openSUSE talk:Strategy Community Statement

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Community Statement

Note: This document contains comments made on forums and mailing lists about the community statement. This will help to change the document in the end.


We are the openSUSE Community - a friendly, welcoming, vibrant, and active community. This includes developers, testers, writers, translators, usability experts, artists, promoters and everybody else who wishes to engage with the project.


  • The forums participants felt excluded at this statement. How can we make it such that the whole community feels included? One proposal "This includes forum participants, developers, testers, writers, translators, usability experts, artists, promoters and everybody else who wishes to engage with the project."
  • How do we define our community?

To grow the openSUSE Community, we will put contributors first and focus on the following activities:

  • Build a lively and active community
  • Increase contributor visibility
  • Attract contributions by empowering our community to influence and shape the Project in all aspects
  • Make contributing easy by eliminating or greatly reducing bureaucratic obstacles and having great governance
  • Market the Project


  • I'm not completely certainly what to read into "great governance", but

overall the above list sounds really good.

Excel Activity List

This includes the following activities in order to excel in our goals:

  • Create tools that support community activities
  • Establish the openSUSE Foundation
  • Improve visibility through announcements, news, blogs, tweets, etc
  • Give presentations about the Project


  • What kind of presentations? At events (what kind of events?)? On the web? Or do we want to keep this deliberately vague to cover all types of presentations?
  • These last two are really just one: Improve visibility through presentations, announcements, news, blogs, tweets, etc
  • Establish Events: Conference organization


  • Is this item about the organization of the openSUSE conference or about something else? It's unclear, so clarifying might be good :-)
  • Emphasize the value of communication and recognize cultural diversity within our community


  • This goal sounds great, but, hrm, what does it mean in practice? :-) Do we have any concrete example of how we would achieve this? (It sounds more like a value than a goal to me)
  • "There is a lot of value in diversity, if it is respected by all concerned. What I think needs saying is something like: We as a community value diversity of skills, talents and cultures. This is a strength and encourages tolerance towards other ideas and opinions, even if we may disagree at times. We value honest forthright discussion when it begins from a basis of mutual respect of all members of the community. Moreover, we wish at all times to be inclusive of other languages, cultures and opinions. "
  • During our strategy meeting, the initial item that cause that line to be there was from me. And what the initial item was about was "making openSUSE friendlier to women" (or rather "female contributors", even though that sounds a bit odd and, don't burn me, I'm not a native English speaker ;)). And my proposal was to actively reach out.
  • Can we reword this to: "make everyone feel welcome in our community, regardless of their gender, culture, or in general, background"?
  • add "technical skill" to previous statement
  • Foster governance discussions
  • Mentor new contributors


  • I think just "Praise contributors" would be enough. I'm specifically wondering about the bounties here. Do we have bounties?
  • Praise contributors (Publicity, bounties, ...)


  • Somehow I feel the last two should be combined into something about actively and positively encouraging and acquiring contributors. I also think it is an area in which we, as a project, have not been doing overly well.

Do Effectively Activity List

We will also do the following activities:

  • Events: Attend shows, set up booths, have openSUSE Community rooms
  • Raise funds for the Project through the openSUSE Foundation
  • Helping new users and contributors


  • The "contributors" part here sounds redundant with the "Mentor new contributors" from above.
  • Encourage technical discussions (via mailing lists and forums)


  • I do wish they could be combined. If we genuinely value communication,

this is ought to be a top priority.

  • Give presentations about the Project


  • We have this one in the first list already
  • Publications, whitepapers, ... in journals


  • To be honest, I'm unsure about this one: it seems to me that the one below (reaching out to key people) is way more important. Are we already doing some of this today? If not, I'm not sure it's worth investing efforts in starting doing this.
  • Reaching multiplicators (journalists, key comm members, ...)
  • Customer intelligence (Surveys, segmentation, update statistics, ...)


  • I don't like the term "customer" for a project like ours: we're not selling anything, and it gives some false impression. Maybe "audience"?


Note that we are very well aware that anything we do depends on the willingness of our community to drive it and make it successful. The openSUSE Community Board sees its leadership role in making coherent proposals and driving community decisions -- not in just taking decisions on behalf of the community.


  • Remove "Note that" :-) Maybe also remove "very well": it doesn't sound right in such a statement.
  • I wouldn't say "The board sees its role" but "The role of the board is", especially since this statement is from the community as a whole, not just from the board. (And saying "the board sees" might imply a new elected board could have a different opinion here)

Note that openSUSE has evolved from it's initial launch with little participation to being now a real open source project. It has many sponsors including Novell as main sponsor. The sponsors are part of the Project and will support it in various ways but not control the project. openSUSE being an open source project means that everybody in the community can contribute equally to it in all aspects of the project and should not depend on any of the sponsors doing everything.


  • Remove "Note that" :-)
  • Fix: s/it's/its/
  • I'd remove "now" -- it doesn't bring anything useful, and will sound weird in 3 years
  • open source or free software?
  • The last part reads a bit weird. I'd add a "will": "but will not control"

Guiding Principles

We'd like to cite as well from the openSUSE Guiding Principles:


  • I'd change this to: "Finally, this quote from the openSUSE Guiding Principles summarizes the values of our project:" (or something similar). This explains why we have that quote here, instead of just saying "we'd like to" without explaining why :-)

We value respect for other persons and their contributions, for other opinions and beliefs. We listen to arguments and address problems in a constructive and open way. We believe that a diverse community based on mutual respect is the base for a creative and productive environment enabling the project to be truly successful. We don't tolerate social discrimination and aim at creating an environment where people feel accepted and safe from offense.

General comments

  • Do we want users or contributors:

"As an example, putting contributors first doesn't make a lot of sense, when we want to reach out to users beyond the community. There we would have to put users first and define who they are, how to reach them, and what activities would support that. In general I think users should be a much more visible part of our community, as I assume we are creating software not only for ourselves, but for a much larger group of people."

and following feedback

"We can't have contributors without users and we can't have users with contributors, but I think contributors have to come first, because they are essential in producing what will attract the user."

  • Do we need mindshare?

"I don't think that we will need 'market share'. We need to be innovative, we need to be friendly, we need to be reliable and trustful."


Comments added from: