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: Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:51:15 +0100
  • Message-id: <trinity-98dc65ed-5e83-4308-910a-619eb18c26c6-1579866674988@3c-app-gmx-bap17>

Gesendet: Mittwoch, 22. Januar 2020 um 22:29 Uhr
Von: "Richard Brown" <rbrown@xxxxxxx>
An: opensuse-project@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Betreff: Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 - Final
candidates list
Hi Richard,

now I can understand your concerns better. Your questions could be a new Q&A.
I have answred the questions by Gerald and said what to improve and not what is
working and I want to continue/ do again.

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

Hi Sarah,

After reading your email, I don't think I misunderstood much at all, but
I do really appreciate your responses and the opportunity to elaborate
my concerns.

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.

My concerns are outlined in the email below..or do you mean to suggest
with this statement that my concerns don't count because I'm the only
person raising them? Isn't the whole point of public discussions so that
individuals like myself can raise the concerns that bother us?
aren't board members meant to represent the whole community, even the
people they disagree with and who disagree with them?

Your concerns count. I want to explain all. I meant that you would be the first
one with concerns.
It would be boring without you in the community.
I would not answer to resolve them, if I was watching that as unimportant. :)

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
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 because
"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 German
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 conference?

I find your statements above to run incongruently with reality.

openSUSE has has events sponsored, non-financially, by countless
sponsors. Just in the last 12 months that includes the following
companies and organisations:

arm ltd
Red Hat/Fedora
Linux Magazine
Simplify Inc
Radiant Utama Interinsco TBK

And I'm sure I am missing a number of other examples and to those
wonderful sponsors of the openSUSE Project.

As a candidate for the openSUSE Board, I find your attitude expressed on
this topic to be dismissive of the sponsors openSUSE already has and
defeatist towards finding more such sponsors in the future.
These are attitudes I do not want to see in a Board candidate I wish to
vote for and I would hope that such feedback, while possibly
uncomfortable for you to read, is helpful for you to recieve in some

I did not say anything against existing sponsors. Go through your list.
Most existing sponsors are SUSE Business Partners or projects with the same
I can say, that is 10-25% of possible sponsorships. Let's analyse the issue.
Last conference we had only sanwiches as food. We asked for the reason. The
answer was "not
enough sponsoring". Therefore, your list was not enough. I have known that
there were issues
because of the existing workflow with SUSE in the past (with an organized
sponsor by me).
We had received really good food then.
These organizations and other potential companies as sponsors exist, too.
Therefore, I went to our community meeting to receive more information.
We want to support open-source projects and no company. Additionally, sponsors
want to know
what will happen with the money. These questions had been unanswered.
Therefore, such sponsorship
partners don't sponsor any more. So you can see the background of this
issue. What is the solution? We should have openSUSE as a co-contractor instead
of SUSE.
As openSUSE Board Members, we have to think about how to make us attractive
again as an ope-source project.
Is that better understandable?

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.

As you know as a former Board member, under the openSUSE Trademark
Guidelines, the openSUSE Board can, if they wish, define the terms,
conditions and requirements for any organisation to be able to use the
openSUSE logo.
"All other uses of the openSUSE Marks need to be reserved by us, but we
are available to discuss terms for use. "

If a Company wants to sponsor developers and in return use the openSUSE
Trademark, they should already be able to under the current rules.
You seem to be suggesting that if you are elected you will 'fix' the
status quo, but the problem you are stating does not appear to exist as
far as I can see.
Therefore I do not understand what point you are trying to make here as
part of your campaign to join the Board in 2020.

You are right in this case! Sorry that I did not write more about the
of other companies. If a company want to support us with Developers, they want
to be able to receive the name "Sponsor" That counts more and more in the
You are not a Sponsor with default Contributors. That is more. In the future,
they want to write "We support these open-source projects and you are allowed
to do that during working time!". Sponsoring will be part of that, too. They
won't choose openSUSE as such an open-source project, if there would be such
financials obstacles. I have received such a feedback in Chemnitz, 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.

Again, see the incomplete list of companies I've already posted above.
Are you suggesting that you weren't aware of any of these sponsorships
in the last year or the many similar sponsorships that occurred when you
were previously a Board member?

Yes. I appreciate all existing sponsors. But I have an open ear for all.
I had organized a sponsorship during my last Board Membership and I was
surprised about the problems. If I hear about such things, I want to analyse
the background to improve the situation. I want to be a Board Member of a
"real" open-source project. If I receive the feedback, that the co-contractor
would be the problem (in different cases) I try to find a solution for that.

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
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 that.
After 1.5 hours discussions without any predictable end (topic
openSUSE Asia Summit
in the past) all the other Board Members agreed that this would be the
possible solution. We can use the time for other topics in the future.

