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Questions and Answers With Candidates for openSUSE Board Elections

April 3rd, 2018 by

Elections for the openSUSE Board have been postponed until mid-April. Until then, the community can familiarize themselves with the candidates who are running for three available seats on the board.

openSUSE Community Members can engage with the candidates directly or on the openSUSE-project mailing list if they have specific questions for a candidate(s).

Candidates running for the openSUSE Board were each presented with the following questions:

 

  • What do you think is the best thing about the Project at the moment?
  • What do you think is the worst thing in the Project?
  • If you are elected as a Board member how are you going to address it?
  • What is one thing community members are unlikely to know about you?
  • How do you feel about openSUSE collaborating with other FOSS projects and
    what would be your first act toward there if you get elected?

 

Their full responses to the questions are listed below under their name, which is linked to their blog:

Gertjan Lettink ( Knurpht )

What do you think is the best thing about the Project at the moment?

Well, I’ve got three for me equally important things in the ‘best thing about
the Project’.
1. The fact that we’re not just another Linux distro but a FOSS dedicated
project which is much more than that.
2. Our amazing community
3. The way the cooperation between openSUSE and SUSE has evolved.

What do you think is the worst thing in the Project?

Again, two things come to mind:
1. At the risk of being shot: the opensuse@opensuse.org ML. It’s become a kind
of chit-chat@opensuse.org, which quite some users refuse to use as a support
platform, which IMO it should be.
2. The lack of responsive design on our wiki etc.

If you are elected as a Board member how are you going to address it?

1. Keep on posting to keep threads on track, I’ve had dozens of private emails
commenting on that
2. Keep the discussion about the ML’s going in the Board

What is one thing community members are unlikely to know about you?

That I’m a passionate hobby cook with a preference for Asian food.

How do you feel about openSUSE collaborating with other FOSS projects and
what would be your first act toward there if you get elected?

openSUSE’s collaboration with other FOSS projects IMO is an awesome thing and
belongs to the nature of the project. I see the Board as a team entity, where
none of us acts on their own, but I would continue to emphasize that the FOSS
principles of our own project should be enough to actively support projects
that share those with us, this as long as the community benefits from them.

Simon Lees

What do you think is the best thing about the Project at the moment?

Our tools and how easy we make it for people to start contributing to the project.

What do you think is the worst thing in the Project?

I think that Leap in particular is a really good distro for new Linux users but I don’t think we have done a great job as a project of marketing it in that way.

If you are elected as a Board member how are you going to address it?

I’ll make it more of a focus of our discussions going forward and I’ll look over the website to see if there are ways we can emphasize this point better. Along with looking at the media we put out alongside the Leap 15 release.

What is one thing community members are unlikely to know about you?

I started out my working career as a user interface developer for embedded Linux devices.

How do you feel about openSUSE collaborating with other FOSS projects and
what would be your first act toward there if you get elected?

I think that collaboration is the most important part of open source, without collaboration most FOSS projects wouldn’t exist in the way they do now. Due to timing it may not be the first thing I do due to timing, but I’d certainly look at running a cross distro collaboration session at the next linux.conf.au which often has a different group of attendees to a lot of the European conferences.

Ana Martinez

What do you think is the best thing about the Project at the moment?

That is an easy question! ;) The way in which we work makes that when contributing to openSUSE we have fun and learn new things. In addition, I feel that everybody is welcome in the Project independently of where he comes from and that you always find someone willing to help you when you have a doubt or a question. Those two things are for me the best of the Project and it makes me feeling proud of being part of it.

What do you think is the worst thing in the Project?

In the last time I have heard comments from different disappointed people in openSUSE, such as “the community is not any more what is used to be some years ago” or “with the time passing it doesn’t sound fun anymore”. I have to admit that it is not an opinion I share because I am here since not that much time and I have always found it fun. But if there is people with this kind of concerns, this means for sure that there are things that can be improved. We want to encourage more people to join and also that long-term contributors stay.

More related to the Board, I would like that it works more transparent, allowing that everybody interested can know what things are done, the decisions that are made and how they are made.

If you are elected as a Board member how are you going to address it?

