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openSUSE:Board election 2010 platform mrdocs

tagline: From openSUSE

Platform

Note: This page is used by the candidate of the board election as a platform to show his views and answer some standard questions.

Introduction and Biography

I am an American citizen resident in the United Kingdom, then France since 2004. I am orginally from New England, I am married and have a lovely 3 year old daughter :)

I am a long time SuSE and openSUSE user and contributor. I've used SLES professionally since version 8 and personally since 9.0. My invlovement within the community has been mostly around the Build Service, where I have been packaging on it since its earliest public days. I am a very active packager for both Gnome and KDE, as well co-maintaining the Contrib repo and others. I am frequently on IRC and you can find me in many of the opensuse channels. My best contribution on IRC is helping other users, especially new users of OBS and the distro in general.

In addition, I am one of the original founders and core team members of Scribus (Just recently we celebrated 10 years as a project!) and Libre Graphics Meeting, along with participating in a number of other projects in the open source graphics stack (Fontmatrix, Podofo, Ghostscript and others. Within Scribus, I principally work on general project management and testing, packaging and support infrastructure.

Professionally, I have mostly worked as an independent IT consultant for companies, focused on providing a global view of their IT needs, as well as helping them migrate to open source solutions.

Most recently, I did what I call a "professional sabbatical" working at INRIA, as the project manager for a large EU computer science research project with some 50+ developers involved from 19 academic and industrial partners. It was a great experience to work with some brilliant people in the HPC world and some of the most powerful distributed systems in the world.

Before, I was invloved in IT, I was Vice-President for an international conference and travel company specialized in international visitors to North America. This experience will be very relevant organizing openSUSE conference(s).

Major Issues

Please list any issues you feel are of a high priority that need to be addressed by the Board and how you would like to address them should you be elected

The most important issue for the incoming board will the the creation and management of the new Foundation. This will require board members with knowledge of budgeting, the law in possibly serveral countries, as well as understanding the differences between principally U.S and European non-profit organizations. In starting a Foundation for Scribus, as well as organizing LGM, I have faced these issues already. Moreover, I have a fair amount of experience in fundraising for non-profit organizations. With my business and FOSS experience, I will be attentive to and carefully try to represent all the stakeholder's points of view.

In addition, we must do a better job of communication within the community and externally. I am fortunate to be a native English speaker, but also very sensitive to cross-cultural issues. We need to break down barriers to understanding fellow members and ensure all voices are heard. Along with this I will do all that I can to expand membership to interested people and support Ambassadors and local groups. This is most important in reaching folks with little or no skills in English. There are tremendous opportunities around the world to spread openSUSE, but it cannot be done in English only

My sense is we could do better highlighting the sheer technical excellence of the distro and the focus put into quality asssurance in the creation of openSUSE. The Build Service is one of the unique and outstanding assets of the distribution. Technically, it has provided the infrastructure for everyone to participate and shape the contents of openSUSE. We need now to make sure there are no social or policy barriers to allow interested responsible contributors to join in.

Minor Issues

While I would not consider it minor, I would like to make sure we have provide effort and resources to local Ambassdors. I think this is a very important way of both raising our visibility with external folks. Acting as an Ambassador is a valuable contribution which can be done by any community member with an interest and the wish to engage the public.

Role of the board

Please describe your vision for the Board and how you would like to see the Board shaped under your tenure

I see the role of the board not as top-down direction, but represents all the various stakeholder's within the community.

My view of the board is that it should be a facilitator to remove barriers technical or otherwise to allow people to contribute and participate unfettered.

My view also is the board's activities should be visible and transparent, but subordinate to the contribtions of others.

Lastly, the board should actively encourage cross-pollinating projects and people. For example, I would propose we continue to extend our openess to working with other external orgnanizations and distributions.

Why you should vote for me?

I am a long time participant in OSS and have a substantial base of experience in guiding projects both technically and "socially" if you will. Sometimes, the "social" aspect is much underrated.

Having long been involved in the openSUSE community on many levels, I think I have a good sense of the communities wishes and values. This gives me a good perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the current situtation.

I have a long and deep track record of contributing to Free and Open Source software and content.

My business and personal experiences will well serve the community in listening to and representing all the diverse stakeholders.

Aims/Goals

Please list your aims and goals for both the openSUSE project and also the openSUSE distribution. You may highlight specific projects within openSUSE or sow the seed for new ones.

My main aim would be push forward to implement an independent openSUSE Foundation which will be long term sustainable and transparent to the community.

One of my goals will be to increase the visibility of openSUSE through marketing and other activities. We have a great distro, we should not be shy about promoting it.

We have great opportunities throughout the world to spread our message and values. My aim will be to ensure the community has the resources and cooperation to succeed. An important target in shaping opinion leaders in the FLOSS world is showing how OBS is an excellent tool for upstream projects.

Lastly, I would urge and facilitate cross-team and cross-distro cooperation. It is a win/win for all concerned.

Endorsements

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