state above, I agree the Project needs more ambassadors,
advocates, and cheerleaders but I think the representation of openSUSE
can and should be handled by anyone in the Project.

You are elected as a openSUSE Board Member because you are representing
the openSUSE Community. We have the name "Student Representative" for
elected Students at our university. We have been electing Board Members.
Our focus should be to resolve problems. But we are representing the community,
Additionally, I am not only one candidate with this idea. ;)

I'd rather see Board members spend their time on tasks requiring the
trust and responsibility vested in them by the electorate.

I hope my fellow voters elect people based on their ability to handle
tasks the community could not otherwise easily solve themselves.

Which additional (missing) tasks do you see?
One role does not exclude others. I did not decline to resolve issues.
I can resolve problems as a Computer Scientist (not only technical things).
Richard Brown
Linux Distribution Engineer - Future Technology Team

Best regards,


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