I recall the discussions you cite, and I remember vividly your repeated
assertions that you have experiences with Foundations from your student
I also remember the expressions of experience from other members of the
Board who were in that discussion, including those who work for SUSE.

Every time I had waited for suggestions by you or others in the Board.
Default people with such conflicts have expectations. In this case, SUSE
employees came to us because of conflicts with their own employer. They were
allowed to suggest solutions, too. You did not suggest the Foundation as a
solution. We had the same problem every time and we from the community wanted
to have a long-term solution. Other Board Members had tried to transfer the
GSoC money to the openSUSE Asia Summit, too. But thas was not possible.
How can we solve such a conflict between SUSE and openSUSE?
Therefore, this idea was suggested my me for a better community life.
That has been approved by all of the Board then.

I didn't want to go into too much detail in my original email because it
was a private discussion of the team. But as you have now directly
referred to the conversation, I feel I must firmly state that I still
outright dismiss your characterisation of the discussion that you,
individually "had to suggest this solution more than 3 times that was
accepted by SUSE employees in the Board".

I don't forbid to write your past opinions here. :)

The Board, as a team, decided to reinvigorate the project's efforts to
look into a Foundation.
Your statement above, even after your clarification, reads to me like
you wish to take singular credit for this effort.
This team included people on all sides of the debate from all
backgrounds and employment states. I do not like picture of "Sarah vs
SUSE" you paint with your choice of words.

Yes. The openSUSE Board is a team. I have written for a new application here.
Therefore, I wanted to reference something with a successful improvement
for the community. Additionally, I wanted to say that I want to finish
my idea together with all the other Board Members. If you would be a
candidate for the openSUSE Board again, didn't you spcify any good ideas by
yourself in the past during your last Board Membership? ;)

I do not think it is appropriate for an individual in a Team to try and
take singular credit for a decision made by the whole team.
That is not an attitude that I wish to see in a candidate asking for my
vote for them in this election. Again, I'm sorry that might be
uncomfortable for you to read, but isn't the purpose of this thread to
give the opportunity for community members like myself to give feedback
on the answers given by Board candidates?

That is the point! That is an application for the Board and I have to show
my goals and what I am doing/ have done for the community. :)
Therefore, I give examples with good ideas from my side which are improving
our community life. I don't want to have it as a singular credit. That is
only an example what I had contributed to the Board. Everybody in the Board
can make suggestions. Anybody can have an idea to improve something. In this
I tell here about one idea from me in the past, which has been approved as a
long-term solution by all in the Board.

There is no difference between the Board members who are
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
are not.

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

Peculiar or not, I think it is inappropriate for a potential Board
member to run on a campaign where they actively single out any other
members of the Project because of the employer they might have.
When that employer is also the primary sponsor of the project, I wonder
how effective the Board member candidate will be at working with the
Project's primary sponsor.
I would much rather vote for a candidate who sees all of our
contributors as equals.

My goal was to improve the collaboration between SUSE and openSUSE. That
has been a conflict between SUSE and openSUSE. If SUSE employees in the
Board need support for conflicts between their employer and our open-source
I am open to resolve such conflicts. You (and everybody else in the Board) were
to suggest a long-term solution, too.
That is an example that I can not resolve only conflicts in the community.
I am doing that with our partners and optional partners, too. :)

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
A one line fix for the broken rss feed needed 2 months.
In my experience our Heroes Team interacts mostly faster.

And yet there are tickets regarding Nuremberg-hosted infrastructure that
have been open just as long if not longer:

Some quickly identified examples:
Ticket #4314 - related to (hosted in NUE) - open
since 09/06/2015
Ticket #17604 - related to (hosted in NUE) - open
since 08/03/2017
These issues have a lower priority because Google is listed as a solution in
ticket #17604.

Ticket #17676 - sponsor wishing to provide a new mirror using the
sources hosted in NUE - open since 12/03/2017 with the user still
waiting for access since the last ping 11 months ago
There were tickets with higher priorities. Last week we have received
the good messages that we have more time for mirrors now.
Ticket #37099 - related to (hosted in NUE) - open
since 12/06/2018
Ticket #40061 - another sponsor wishing to provide a mirror from NUE -
open since 21/08/2018
This mirror is configured and the ticket is almost finished.

The openSUSE Heroes Team is not the only one where special tickets need
some time longer. The ticket of does not have any
negative effict for the outside. Therefore, that has a lower priority.
I can show you bug reports with such a long waiting time.
Tickets with high priority are resolved really fast. Did you see that?

And I'm sure I could go through more of the admin@xxxxxxxxxxxx ticket
list to find more examples.

