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Putting our Accessibility Heads Together

January 6th, 2011 by

Accessibility has become an important selling point in getting computing solutions into many organizations. Organizations are faced with legislations and regulations that require their environments be accessible and they take it into account when looking for a solution that fits their needs. For government organizations, software that doesn’t live up to certain accessibility standards is simply not an option.

Let’s just be frank here. While the openSUSE community cares about accessibility as much as anyone else does in FOSS, we haven’t done that well in delivering the best accessible solution. There are various people who look at the situation in their own corners and try to make the best of it. Andrew Wafaa highlighted some of the challenges in two recent articles.
Orca-A powerful Linux screenreader
Meanwhile openSUSE presents a very unique advantage that hasn’t been leveraged yet. With DBUS, the GNOME and KDE communities have worked together to leverage GNOME’s long-standing applications to work well on KDE. As openSUSE is a major distribution that provides support equally to GNOME and KDE, we have a distinct opportunity to provide the best integration of KDE and GNOME with accessibility. Thus offering prospective users and organizations a real choice on a distro that is known for its stability and support.
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Board Meeting Summary 15 December 2010

December 21st, 2010 by

For the full transcript of the last openSUSE Board meeting, see our logs.

Introduction of new openSUSE Board Chairman – Alan Clark

We opened with an introduction to new Board Chairman, Alan Clark who answered general questions from the community about his role and goals. To the question of what Clark’s goals are he answered:

First, The top goal is as a Board to get the Foundation up and operational. As we continue to work towards this, I’m sure that we will uncover other issues that we will need to address.
Second: Grow the Community
Third: Is a personal goal: Tune up my decoder ring for all these alias cloaking and get to know as many people as possible -simply because that is the fun part of being in a community.
Fourth: Let people get their work done; er “have a lot of fun”

Alan also provided his background experience with open source projects, both within Novell and outside Novell.

Foundation Creation

Several board members expressed a desire to develop a more open and transparent process in communicating the development of the openSUSE Foundation than what currently exists. Some believe there has been a disconnect in how we become aware of what everyone is doing and keeping the momentum of the process going forward, as well as ensuring that all those with a vested interest are able to participate in the process.

We all agreed that we must begin to identify who are the stakeholders and take steps immediately to open up the process. To that end, a new open mailing list will be created and Alan will create a wiki page where we will collect all the relevant information for the foundation creation. Relevant points and concerns of the stakeholders will be listed and the progress of the creation will be documented.

Membership Approval Concerns

Membership approval team members expressed concern about the clarity of the rules for consideration and eligibility.

In the current rules, it states that a membership application is processed after receiving four votes. It was unclear whether that meant four votes in sum or four votes of either positive or negative. With a minor edit of the rules, we stated that an application is considered processed once it has received either four positive votes or four negative votes.

Additionally, there was concern about a recent email request to process a particular application expeditiously. Team members felt this was an inappropriate breach of protocol and that all applications are equal and that no single application should be placed ahead of existing applications. We agreed and declared that henceforth, such requests should not be honored.

Where do we fail?

Our regular topic to identify areas where we fail and can quickly remedy brought up a topic of concern regarding communication. To this, we agreed that the Board will begin regularly posting summaries of meetings (which is what you are reading now.)

We also took a general board action item to review opensuse.org product category in openFATE to ensure we stay on top of “Where do we fail?” concerns that are not brought up during board meetings.

Read here for the full meeting transcript.

Next Meeting

With the holidays coming up, we will have our next Board meeting on 12 January, 2011.

Holiday Wishes from the openSUSE Board

December 13th, 2010 by

Seasons Greetings to everyone in the openSUSE Community and beyond from the openSUSE Board!

As we come to the end of 2010, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on a banner year in the Project. We’ve had some very good progress this year and 2011 promises to be an even greater year. This year, we hosted our second annual openSUSE Conference in Nuremberg, Germany with over 70 presentations and many BoF discussions. Attendance grew from the first year.

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openSUSE Collaboration thrives!

December 10th, 2010 by

Earlier this week, the openSUSE Marketing Team held the first of a series of Collaboration Days in December. This was, without a doubt, a success with many of our team members showing up as well as many newcomers offering to lend a hand.

Apparently not build in a day

Apparently not build in a day

The focus for the 6 December event was to review existing support materials for our Ambassadors. Moderated by Kostas Koudaras and Carlos Ribeiro, a variety of assignments were tackled, from a list that included booth design and organization, kits for Ambassadors, presentations, talking points, 2011 planning and much more. To be sure, not everything can be accomplished in one day. Heck, even Rome wasn’t built in a day! Still, this day was long – after all, we’re an international bunch, so there were a few more hours than usual :D

But the coolest thing was that at the end of the day people volunteered to take on the assignments that were not done and committed to finishing them! We’re confident that in the very near future, we’ll have just about everything on the list of last Monday will be finished. Koudras and Ribeiro are busy sorting out the “dones” and remaining to-dos and the results will be posted on the marketing wiki.

