18th-20th March

Present:

  • Richard Brown - Chair
  • Michal Hrušecký
  • Kostas Koudaras
  • Tomas Chvatal
  • Gertjan Lettink
  • Bryan Lunduke - Extra special thanks goes to Bryan for attending via video conference at ridiculous hours in his local timezone after urgent personal matters kept him from attending the meeting in person.

As this years Board Meeting Minutes are so long, they are split into 3 sections

  • Meetings - Covering the meetings the Board had with various SUSE executives, managers, and engineers.
  • General - Covering the general agenda items/day-to-day issues
  • Strategy - Covering the ‘big picture’ issues the Board discussed

This email is Part 3, containing 'big picture’ strategy issues discussed

Part 1 is available HERE

Part 2 is available HERE

Strategy

Improve Visibility

Obviously, we want to improve the visibility of the openSUSE Project.

We have great distributions, great tools, and great technologies, and we want them to be adopted by as many people and other projects as possible.

We also want to be a natural choice for new contributors and new projects to come to openSUSE, work with us, and host their projects with us.

SUSE

SUSE is our closest, largest, partner. We have strong practical ties with them, but that does not mean we can forget about things such as regular clear communication and 'internal marketing’.

SUSE are working on a number of exciting new things, and it’s important that internally openSUSE is seen as a natural home for SUSE’s open source contributions.

Working closely together also should enable SUSE’s corporate marketing experts to help spread the good word about all the awesome stuff the openSUSE Project is doing

AI:Bryan to investigate the possibility of Doug being invited to Weekly team meetings for SUSE Corporate Communications

AI:Bryan to drive ensuring openSUSE is well integrated with SUSE’s ongoing marketing.

Outreach

There’s no point only targeting our existing contributors and partners like SUSE. Any open source project needs new people and with new people comes new ideas, new solutions, and new exciting projects for people to hack on.

A huge challenge for new contributors and projects is understanding what is available

  • Who is the openSUSE Project?
  • What services do we provide?
  • Where do I go to get involved?
  • How do I get started?

These are questions which are key to have simple, clear, easy to find answers to

CALL FOR HELP: The Board wants to see getting started guides for

  • New Users
  • New Contributors
  • New Projects- to encourage other projects to come use openSUSE as their home

to answer the above questions. These should be simple, clear, and relatively short. The produced guides should be easily usable on a wiki, the website, on flyers at conferences, short blog posts..we want to be able to spread them everywhere

The guides for new Contributors and new Projects are considered a Priority by the board- to use a football related quote “There is no point having fans, if you don’t have your 11 on the pitch to play for them”

AI:Board intends to create a skeleton of the above guides to help bootstrap this idea, and will drive this, but the Board is keen to see if anyone from the community dives in and gets to work on this immediately.

Other Projects

While openSUSE is keen to see other projects call the openSUSE Project it’s home, we recognise that it’s not viable for many, especially those larger ones with their own established communities

In cases like this the Board wants to encourage strong relationships with such Projects, and seek out partnerships and other arrangements with such Projects for the benefit of all involved

Examples include ownCloud and Kolab, where we believe openSUSE is in a perfect position to offer tools, community, and a solid environment for these projects to use as a default or recommended platform for their users

AI:Bryan to arrange information exploratory discussions

Hardware vendors

Having hardware sponsors and partners is nice but is hard. Solid hardware support requires the hardware to be available and in the hands of the right contributors to make it happen.

Otherwise there is no way how to support special hardware without the things available for testing.

However, we do have some relationships which are happening, and we want to highlight those who do stuff with us, such as

  • Soft Iron are shipping 64-bit ARM servers with openSUSE Tumbleweed as standard
  • Fujitsu offer openSUSE Tumbleweed to thier customers who want a Linux option on their Desktop & Server Hardware
  • Epson have some printers using openSUSE and YaST
  • Open Mainframe are investigating the possibility of building an openSUSE distribution for s390x

Reform and Remove Mess

Improving viability and reaching out to new areas is all well and good, but we need to make sure the project internals are tidy, clear, and easy to use

The Board discussed the state of many infrastructure and project policies and processes.

We agreed a principle of, when something is imperfect, we Reform (aka improve) or Remove it.

Services identified to be removed or reformed:

  • Software.o.o:
    • Media download needs to be easier, prefferable static page
    • package search adds too much mess to the installed systems. Invalid repos should not be distributed by 1-click installs
    • somehow redesign and reduce confusion to ensure that users do not end up with 80+ additional repos.
  • Wiki:
    • In order to fix the wiki quickly ,the board approved the idea of deploying the latest version of mediawiki on a new server without branding
    • branding can always be redone later
  • Blogs/Planet:
    • Only a handful of people use lizards, but it takes a lot of resources to keep it running. We want to shut it down, and encourage it’s users move to their own blogs, which will then be aggregated on planet.opensuse.org
    • Improve planet.opensuse.org. Find a maintainer, use a clean upstream OSS soltion if possible

AI:Kostas to contact the few Lizards bloggers to discuss their migration options

  • News.o.o:
    • Wordpress consumes too many resources and poses too many security risks
    • Replace with something lightweight

AI:Richard talk with Douglas about this

  • i18n.o.o: Translations site is being migrated to l10n.o.o as we speak and i18n will be killed including the svn prior Leap 42.2 release.
  • Legal layout of Board/membership: The current layout of the Board Election Rules, Membership Rules, and such are sometimes confusing and missing some details The documents will be updated and restructured to be more clear This should set the framework for discussing any reforms of the Membership process once the Membership tidy-up is complete

AI:board- get Infra team to provide list of services we have, soon to help with this endevour