To re-iterate my points in my original email
- It is an objective fact that issues in both Provo and Nuremberg take
too long to fix
- There is no evidence that Provo issues take any longer than Nuremberg
issues, therefore there is no evidence that moving openSUSE infra from
Provo to Nuremberg is a good solution
- Even if there was, I do not think is it appropriate for Board members
to demand the course of action that sponsors or other volunteers will
have to take out.

Do you mean, we have to wait for a database dump in Germany more than 3 months?
I know that you have received ssh access for Provo as our Chairman in the past.
Do you want to volunteer for us in Provo, if that was fun for you? ;)
In my experience, MF-IT does not interact without kicking them. Our
community team is more effective. Additionally, I have chosen this topic,
I have an open ear for our community. If the Heroes Team has such problems with
continiously, I want to think about a solution for them. I prefer to keep
our openSUSE Contributors insted of loosing them because of MF-IT.
We have escalations to the Board because of this issue. Therefore, we need a
solution here.
That is a job for openSUSE Board Members, too. I want to have a happy community.

And because you were insulting enough to suggest I want a broken
infrastructure, I will re-iterate here, of course I do not want a broken
infrastructure - but it's not the Board's job to tell our infrastructure
volunteers or sponsors how to do their job.

I have asked our volunteers what they prefer (see above)!
I would not list that as an candidate, if I was not asking for feedback in the

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

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

You stated the problem was "Bad reputation of openSUSE Leap & openSUSE
You stated, in the section of your reply starting with "Solution" a
single sentence that reads "We need more openSUSE Contributors
representing openSUSE and I can do that as an openSUSE Board Member

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

I did not write anywhere that you have to represent openSUSE. Everybody
can do that.
I wrote above that I have an open ear for the community. I am doing that
for our users and optional partners, too. How do you want to receive feedback
for improvements without repesenting openSUSE as an openSUSE Board Member?
Do you mean you receive all feedback via email?

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
Our focus should be to resolve problems. But we are representing the
community, too.
Additionally, I am not only one candidate with this idea. ;)

Please don't tell me as a voter what my vote means.
When I cast my vote in this election, I am not electing a "Student
Representative" for openSUSE.
I am not electing a "Project Representative" for openSUSE, because I and
all of my other voters can represent openSUSE.
When I cast my vote I am electing a Board member who's primary role is
to help resolve conflicts in the Project, to communicate with SUSE and
our other sponsors, and to be trusted to make decisions when no one else
in the Project is able to.

Didn't I resolve conflicts with my solution? I had resolved conflicts in
the community as a openSUSE Board Member. I have found a long-term solution
to resolve conflicts between SUSE and openSUSE. I have analysed the problem
with conflicts between sponsoring between openSUSE/SUSE and optional partners.
Gerald wanted to know "what can be improved in the future Board".
The existing Board is resolving conflicts, too. Therefore, that is not any good
idea for improvements. Representation by openSUSE Board Members besides of
other Advocates at open-source events has the positive effect to receive
by all (users and Contributors). On this way, we can improve us and our

None of those roles require or expect Board members to running around
representing openSUSE to address the Project's perception.

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

With all due respect, I do not wish to see a Board member trying to
address issues like a computer scientist.
In my view the major issues the Project faces right now require Board
members skilled in empathy, diplomacy, and other (I hate this term)
"soft-skills" to interact with all the parties involved and encourage
the people engaged with this Project to help openSUSE to improve itself.
I do not think those abilities or attitudes have been expressed in this
thread to date, but I hope my feedback has been detailed and
constructive enough to be of some benefit.
And if not, well, at least I can take comfort in being able to engage in
this election process in a new way.

Computer Scientists have the qualification to resolve (technical) problems.
I don't address that alone. But I have learned to transfer this qualification
to interpersonal problems which are conflicts (in your terminology).
I have an open ear for all. That is the same as Requirements Engineering for
the community what is needed to improve. After that you have to find solutions
for problems and conflicts. That is what I have done above.
Why are optional sponsors unimportant? I want to see our community growing
and with happy Contributors. I am doing the same with the Translation Team and
you can read their feedback on this mailing list. Which of your listed
"soft-skills" is missing? It seems, you want to disregard resolving conflicts
with optional new partners and what is happening in the community.

I know why I did not say anything about my professional qualification in the
That was a list with answers for the Q&A by Gerald (what to improve, watched
risks, ...).
That is unimportant for an openSUSE Board Member. That is correct. But it is
how you are using your skills and how you resolve issues/conflicts. And I
wanted to show you
how I have received this qualification via my professional education.
Richard Brown
Linux Distribution Engineer - Future Technology Team
Best regards,

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