Friday, February 20, 2009

» Open Letter to the openSUSE Community

Note: this is a joint post by Bryen Yunashko and me, being the two openSUSE Board members who are not employed by Novell As you may know, recently Novell made the decision to reduce the workforce in their organization in the wake of our current economic outlook which is affecting everyone globally in all sectors of life. Unfortunately, this has also impacted some members of the openSUSE Community who were employed by Novell when, earlier this week, they were laid off. We hear about layoffs every day now. Most of us have been hit by layoffs in recent times, if not personally then friends and family. The sadness we feel for our fellow community members is just as strong and our hearts go out to them in this time. Some people have approached us publicly and privately and asked us what this means for the future of openSUSE. In fact, openSUSE is a community project driven both by Novell and the Community at large. Within this project, we make no distinction between Novell and non-Novell employees. As such, those laid off are still important and vital members of our Project, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue working with them as fellow members for the good of our community, our distribution and for Free and Opensource software at large. Our observations over the past week convince us that Novell is still committed to the openSUSE Project. It is also our observation that the community as a whole remains active, vibrant and motivated. Our colleagues employed by Novell have assured us that, while there is some frustration and disappointment, they and the company are still as committed as ever to the openSUSE Project. As we have mentioned, these are difficult times for everyone and hard decisions have been made by Novell. While we cannot speak for Novell and the reasons behind its decisions, we do take offense to those outside our community who have decided to exploit the hardship of our fellow community members in these trying economic times for their own personal gain in their misguided rants against the Project and misinterpreted portrayals to the general public. We'd like to wish our friends good luck with their respective careers, hoping they will soon find another job, and also hoping that their contributions, their expertise and their commitment for the openSUSE project will sustain, not just for the sake of it, but also and foremost because they're our friends.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

» FOSDEM 2009 is over

Yet another successful FOSDEM is over. First of all, I'd like to thank the many volunteers who helped us during the week-end, with all the non-fun parts of the job (transporting tables and chairs, cleaning up, picking up trash, help people out at the Infodesk and the new cloakroom, installing and removing insane amounts of network cables and gear, etc...), but obviously also everyone who's involved into the core team. Each FOSDEM event is the result of many months of hard work spent during our free time. Then I'd also like to thank the people from various projects who manned their stands and organized their developer rooms. It all went pretty smooth, and thanks again for keeping rooms clean, for keeping people out when the rooms were full, as well as saving us quite a lot of time by transporting the stand tables back. Last but not least, thanks to everyone who attended the event, it would be useless without your presence, and especially those who made a donation. Your funding is very important to keep the event alive and allow us to stick with sponsors who invest into FOSS for the sake of it, without requiring vendor talks or proprietary product marketing stands in return. The Friday night beer event was the craze. Totally. Insane. I have absolutely no idea how many people attended but at midnight there was something around 10000 EUR spent on beer (including the 2000 EUR of free beer that was donated by Google), and we heard that at 3am it was still packed. Thanks to the Delirium Cafe for having us, the perfect location for our Beer Event. No FOSDEM is perfect -- we'd never pretend it to be, and this year the possibly only major issue was with the network. We'll work on that and fix it for the next edition. If you have suggestions/ideas on how to make it even better, please take a few minutes to fill our feedback form.