To address that the Board works more transparent, I would like that the Board take its habit of writing summaries of the meetings up. It used to be done until some years ago, as the summaries are still on our Wiki, and I find it a really good idea. I think that there is also work to do updating the current documentation about the Board in our Wiki. Nobody knows better than the members of the Board how things are working, so I think the Board should take care of keeping this information up to date.

The problem of people getting demotivated it is much more complicated to solve and I am not pretty sure if it is something that the Board can address. That the Board members are motivated and enthusiastic may motivate other people in the community, but that is for sure not enough. The Board becoming more approachable may encourage other contributors to make more suggestions and bring problem or important topics for them up. I think that this can play an important role in keeping people motivated.

What is one thing community members are unlikely to know about you?

There are probably many things that the members don’t know about me. But thinking on what can be relevant for deciding if they should vote me, it is maybe worthwhile mentioning the projects I contribute to in openSUSE and why I do it. Apart from Open Build Service, which I maintain as part of my work at SUSE, I am also maintaining projects like Trollolo, OSEM and software-o-o in my free time. My motivation to do so is that they are projects that help bringing new people to openSUSE. In the case of OSEM, it has attracted many students and new people for a lot of years, including myself, as I started in openSUSE contributing to OSEM. In the case of Trollolo, when I first contributed to it, was because I wanted to modify something which made my life easier. I realized that it was a really cool project for mentoring because of its simplicity and the fact that contributions help almost immediately other developers, which I find motivating as a new contributor. And that is why I decide not only to maintain the project, but also to prepare it to make it easy for new contributors to start and to bring it to GSoC this year.

How do you feel about openSUSE collaborating with other FOSS projects and
what would be your first act toward there if you get elected?

I think that collaborating with other FOSS projects is part of the open source philosophy. When maintaining any open source project, I really appreciate that people report bugs, suggest ideas and send pull requests. Because of that, when I use other open source projects in mines, I try to do the same. If I find something I can fix in my project or with a little bit more effort in upstream, I always do it in upstream. I think it is fair and gratifying as I help other people as well. That is one of the reasons why working in open source is so fun and it allows us to learn much more things than if we work only in our project. In short, in my opinion the Board should do everything it can to promote collaborating with other FOSS projects.

I am not aware of all the projects that openSUSE is collaborating with at the moment and I am probably not the only one who doesn’t know it and would like to know it. So if I get elected, the first thing I would like to do is to find this out and make this information public. This way everybody can suggest other projects we should collaborate with.

Gerry Makaro ( Fraser_Bell )

What do you think is the best thing about the Project at the moment?

The people: This is an exciting Project loaded with enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful people. In my mind, we have the most welcoming and friendliest Forum in the Linux world, enthusiastic and approachable Developers and other Contributors. We just need to keep bringing in new people and encourage them to contribute to spread the voluntary workload and to keep fresh, invigorating ideas coming in.

The new people are the future of the project.

What do you think is the worst thing in the Project?

Communication, though I cast no blame. Overloaded Volunteers easily get absorbed in what they are doing and do not get much opportunity to come up for air and spread the news.

If you are elected as a Board member how are you going to address it?

If Gertjan is re-elected, I plan to join him in his quest to improve the Communication between all who Contribute to openSUSE. If he does not, then I will carry on with his quest, perhaps with his help as a devoted openSUSE supporter.

I plan to increase my contact with all Contributors on a constant, regular, ongoing basis — Developers, Board Members, Maintainers, Promoters, and all other openSUSE Supporters — to keep on top of developments and push to get the information flowing back and forth. I will do all I can to get news, developments, information, and issues front and centre in all of the openSUSE Communication channels: Forums, IRC, Mailing Lists, News, and any other methods to get the information out to as many people involved in openSUSE as physically possible.

I would like all openSUSE Supporters to know why, when, where, and how decisions or choices are made and to have the opportunity to have input into the process.

I would spend more time helping Doug DeMaio collect the information and get it in the openSUSE News feeds, and would become a regular Contributor to the openSUSE News. I would also try to find ways to encourage others to join in on this Communication channel.

I will be spending more time pitching in to help Christian Boltz in his quest to get the Wiki in a better and more accessible state with more up-to-date information, and will be working on methods to encourage more of our talented Users and Contributors to join in.

