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2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Marina Latini

January 26th, 2019 by

Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With only 8 days left to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Marina Latini

Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

Hello, I’m Marina, and I was born in Italy, in a sunny July about 35 years ago. When I was a kid, I was always curious to discover how things are made, and my sister was always the victim of my curiosity. I broke a countless number of toys due to my need to know! Apart from some justified issues with her, this passion guided me to study computer science, and, in the same period, I finally discovered the FLOSS world.

Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha

Everything started around 2006 when a group of colleagues introduced me to Slackware, which shares a common history with what is nowadays openSUSE. That distro and that group of friends were the best way to learn a lot about GNU/Linux, how to properly recompile a kernel and the importance of knowledge sharing.

In the same group of friends, I also found a special one who shared with me twelve years of his life. After Slackware, the group was involved with Fedora, and we started to contribute actively as Fedora Ambassadors, organizing events in schools, university, and fairs.

In the same period, around 2007, I started to contribute to OpenOffice.org, mainly on localization and quality assurance.

My first encounter with openSUSE was in 2009, where I had the honour to organize the Software Freedom Day 2009 in Perugia together with our group, thanks to the introduction by Andrea Florio and Mariano Iumiento.

For the next four years, while I was promoting openSUSE and Fedora in parallel at various events and conferences, I was always using openSUSE as my main distribution, so I then decided to focus my main activities on that, ending my Fedora Ambassador role in November 2013.

I was one of the first Italian members of the LibreOffice community. I co-founded Associazione LibreItalia, and from 2016 on I am serving as The Document Foundation’s chairperson, being involved in several events, migrations, and trainings related to LibreOffice.

I worked at Studio Storti, an Italian company that provides open source solutions for Public Administrations, leading the LibreOffice Division.

In June 2018, I relocated to Munich, working at CIB mainly in its LibreOffice team as Senior Migrations & Deployments Engineer.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

I’m a proud openSUSE user and Advocate, and I finally decided to try to give something back to the Community and the Project that gave me so much until now.

The openSUSE Board guides the Project and takes care of the needs of its Community. It’s that body that can make the difference. It’s the next step between a group of passionate geeks who are doing funny stuff together, and a professional group of people with a clear vision and mission that can grow a real healthy and international open source project.

I strongly believe that, for having a really healthy Community, we need to start to search where are our users. Social channels are used also by new users who can become new Contributors. As I like to say with friends from other communities, we can have the best software or operating system in the world, but users need to find proper Documentation and get in touch with the local communities.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

One more crucial topic for growing the number of Contributors is closing the gap and improving the Communication between the main Project and the local community. We respect each other, we invest our spare time as volunteers, and need to connect what is considered a local group of Contributors or users, and the others who are part of the international community.

There isn’t a unique recipe for promoting openSUSE that works in each country. Only by listening to the local communities can we improve and grow.

What I would also love to do is to interact much more with other projects that are probably encountering the very same questions. The knowledge sharing is one of the key elements of the open source movement, and we should start to listen to other voices that could come also from outside the openSUSE Project, listening to what is going on around us.

The mix and share of needs and ideas can foster openSUSE much more.

Last, but not least, we need to invest more time in the educational sector.

While interacting with the local communities, we could have the opportunity to organize more activities, for example, with universities, high schools or secondary schools for creating a large user base of Contributors.

I will be glad and honoured to serve the Community as Board Member, sharing what I learned and I’m learning while supporting other communities like Fedora or LibreOffice

Have a lot of fun!

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

For the past eight years, already, I have been involved in the LibreOffice community, as well as the local Italian community called LibreItalia, and for the past three years also The Document Foundation’s Board. I had the opportunity to see these groups grow, develop over time, become mature, and seeing easier and harder times, during which we’ve grown closer together.

I want to bring in this experience into the openSUSE Community, help us to grow, work together jointly and at the same time keep the true Community spirit alive.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I am proud and honoured to run for election and serve the Project that has given me so much for many years, already. If the openSUSE Members vote for me, I will bring in all my experience and do all my best to support the Community. With my background from LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, I know the duties and responsibilities of such a role, and I am willing to give my best to keep openSUSE an open, inclusive, welcoming, amazing and – most important – fun Community.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

Life is too short to have only one passion ,and there’s so much more than just a computer, so, besides my activities in free and open source software, I’m a mad goalkeeper and I love using my telescope to look up to the stars (which is where my nickname originates from).

I’m also a music addict: When I’m not listening to the amazing, soul comforting Van Morrison, I play the accordion myself, a hobby which I started at the age of 8.

