This Monday 24.03, I will make a Release Party in Austria (Klagenfurt am Wörthersee)  , in collaboration with the local IEEE Student
Branch. Here you can find all the relevant information , , and also download the poster of the event .
If you are in Austria or close to Klagenfurt , feel free to pass by the Party! 😉
Jos Poortvliet , tell us about yourself. Who are you?
Hey, I’m a Dutch Free Software enthusiast living in Berlin with my Brazilian
wife Camila. I’ve been around Free and Open Source for over 10 years, mostly
active around marketing and community related things.
I’m active in marketing, helping the project communicate to the outside
world. But also internally and between SUSE and openSUSE. I am also active
on the governance side of the project, with strategy or board related things
and helping to handle conflicts if they arise.
He, good question. In the beginning, many people expected me to take charge
and play a leadership role. As that is clearly something which does fit
neither openSUSE nor me, I did not do that and made very clear that I did
not see that as my job. Instead, I presented myself as a contributor who had
to earn his place like everybody else. I think I did that, in the last
years, and today people come to me for advice mostly in the areas of
communication, marketing and conflicts – and I happily stay out of
especially technical decisions.
Depends on what you are looking for, what you want to create. If it is
something like the ARM project or a new openSUSE derivative, it SHOULD
affect the project – ARM is adding something to openSUSE, so are the
derivatives. That is good!
So, just announce it as that – a cool, new thing in openSUSE. That is not
particularly hard to communicate. I would not communicate it before it has
something to show for and in most cases that means first gathering some
people who want to work on it and making a ‘first release’, then announcing
where you plan to take it and inviting people to join.
Of course, it would be possible to create a project which might not be
naturally seen as an addition. Say, you want to ‘fork’ openSUSE into a more
stable (or more bleeding edge) version. That is an entirely different thing
and should be handled with a little more care: one can imagine that this
takes up resources which otherwise might be put in openSUSE Factory, for
example. But here, too, I think it is important to first talk to some core
people, get a team up, create a ‘proof of concept’ and simply have a clear
plan. Then, based on what objections you expect, make sure to communicate it
in a non-threatening way.
We have some statistics but these focus around the release, marketing and
user base (number of downloads, page views to our sites, number of active
installations, things like that). And we have some idea about development
(number of commits to Factory, amount of work in devel projects). We have
very little, if any, info on communication related things.
“assigned” tasks per volunteer and successfully finished task per volunteer?
I have very little idea here. First of all, because I am restricting myself
to a subset of the community: the marketing area. Second, because my work
frequently shifts and I don’t always interact with the same people. And
last, because I don’t keep metrics like that – I work very much on a one-on-
one base. I’m not saying that that is the best way to do it but I’m not much
of a number man 😉
It depends quite a bit in what area and what skills he/she brings. But you
are often looking at quite a long time – a minimum of a month but easily
half a year.
Sometimes, when I’m actually mentoring new people…
I try to catch it myself but often, I delegate based on trust. So if a
volunteer doesn’t do something, well, it doesn’t get done. That is
There are a lot of reasons – but for me, the most important part is the open
mind. Every project has people angry at the world, every project has
friendly and unfriendly people. But overall, openSUSE as a community is very
open to both newcomers and working with others. We’re not such a navel-
gazing community, we pragmatic and willing to look outside our borders,
adopting technologies from other communities and working with them on it.
That is maybe not totally unique, but certainly rare.
From 31st of January to 10th of February I participated in openSUSE 12.3 Marketing Hackathon. The Hackathon took place in SUSE Headquarters [Nuremberg,Germany] from 4/02 to 10/02. Before that we participated in FOSDEM by promoting to the crowd the openSUSE Project and the oSC13 as well. Our participation in FOSDEM was really successful cause people asked a lot of questions around the upcoming release of openSUSE and expressed their interest for this year’s openSUSE Conference. Thanks to Carlos we spread out and informed a lot of people about the oSC13.
Apart from that this year I spent more time in joining presentations. I admit that I liked more FOSDEM 2013 than FOSDEM 2012 because I found the presentations (Developer rooms especially) more interesting.
