Wanted: Community Manager
Novell's Got Some Big Shoes to Fill
Today marks the end of the Era of Zonker at Novell, as Joe Brockmeier ends his tenure as Community Manager of openSUSE.
Brockmeier has done a pretty good job while at Novell, coordinating the community and marketing efforts around the popular openSUSE distro. It goes without saying that getting him on board lent a lot of legitimacy to Novell's business deal with Microsoft in 2006. Brockmeier has a lot of respect in the community, so when he calmly explained why Novell hadn't made a deal with the devil, people listened.
I personally did not like Novell's decision to partner with Microsoft--in particular the patent protection agreement that prompted a knee-jerk response from the free software community to change GPL v3 during its draft phase. At the time, I voiced the opinion that if Microsoft wanted to have integration so badly, it could do it without patent cooperation agreements.I still believe that, and it's something on which Brockmeier and I disagree. But it doesn't change my respect for his work.