27 July, 2010

New job...

Hi all!

openSUSE just announced that I will be joining them. Yay, I'll be part of the masses of Free Software contributors who are doing what they love to do, full time, supported by a paycheck!

The job

Novell has hired me as the new openSUSE community manager. I've got some big shoes to fill, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier did a great job. I've been diving into openSUSE (way too much to grasp in a short time...) and I've read several comments from people who miss him. I'm no Zonker - different people, different ideas & habits. However, I can tell you I greatly look forward to the work and I'll put all my love and energy into it ;-)

But please be patient for a week or so, as I still have my old job...

about me

For those who don't know me, a short FOSS resume (the 'real world life' ain't that interesting): I've been a moderator on the dutch Mandrivaclub forums (which was very active about 5 years ago) and have hung, like most of us, around in quite a few communities over the last 10 years. Meanwhile I got involved with KDE due to the devious manipulations of Fabrice Mous who used to be the dutch Promo master. After writing about and for KDE for a few years, I kind'a had to become really invested as the KDE promo team was in a bad spot. I worked hard to get new volunteers involved - and now we have an bunch of minions doing my bidding amazing team of contributors. They did a great job last year (as I wrote in my Marketing Team report).

Last Akademy I proposed a new Marketing Work Group (Stuart, Justin, Pradeepto and Sandro) who will be guiding the promo and marketing efforts in KDE. Thanks to them I can leave my position as team lead now and dive into the openSUSE community. Please don't give the MWG too hard a time and help out where you can!

New stuff

I'll be moving down the foodchain - distributions have many relationships with other communities like the kernel developers, xorg, the desktop teams, server stuff and much more. I used to be pretty interested in core kernel stuff (once tested much of Con Kolivas' patches and even complained once or twice to Linus about how Con was treated) and I know very little of networking and packaging. So it seems like a perfect opportunity to widen my scope again and learn cool new stuff!

openSUSE is cooool...

As I said I've been reading up on stuff, getting involved a bit, and I must say the openSUSE contributors rock. It's a friendly bunch, dedicated, I love it. So over the next months I will figure out how things are going and see where I can help. The next month will be busy - I'll meet some colleagues at Novell and openSUSE, but I'll also start to dive into the work.

Note - I've seen everyone has been picking up where Zonker left, that's amazing. The work around the 11.3 release was great, the marketing team is growing and things are moving forward. Now I might have this 'manager' in my title, but in the end I'm just another contributor who happens to be lucky enough to be paid full-time. So I won't be telling anyone what to do ;-)

I would however really appreciate it if people let me know what they think, what needs to happen, where help is needed! Especially now there is a big discussion going on about the strategy of openSUSE, the direction we need to take. That's a big thing, which needs careful consideration by everyone involved. So contact me if you want - jospoortvliet at the gmail servers is my address for now.

Love and hugs,



  1. Good Luck in the new role, from your friends in the openSUSE KDE team :)

  2. Gratulations too!

    What needs to happen in OpenSuse?
    1. Push for usability in Yast. The current default in 11.3 for auto-refresh is just horrible. Per default yast checks 10 times per second or so if there are new packages and even if disabled it does so 10 times per hour or so. But not enough, skipping auto-refresh needs to be confirmed 6 times or so.
    2. Integrate even better with KDE. I still don't understand why 11.3 offers Systemsettings and the Yast-controlcenter. The display-settings are in Systemsettings, but the printer-settings are in the Yast-controlcenter. What's the logic behind that?

  3. Congratulations, sounds like a dream come true to be able to do what you love doing full time.

  4. Jos

    I hope you have a long and productive life with us as openSUSE community manager.

    Jos, just look around and deep inside our community and see by yourself that we are in a very good and strategic team, we have great tools, brilliant developers, wonderful openSUSE derivables and the most exciting and energetic team of ambassadors out there. Just let's put all together with the same vision improve our communication and spread to the world that long time and used phrase that we are so proud to love, use and maintain.

    "Have a lot fun!"

    PS: If you really like samba, sun, futebol, and needs to meet people that are very friendly, welcome and committed with openSUSE ecosystem, please pick up any of the Brazilian Ambassadors and ping him to guide you through the #opensuse-pt irc channel for a quickly interview and welcome message.

    best luck, see you around!

  5. Josman. Dude! You rock, sir :) You'll kick some serious tail out there, welcome to the distro world ;)
    I expect hugs from the new openSuSE community manager next time we see eachother :)

  6. Hey Jos,

    This is a very promising accomplishment, now you can do what you've been doing all the time for KDE the last four years!

    A lot of luck and beers to you!


  7. Congratulations. A well deserved position. From what I've seen you're a very enthusiastic person with a strong will, which I believe will benefit openSUSE a lot :)

    For me, what bugs me about openSUSE is also Yast.
    It's a power tool, and I really like it - however it's not integrated well to the desktop as has been mentioned above, which brings down the whole quality feeling of the whole system.

    The biggest problem is that the dialogs in Yast does not inherit QWidget or QMainWindow, but QSplitter!
    QSplitter is not drawn with an Oxygen gradient if it's not child of another QWidget, which makes all Yast windows lack a gradient and feel like they don't belong there.

    I filed a bug report about this more than 1 year ago but nothing was ever done.
    The only thing that would have to be done is to make the dialogs inherit QWidget instead of QSplitter, and add the QSplitter to the QWidget using a layout or similar.
    Or even better, make the dialogs inherit QMainWindow and have the QSplitter set as a central widget which would also remove the need for that ugly hack which places the menu bars inside the layout, which also looks awkward.


  8. Hi and welcome on board ;)

    I think openSUSE is one of the best distro in the place but it's really unknown outside of the geek-world.
    We need to communicate much more on our strenghs.

    We need to make things (even more) easy and stable if we aim to reach that kind of people.
    (see the Kernel Mode Settings consequences for example).

    Take strength and do not fret.

  9. Thanks for the congrats all, and I'll do my best ;-)

    About the Yast comments, the one about Yast updating all the time is annoying me as well. There is a Fate request already, I believe, but I can't find it right now. If anyone has an idea which one that would be, let me know. Of course it depends on someone willing to fix that :D

    Same goes with the integration in SystemSettings - I agree and if I run into anyone capable of fixing that I will ask.

    The QWidget/QSplitter thing: I noticed Yast looks ugly. If it's that easy to fix, Znurre, it'd be great if you could send a patch?!? After all, yast is GPL, and you can find the repo here: http://svn.opensuse.org/svn/yast/

    (no, not on gitorious, unfortunately)

    If I recall correctly it doesn't receive a lot of love, unfortunately. I'm sure anyone would be very welcome if they send a patch. If you want to and don't know how/where/to who, let me know, I'll make sure someone picks it up!

  10. I'll try to write a patch for Yast when I get openSUSE 11.3 up and running in my Virtual Box.
    Thanks for your interest, and once again good luck! :)

  11. Congratulations! You've got a lot of work ahead of you, but a chance to make some big improvements!

    (I tried posting this on the openSUSE announcement, but it doesn't I can't for some reason).

  12. Wow, congratulations Jos, you've come a looong way ;)
    I still rememember when tried to get cacti to work, that was ages ago!
    Lot's of important work ahead of you now and Suse has made the right choice!

  13. Proficiaat/congrats!

    Welcome aboard and, obviously: have a lot of phun ;D

  14. wow. cool!

    greets from belgium :)

    ps to people with the zypper refresh hangover: first thing after suse install: modify the refresh timer in /etc/zypp/zypp.conf from 10 to 600 minutes :)


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