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openSUSE makes a splash at Latinoware

December 7th, 2010 by
openSUSE Brasileiros

The openSUSE Brasileiros!

A few weeks ago, Latinoware offered an opportunity for the Brazilian openSUSE ambassadors to organize an ambassador meeting, combined with a great showing at the Latinoware event itself. The ambassadors gave a series of talks and workshops while answering questions at the booth and helping users with the installation of openSUSE. International visitors Bryen Yushenko and Jos Poortvliet flew in to attend the ambassador meeting, get to know the team and give keynotes about the importance of accessibility and the openSUSE community itself. It is safe to say that the event was hugely successful and of course a lot of fun!

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Marketing Collaboration Days

December 2nd, 2010 by

The openSUSE Marketing Team is proud to host Collaboration Days during the month of December.  Each designated day, we will focus on a specifc area related to marketing.  The purpose of this is to get some work done on that topic to strengthen our ability to promote openSUSE to the world.

It is a day that is meant to be busy and productive for the team as well as an opportunity for non-team members to stop by and offer their perspectives and help out as we hack away.  As this is an open process, we encourage everyone to come join us, even if you are not directly related to openSUSE.  All perspectives are important and we welcome you all.

Planned Agenda:

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Run…Or Help Run!

November 4th, 2010 by

First, the Help Run….

Election season in the openSUSE Project is just around the corner. And this means the firsts step is to organize the Election Officials committee. The openSUSE Board is inviting members to submit their name to join the Election Officials committee:

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Ambassadors Meeting

July 28th, 2010 by

openSUSE Ambassadors will have a meeting on IRC in the #opensuse-marketing channel on Freenode to discuss current state of Ambassador organization.

openSUSE 11.3 is here!

July 15th, 2010 by

11.3 is here

openSUSE 11.3 is here!

The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the release of the latest incarnation of openSUSE, with support for 32-bit and 64-bit systems. openSUSE 11.3 is packed with new features and updates including SpiderOak to sync your files across the Internet for free, Rosegarden for free editing of your audio files, improved indexing with Tracker, and updates to Mozilla Firefox, and Thunderbird.

Among these many new features, openSUSE also provides support for netbooks and the Btrfs file system support. Users can expect to see improved hardware support with the 2.6.34 Linux kernel and updated graphics drivers. And support for the next generation of interactive computing for touchscreens like the HP TouchSmart.

openSUSE continues its tradition of delivering the popular KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktop environments, and now also provides the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. With GNOME, you can use the latest 2.30.1 version or take your installation for a drive with a preview of the upcoming GNOME 3.0. Or choose KDE SC 4.4.4 for the latest updates. They all feature the polish and integration that the openSUSE distro has been known for.

Click the desktop screenshots for a full view or see the complete collection of screenshots here.

GNOME Shell in GNOME 3.0

GNOME Shell in GNOME 3.0

Plasma Desktop on KDE SC 4.4.4

Plasma Desktop on KDE SC 4.4.4

For servers and development platforms, administrators can take full advantage of the new MariaDB and MySQL Cluster services as well as Conntrack to filter network packets for iptables. Developers will appreciate the plethora of tools available at their fingertips with GCC, GDB and Mono and IDEs such as Netbeans, Qt-Creator and many others. This is all on top of the countless libraries available through the openSUSE Build Service (OBS).

Visit our Product Highlights page for a detailed list of new features.

The next release will be openSUSE 11.4 in March, 2011. Thank you, and have a lot of fun!

openSUSE checking instrumentation — Prepare for Landing — openSUSE 11.3 RC2 now available!

July 1st, 2010 by

Following up on Michael Loeffler’s previous RC1 announcement, openSUSE is now doing a final check of instrumentation before landing.  The weather continues to be clear and all conditions continue to be smooth, and all systems are a go for final landing on July 15, 2010.  Now’s the time for us all to download the latest openSUSE RC2 release and all join in on a final check and get that 11.3 polished and in good condition.  You can download RC2 from our software portal and find detailed information on the evolving openSUSE 11.3 page.

You can find our most annoying bugs here.  And if you find anything new, please do report it on Bugzilla.  The ground crew needs your reports!

Have a lot of fun and let’s get to downloading!  They’re waiting to greet us at the terminal.