One of the emerging trends in the GNU/Linux distro world is the attempt to build better bridges between the community of users and companies that sponsor development work. Perhaps the best-known example is Canonical's Ubuntu Community Manager, Jono Bacon, whom Open Enterprise interviewed recently. And now Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier has joined the club as openSUSE Community Manager. Here's what he has to say on the role:
my main priority will be to serve as the openSUSE community’s advocate with Novell and make sure that it has what it needs to make openSUSE the best distro available.
When I talk about the openSUSE community, I mean all of those involved in some way with openSUSE — the users (and potential users), the openSUSE contributors, and the upstream developers who work on projects that are part of openSUSE.
I’m also going to be focusing my attention on getting the word out about openSUSE to more potential users, and trying to bring in more new users to openSUSE Linux. And by “new users,” I don’t mean people switching from another Linux distro — if someone is using another distro and is happy with Linux, that’s great. I want to reach the masses of Windows users who are looking for a better computing platform, and find ways to address their needs with Linux.
That's a laudable aim, and one likely to make Novell's ambiguous relationship with Microsoft even more complex.