Contact information

I’m always happy to talk – write me at deneb_alpha AT opensuse.org, ping me on Telegram at @deneb_alpha or contact me on Freenode at deneb_alpha

2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Nathan Wolf

January 26th, 2019 by

Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With only 9 days left to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Nathan Wolf

Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

I started with Linux in 2003 back when you could go into the local software store and buy a boxed set of SUSE, Redhat or Mandrake. So, I started on Mandrake, later Mandriva.

Nathan Wolf aka futureboy and CubicleNate

About 2005, I gave openSUSE my first spin due to better hardware support with dial up modems and sharing the blazing 56 kbaud speed with the other computers on the network. I shifted to openSUSE full time in 2011 after some distro hopping because the structure and layout just made sense as compared to the other available offerings.

I began contributing to openSUSE in 2013 when I had a need to document the process to set up using the smart card system for openSUSE Linux. I compiled the works from several sources to make a repeatable process to properly set up the smart card.

Not long after, I had to start understanding how to install Oracle Java. I updated those instructions on the Wiki and it kind of snowballed from there. I discovered at that point I really enjoy documenting processes of getting things working. Rather than just keep my instructions for myself only, I used the fantastic openSUSE Wiki to share my knowledge.

My day job is working for Whirlpool Corporation in the Advanced Design and Innovation department. I primarily work with CAD. I have worked on proof of concepts in using Virtual Reality systems for design validation and am moderately experienced in using 3D Printers.

As far as hobbies go, beyond playing with anything Linux, I enjoy retro tech; especially the Commodore 64 … well, pretty much anything Commodore, but the 64 was my first computer. I also enjoy baking, and thanks to openSUSE and its many tools, it has made my kitchen life much more efficient.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

In my incredibly biased opinion, I think openSUSE is the best distribution of Linux, but not just for Leap and Tumbleweed, for everything else that goes along with it: The Open Build Service, openQA, Kiwi and YaST. There is an incredible story to be told about what makes openSUSE great.

Whether I am on the openSUSE Board or not, I make it a point to tell this story and share it with whomever is interested. I would like to continue the tell and further refine that story.

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

As an official Member of the Board, it will be my mission to be an Ambassador of the Project to as many Communities of which I am able and share what makes openSUSE great. For reasons that don’t make sense, openSUSE is often not in the broader conversation and it needs to be there. All the fantastic innovations and refinements to Linux and the related open source software need to be told.

My second mission is to do my best to network within the Community to the best of my ability to continue to improve and refine the openSUSE documentation through the Wiki to make openSUSE even more accessible for anyone interested.

It is my ambition to assist in understanding how to work with openSUSE as clear as possible. I want to make the learning process of the openSUSE Project as enjoyable as possible. openSUSE should have the best, clearest, easiest to understand and approachable Wiki out there.

My third mission is a selfish one. It is to make openSUSE the go-to distribution for all things in the engineering and manufacturing industry. Linux has been creeping into the industry more and more, and it only makes sense that openSUSE should be the distribution of choice for the home hobbiest, small and large businesses alike.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

Not only are Leap and Tumbleweed technically very sound distributions, but the additional components — OBS, openQA and the Wiki — make it the ideal ecosystem to deploy a targeted spin of the distribution or series of meta packages to bolt onto Leap or Tumbleweed to serve the industry.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I will be open and accessible to openSUSE Members and the Community. I will remain positive and highlight all the good in the Project and the people within it. I will make a concerted effort to improve training and empower users to learn, grow, and own their hardware through openSUSE and it’s tools.

As a Board Member, I will do my best to network with the right individuals to bring about further improvements to the project. I will make it a point to uplift and edify the many Contributors and make sure they know how grateful I am, along with the Community for their time and talents. I want to ensure that openSUSE is the open, welcoming, and grateful community of which to be a part.

Whether I am elected to the Board or not, this entire process is a win for me. I am thrusting myself in front of the openSUSE Community, and in this process, I hope to get to know as many of the wonderful Contributors as possible. My hope is that I become more known, so that I may better Contribute to Documentation and make working with openSUSE even more enjoyable and individually empowering for all.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

I have not made it a secret that I am a fan of old tech and especially Commodore.  As a teenager, I made a game for the Amiga in the 1990s called Gator Mania. It is a 2D platform side scrolling game.

I spent well more than a year programming in AMOS Professional where I had to create my own method of displaying the screen tiles with the limited graphics memory, file format for the game levels, level builder, did the pixel art (with the help of an artist friend) and animation and for the time, created the best (in my opinion) character physics I had experienced at the time.

I wanted to do more with the game, but the Amiga fizzled out on me and I sort of moved away from the platform.

Contact information

Email me AT CubicleNate
Email futureboy AT opensuse.org
IRC CubicleNate on Freenode or irc.geekshed.net
Telegram https://t.me/CubicleNate
Webpage CubicleNate.com
Twitter CubicleNate on Twitter