Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (67 mails)

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

On 1/27/20 3:49 AM, Ariez J Vachha wrote:
Election candidates, et al,

Happy Chinese New Year from Hong Kong!

Firstly let me thank the candidates for stepping forward as well as the
other election officials especially, Ish and Edwin for their hard work
in getting this process so far.

As an openSUSE old timer, yet probably one of the newest members of
openSUSE. I have a question for the the election candidates albeit
extremely 11th hour, which I believe is extremely pertinent to the
future of openSUSE. For some years I saw openSUSE fall down the rankings
as well as as experienced some lag in the update cycles relative to
other distros. I put this down to SUSE being passed from pillar to post
for over a decade. Recently though openSUSE has really got its "mojo"
back and is on fire! I've had a number of projects recently which I
think would have been extremely difficult to execute with any other
distribution.

But here's the thing, the future relies on getting new blood involved.
My recent experience in trying to get involved in the project by
understand the workings of the organisation has been a long and
relatively painful process. So much so that I failed in my commitment to
the other election officials. I do not want to detract from any of the
contribution of any of the volunteers, as I know no from other projects
I'm involved in the commitment it takes.

I would like to know the candidates views on making it easier for those
that want to participate, especially non coders, to do so, and how they
propose to do it.

From reading the mailing lists, I can see that this has been touched on
on and talked about quite a bit. I feel it needs to be moved up the
priority list. Not being one to make comment if I'm unable to contribute
I'm happy to volunteer in this effort regardless of election outcome.

Hi, As I said in my response to Gerald's questions I think one of
openSUSE's biggest strengths is that we deal with language support
better then most which is great but does come with a unique set of
challenges.

Given that many many users can use openSUSE in there native language it
has meant that we have a large number of communities that tend to meet
and work in there own native language which is great. I have had the
privilege of meeting people from many of these communities at the last
few Asia Summits.

I think that one of the things we see here is that many people in many
communities aren't aware of which communities are doing what and which
people in which communities are capable of doing what. After 3 years I
have a bit more of an idea because i've had the privilege of going to
conferences and seeing talks on some of these things but I know its only
scratching the surface. So I tend to agree we should do a better job of
telling everyone which communities we have and what they are doing. Its
very hard to contribute to something if you don't know it exists.

I also think another of our strengths compared to many other distro's is
how easy it is to make technical contributions (atleast if you speak
english) at the same time I think this combined with the fact that SUSE
in the last few years has done a reasonable job of keeping its
commitment to keep the core of the distro in a good working state has
meant we haven't done as well at attracting new contributors as we
probably should. I think the one area we tend to do reasonably well is
providing channels for members to provide support for each other,
providing forums / chatrooms for a bunch of languages is reasonably
straight forward. Having said that I was contributing to openSUSE for 2
years before I even realized we had forums, and was only made aware
because a forum moderator told me someone had a question about something
I maintain. So I agree with Vinz that refreshing our web platform and
making a how to contribute is an absolute must. This topic has been
raised by previous boards that I have been on and at the time we decided
that due to much of openSUSE's web presence being hosted by Microfocus
and the fact that due to SUSE's sale to EQT much of this infrastructure
was scheduled to be moved back to SUSE / the Heroes team it would be
better to wait until that finished. That process is getting closer to
being done so I believe the next year or two will provide an excellent
opportunity for us to re address this issue.

Another thing I alluded to above that I discussed with some of the team
at Asia summit last year was the fact that many of our tools and
processes for development are really easy to contribute to if you have a
good understanding of english (this probably also extends to things like
this board election) for example without understanding some basic
english you would struggle to follow these discussions and no who to
speak to. At the same time I am friends with many members of our
community on facebook and when they post something in there native
language I get a great "see translation" button that I can press and
have a reasonable understanding of the conversation. Personally I think
we should be looking at how we can adapt something like this into our
tools such as bugtrackers and obs so that its possible for people who
dont speak any english to contribute to more parts of the project. This
would obviously take alot of work and probably isn't even possible with
our current bugzilla. But the board is probably an ideal place to put
together some form of joint business plan to work toward a open source
auto translation platform (if one doesn't exist) then get it integrated
into things like obs. Maybe this is a product some of SUSE's customers
would be interested in, maybe not, but having such a feature would give
openSUSE a unique advantage when it comes to attracting contributors who
don't speak english to open source development.

While I have never really liked the idea of having a "Community Manager"
position, our community really should be free to go do whatever they
want and they don't really need managing but maybe we should create some
form of "Community Communications Manager" that keeps track of which
communities we have, who the best contacts are and works to harness the
fantastic translation team we have so that we can communicate important
things more effectively with all our different communities.

The final thing I have on my list is improving how we do documentation
and making it much easier to contribute to, due to my time constraints
i've been leaving this one until after the foundation work is mostly
done. Basically the concept is to merge the documentation we inherit
from SUSE with additional "User generated content such as tips etc"
along with pulling in the user documentation currently on the wiki maybe
also with some content from the forums and some how to articles all
merged into once central openSUSE knowledge base. Given the amount of
foundation stuff still going on i'm not sure if this is something i'll
be able to pursue in the next year or if it gets left until the year after.

Thanks for your feedback and prompting us to do better here, at every
openSUSE related conference i've been to there has always been a couple
of users that come along and get inspired to be more involved and I
think that's fantastic so i'd encourage everyone to come to a conference
at some point if they can.

Cheers

--

Simon Lees (Simotek) http://simotek.net

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

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