What is one thing community members are unlikely to know about you?

I like ice cream and jelly beans, just not in the same bowl, and I do not much like beer, rarely touch it.

How do you feel about openSUSE collaborating with other FOSS projects and what would be your first act toward there if you get elected?

This depends entirely on each specific project that is being considered. I would think they would need to be aligned with openSUSE’s Philosophy and Goals, and must bring a Benefit to openSUSE and its Supporters. I will not sign blank cheques.

AND: You can each be given 1 minutes for an answer with two minutes at the end to give a final summary of why people should vote for you.

Looking at this impressive field of qualified, enthusiastic candidates, I would have to say that — along with my old school journalism skills at Communication — the only other thing I have that makes me stand out among some of them is that I am single and retired. I will be able to volunteer on a close-to-full-time basis, unlike those saddled with life’s other responsibilities.

Beyond that, through my research on the other candidates, all I can say is that each and everyone of them would be a great addition to the openSUSE Board, in my opinion. If I do not make it, I fully support those who do.

Read my platform at https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Board_election_2018_platform_Fraser_Bell

Read the platforms of the other candidates.

Choose the candidates who most seem to offer what you want to see.

And, make sure you vote for them.

Aaron Luna

What do you think is the best thing about the Project at the moment?

The best thing about the project at this moment is the diversity of options that can be found to contribute (OBS, openQA, etc.), this generates the difference between the other existing Linux projects. Thanks to this diversity, there are several options to be able to contribute with the other FLOSS communities, and this can place openSUSE as one of the best free and open source software development projects that ever existed.

What do you think is the worst thing in the Project?

The worst thing about the project at this moment is that the diffusion of the diversity of options to the public is still needed, since in the vast majority of cases the end user and the developer user believe that it is just another Linux distribution.

If you are elected as a Board member how are you going to address it?

If I am elected to the board, I will implement together with the other members of the openSUSE board, a large-scale development plan that will promote the development of each of the aforementioned options (OBS, openQA, etc.), taking as a base Universities that wish to collaborate in this development with openSUSE. In my experience as a teacher in Universities in my country (Mexico), I have found that students have the willingness and desire to contribute to software development, and the openSUSE project, is the best option to achieve it through a project in the I’ve been working called openSUSE Academy.

What is one thing community members are unlikely to know about you?
Something that the members of the community may not know about me, is that during the years that I have been representing the community, I had the experience of taking my representation to the highest levels of politics in my country (Mexico) and I was able to note the importance of using openSUSE

Representing openSUSE has been my commitment. Regardless of the place or situation, I have always had the opportunity to take the name of openSUSE and put it on high

“LIFE IS SHORT, LIVE YOUR DREAM, AND BUILD YOUR PASSION”

How do you feel about openSUSE collaborating with other FOSS projects and
what would be your first act toward there if you get elected?

I believe that the collaboration with other FOSS projects is necessary for the growth as a project, the union and the development for the mutual benefit, it is an essential piece, since from the beginnings of the humanity the collaboration has allowed in the development and the survival of the human being, this point is a key piece and as a member of the board I will work with the other members of the openSUSE board, so that more FOSS projects also promote the development of software through the openSUSE Academy initiative as a fundamental basis.

My philosophy: “REAL OPPORTUNITIES ONLY COME ONCE, THE LIFE IS ABOUT PEOPLE YOU MEET, AND THE THINGS YOU CREATE WITH THEM SO GO OUT AND START CREATING.”

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The ballots are expected to open from April 15 to April 27. Members of the openSUSE Community can cast their vote for the candidates during that time frame. The voting process is explained on the openSUSE wiki.

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2 Responses to “Questions and Answers With Candidates for openSUSE Board Elections”

  1. Interestings answers… and hard to choose candidates to vote… all of them will bring something new… :)

    ‘ve phun!!

  2. Penguinclaw

    Wow this is going to be a tough call for me. Great answers and interesting how they see achieving there goals….. Awesome. I do especially agree that we need to better market openSUSE to new users and Aarans academy. But that’s not necessarily a reflection of how I’ll vote as you all deserve a place. Good luck to you all.