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openSUSE:Board election 2010 platform sebas

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 a 34 year old Dutch Free software hacker. My development work concentrates on Plasma, where I'm maintaining several central components, such as the digital clock, battery, network management widgets and social desktop widgets. I frequently dive into other technologies for fun and research purposes, some of them turn into interesting new projects. I've been using openSUSE on and off since 2002. I am strongly involved with KDE, as press contact, release manager, Plasma hacker, and being on the board of directors of the KDE e.V.. Especially the latter gives me a lot of experience for the work in openSUSE's board, which is in many aspects comparable to KDE e.V..

I am employed by open-slx as user experience designer. Part of my work is to be involved with Free software projects such as openSUSE and KDE.


Major Issues

openSUSE faces two major challenges: independence and direction. By promoting the wider openSUSE community to first class contributors, Novell has come a long way to help openSUSE as an independent Free software project on their feet.

So one major challenge the openSUSE community is facing is independence. The community and Novell have already started the process of making a clearer separation between openSUSE, the community-driven Linux distribution and Novell and their SUSE Linux enterprise products. This process needs to continue, and preferably accelerate in the light of Attachmate's acquisition of Novell, since this acquisition brings some uncertainty into the openSUSE eco-system. openSUSE is only viable as a Free software project if it's independent of large vendors, and if the community is in charge of the direction.

Novell (cq. Attachmate) is the most important single stakeholder and contributor to openSUSE, so a good balance needs to be found between the community and Novell. Independence of openSUSE must not mean diminishing Novell's role, but making openSUSE as an organisation more transparant so that it becomes easier and more attractive to new contributors, be it other companies (such as open-slx, my employer) or individual contributors. In the end it doesn't matter where a contributor comes from, it's the contributions that matter. Growth of the community becomes easier if the community is run in an independent way, separating the interests from the community from the commercial ones where necessary while using the common ground to grow and improve openSUSE.

Independence is of vital importance to finding a direction for the community, since it enables more Free thinking, and creates a fertile ground for the next big idea to spark and become reality.

Minor Issues

Work in the board will have the implication that there's a lot of gruntwork that needs to be done, work that might not be all that exciting, but needs to happen nevertheless. I expect this to be actually the most part of the work for the openSUSE board, so I'm preparing to take care of my fair share of this, and help openSUSE grow independent.


Role of the board

My idea of the board in combination with the openSUSE community is as follows:

  • The community is in charge of direction of the project
  • The commuinity is the "boss" of the board, as it is elected by its members, the community audits and ultimately controls the board
  • The board listens to the community and tries to make ends meet where they don't yet
  • The board reports back to the community about the status of things being worked on
  • The board (and subsequently the openSUSE foundation) will have to take some decisions, but these have to be in accordance with the opinion of the openSUSE membership, and with the values of Free software
  • The board facilitates administrative work, but does not do it all by itself. Being on the board is not substitute for "does all the dirty work" (but likely some ;)), its role is empowering the community and putting grease into community mechanisms


Why you should vote for me?

  • I'm a strong believer in Free software and community values
  • I have a long history with openSUSE and know my way around
  • I've multiple years of experience in administering a Free software project
  • I am able to dedicate some of my work-time (additional to my Free time) to openSUSE


Aims/Goals

Strategy of openSUSE has been one of the major issues the openSUSE community struggled with in 2010 (and before already). While I think it's a good thing to actively think about strategies, these discussions have shown one thing very well: the openSUSE community is too diverse for one strategy, and as a result long discussions ensued in which little compromise was made, but rather different ideas were being pitched. If the openSUSE members decide to elect me as Board member, I will stand for empowering those that want to move openSUSE forward, and do my best to provide them the tools to bring a new wave of impetus to the openSUSE community.


Endorsements

Room for your supporters to leave a word about you
"He is a good guy who's working hard for KDE and openSUSE. I think he is a good guy for the board. I hope he wins the challenge :-)" <saigkill>