After FOSDEM we travelled to Nuremberg for the Marketing Hackathon . On the way back to Nuremberg I was impressed by the fact that openSUSE development continued even on the bus with various hackers (SUSE Employees) sitting behind their laptops, building packages. Apart from software development we drunk a lot of openSUSE beers. 🙂
Arriving to Nuremberg , after FOSDEM , we begun to work in the 12.3 RC1 release. SUSE Employees helped us by providing all the necessary equiqment [ok , coffee , meeting rooms etc] since we worked in the SUSE offices. Interacting with people from the company was really interesting , and i admit that during a release there is a lot of work to be done (bug fixing , artwork, ,writing , promotion , etc) .
Apart from the release we enjoyed a presentation by the SUSE Documentation team , where we tested a demo of the new ActiveDoc tool.ActiveDoc is used for the documentation of openSUSE and SUSE as well. Furthermore we had visits from company management , from Ralf Flaxa, VP of engineering, and Roland Haidl. During these meetings we discussed about issues around openSUSE Project , and how the project can be improved. Ralf Flaxa and Roland Haidl thanked us for our work and they confirmed their willing to help the openSUSE Project as much as they can.
As the KDE 4.10 released during the Marketing Hackathon we all joined the KDE 4.10 release party (in Wednesday). KDE president Cornelius Schumacher and Klaas Freitag, (ownCloud Senior Developer) joined us to the party. We had really interesting discussions about various aspects (KDE , ownCloud ,oSC13 etc).
Here i give a brief summary of my work
– 12.3 Screenshots (Screenshots and related wiki page) [although my laptop was broken for a while]
– 12.3 Package list and Feature (the last days)
– 12.3 Social Media messages for RC1 (and the final release as well)
– 12.3 “We are Hispanohablantes” , a new project begun , willing to centralize the Spanish speaking communities in openSUSE. Here you can find the English  and Spanish  version of the wiki page. [if you come from a Spanish spoken country , you can add stuff in the “Information Table”.]
I could blog about this experience for years , but i prefered to write a resume of what i have in my mind 🙂
. Obviously i would like to thank the following people (participants and SUSE Employees) :
Kostas , Bruno (tigerfoot – “Champignon”) , Carlos (victorck), Carlos (CarlosRibeiro), Izabel (IzabelleValverde), Marcel (tux93 or “Silent Power”), Richard (ilmehtar), Michal (|miska|).
Jos, Henne , Ralf, Roland, James, Jan, Ludwig, Cornelius, Suzanne Augustin, Will, Christopher, Adrian, , Jurgen, Kenneth, Cassio, Alberto,
(if I forget someone ,please let me know 😉 )
And yes we all love Vietnam 🙂
And don’t forget!!
A lot of Geekings to everybody,
“Power to the Geeko”
Since yesterday i started using LaTeX. So i was searching which LateX editor fix better in my needs. After searching and testing i use Gummi. Let’s see what is going on :
What is Gummi?
Gummi is a LaTeX editor for the Linux platform, written in C/GTK+. It was designed with simplicity in mind, but hopes to appeal to both novice and more advanced LaTeX writers. Gummi was released as free opensource software under the MIT license. 
In order to install Gummi in openSUSE you have to install the following packages :
– gummi (by typing sudo zypper in gummi , in the terminal)
After installing the gummi package , i couldn’t execute gummi and saw the follwoing error message
“Failed to execute child process “enchant-lsmod” (No such file or directory)”
The solution to this problem is to install the following packages :
– enchant (and 5 sub-packages) 
– libenchant1 
After installing them , Gummi will work fine!
What about creating an airline company called “Geeko Air”? Is an awesome idea , isn’t it?
Well , this post is neither a thought about creating a new company nor a new way to make money. 🙂
So let’s see what it is. Before 10 days i had to travel from Madrid to Paris for my Practicum. At this case casual dress is a mandatory , so i wore a Geeko shirt (thanks Bruno :)). While passing the security control , the security guy (named Josue) saw the openSUSE badge (the front one) on my shirt and asked me ” Do you work for openSUSE?” my response was “No i contribute to the openSUSE Project”. The security control stopped and an interesting conversation begun. Josue told me that he was an Ubuntu user , but now uses openSUSE and he is very satisfied. Without any thought i gave him the only openSUSE Promo DVD i had.
