Our openSUSE Chairman has some questions for the candidates for the openSUSE Board. My answers are here:
1. What do you see as three, four strengths of openSUSE that we should cultivate and build upon?
1) Fantastic coherence in the community
2) Great products with collaboration all over the world
2. What are the top three risks you see for openSUSE? (And maybe ideas how to tackle them?)
1) Dependency on SUSE (humans and financials)
Background: I was asked really often at open source events how another company can sponsor openSUSE. We had to say that it would not possible because all of our money is going via a SUSE credit card and the money would be lost (same with the GSoC money, which has to be transferred to other organizations because of this issue). No company wants to pay Open Source Developers with such a background of an open-source project. Therefore, most openSUSE Contributors are working for SUSE or SUSE Business Partners. This topic popped up more than 3 times during my last Board Membership (really created by SUSE employees each time!).
Solution: Creation of the foundation! I had to suggest this solution more than 3 times before that was accepted by SUSE employees in the Board. I told about all the benefits how we can manage our own money then, receive new sponsors, SUSE can use more money for their own, SUSE can sponsor us continuously and we would be able to receive more Contributors.
2) openSUSE infrastructure in Provo
Background: I am one of the Founders of the openSUSE Heroes Team and was allowed to coordinate our first wiki project between Germany and Provo. The openSUSE infrastructure is in Microfocus hands and they need very long to respond on issues and we are not allowed to receive access as a community. Additionally, SUSE is not part of Microfocus any more which makes it more difficult to receive good support in the future.
Solution 1: Migration of all openSUSE systems from Provo to Nuremberg / Prague (perhaps missing space?)
Solution 2: Migration of all openSUSE systems from Provo to any German hosting data centre with access for openSUSE Heroes
3) Bad reputation of openSUSE Leap & openSUSE Tumbleweed
Background: We are the openSUSE project with many different sub-projects. We don’t offer only Linux distributions, but we are well known for that and most people are associating us with that. I had given many presentations about openSUSE during my last Board Membership and represented us at different open source events. The existing openSUSE Board does not do that very much. They have another focus at the moment.
Solution: We need more openSUSE Contributors representing openSUSE and I can do that as an openSUSE Board Member again. After that, we can be one of the top Linux distributions again. 😉
3. What should the board do differently / more of?
The existing openSUSE Board is working mostly on the topic with the foundation. That is good. Thank you! But the role of a Board Member contains the representation of the community, too. We would have one less risk with that.
4. If you had a blank voucher from the SUSE CEO for one wish, what would that be?
I wish the start financing of the foundation for openSUSE. Both sides will profit from that. 🙂
5. What is your take on the Foundation? What do you consider a realistic outcome of that endeavour? (And if different, what outcome would you like to see?)
The Foundation is a benefit for SUSE and openSUSE (see risk 1). SUSE can support and contribute to us continuously. The difference is that we are open for other sponsoring companies then. Google Summer of Code money can be used for Travel Support. We can say how much money can be used for every openSUSE event/ Summit (without any eye on the situation of SUSE). We can manage that all for our own. If we can accept more companies as sponsors, SUSE can invest the saved money into the own company or in other open-source projects. We become more open and that is a reason for companies to invest money into jobs as Open Source Developers for us. So the community can grow with more companies as sponsoring partners.