So Geekos , we have to know that our Project is great and also please make the Geeko Shirt available at openSUSE Shop (for more info ask Bruno)
A few days after the openSUSE conference is over, it is the right moment to write my report.
For me it was the first openSUSE Conference which i attended to. It was the first time that i was surrounded by hundred of Geekos during 4 days and interacted with people from the openSUSE Community , SUSE other distribution and other FOSS projects as well. People from openSUSE , Gentoo , Ubuntu , Fedora have been there to collaborate, make a presentation , discuss about FOSS and at the end of the day have a beer (pivo, in Czech). So what did i do during the oSC2012?
What did i do
First of all , at Day Zero, the whole Greek community went to the Venue so as to help with the setup up and explore the Venue as well. It is a truth that i I was amazed by the infrastructure, the coordination and the high level of education provided by the University. I had the opportunity to get into a laboratory and saw that the students do make their own experiments there. At the end of the day we drunk a couple of beers and personally discussed with the Spanish spoken guys. We had fun by expressing our ideas and interact with people who live far away from European continental .
Actually the first day i helped at the registration desk by giving swag ,all the necessary staff and piece of information to the recently (or not) registered attendees. By the second day and until the end of the conference i worked at the Social Media team with Kostas Koudaras and Jos Poortvliet. Our goal was to spread to the social media (twitter,google+,facebook) the presentations,talks,workshops and what was going on during the conference. In that way people who attended to the conference were up-to-date for what is going on and people who didn’t attend had also the opportunity to enjoy the conference by watching the live streaming. Finally i did translate some of the tweets in Spanish , so the Spanish spoken people be up-to-date as well.
Apart from what did i do , i attended to some presentations. So here i list the presentations:
1) Agustin Benito Bethencourt: SME as target for GNU/Linux distributions
2) Jos Poortvliet: openSUSE Around the World
3) Lightning talks
4) Prof. Joe Doupnik: A complete server to assist charities
5) openSUSE Project meeting
6) Izabel Valverde: The openSUSE Travel Support Program
7) Kostas Koudaras: Ambassadors 2.0
8) Michal Hrušecký: Whats new in openSUSE Connect
9) Kostas Koudaras: oSC13 The Spirit and the City
I admit that i would like to attend the following presentations but finally it wasn’t possible :
1) Henne Vogelsang: Building RPMs for starters…
2) Stephan Kulow: Packaging of perl/python/ruby/java
Apart from attending at some presentations i did make my own. Actually my presentation was related to my failure in GSOC 2012 with openSUSE Project. I explained to the crowd [ok i admit i was a bit nervous , it was my first presentation in an international conference] who am i , which are my plans and encouraged people to participate at the next Google Summer of Code with openSUSE Project. Finally i mentioned that what a failure does mean and what doesn’t mean in that case. My presentation is available here.
In my opinion it’s very important to interact with people during a conference. Apart from the presentations you gain experience, you discuss with other people about an idea that you have in common. So my interaction was :
a) Met people from Latin America (Sebastian, Axel) and discuss with them about the community there.
b) Met Baltasar Ortega who owns the kdeblog.com and become collaborator of the blog. Now my spanish posts appear also at kdeblog.com
c) Discussed with my mentor of GSOC 2012 about my next steps at the project
d) Discuss about participation of openSUSE Project @ LinuxCon with Jos Poortvliet and met Ralf Flaxa as well
d) My openSUSE Member application was accepted. Also i became member of openSUSE Member Officials Team
e) Met Ramon Roca and discuss with him about his project
f) Joined the conference by another point of view : as a volunteer who worked on a group.
g) Beers,beers,beers 😛
According to some people, FOSS conferences are dominated by corporate representatives promoting their products.I disagree with that because in my point of view FOSS conference are dominated by participants , volunteers , FOSS communities and FOSS companies. The main point is the interaction between all of these parts .
See you at the next openSUSE Conference!