openSUSE Team: interviewing to Jos Poortvliet

openSUSE 13.1 is increasingly closer. I think it’s a good idea to know some of the hackers who make possible the launch of this GNU / Linux distro.


Here in my blog you could read spanish interviews to spanish hackers who work in SUSE for openSUSE Team. Now is time to know a little bit more the other members of the team! and here you can read it in exclusive!

I hope you really like it, and enjoy reading it. If you are interesting in GNU/Linux or free software maybe this interviews are what you needed to make your passion your profession!

This time is Jos Poortvliet who answer my questions. Thanks a lot for your time. ;) Now that the openSUSE release is very close, so really thanks for his answers!

You can also read the spanish translation of this interview in this link:

  • Name and nick: Jos Poortvliet a.k.a Jospoortvliet
  • Birth place:Dirksland, small village Netherlands
  • Age: 33

Name of the position you have inside the Team:

Community manager.

How long have you been working on the openSUSE Team?

Since August last year, but before that I was openSUSE Community Manager for 2 years already.

How long have you collaborating with free software?

Over 10 years.

How did start this hobby to free software? And what was your first contribution?

Pfff… To make a long story short, I was using Knoppix and later Kanotix and met some KDE people at a event where they had a booth. I did stay with them, helped them out a little as I had been reading a lot about KDE and was following Planet KDE and so. They asked me to help at another event, I did. One more, two more… Then writing about a hackathon, then giving talks at events, then writing for the KDE news site, and so on 😉

Wich are your skills? What is your work mainly in the openSUSE Team? Wich problems usually fix?

I’m somebody who talks and writes a lot, that’s what I do best. Help spread the word about openSUSE, for example. But also help people deal with conflicts, or better – avoid them. I manage our team blog and most of the marketing work the openSUSE team does for the release.

Right now what projects are you working? (if you can talk about them …)

The release marketing, as I write this less than two weeks before the release. I’ve just put together the press kit, which contains a LOT of work: the press announcement, the community announcement for, the full feature guide on, lots of screenshots and more.

Which are the three tools that must be on your desktop?

I have a set-up with two screens, one rotated 90 degrees on the right and one horizontal. The one on the right always has a Konversation window with IRC and a Kate window with my documents and todo list. I also keep my mails there while writing them. On the left – 1000 web browser windows for all the wiki pages and documents I’m working on (I have 6 virtual desktops with each ~8 windows on them). And LibreOffice Writer, Impress. Inkscape, GIMP, Kdenlive… Just three tools, how can you even THINK one can work with so few?

Besides openSUSE in what other Free software projects do you collaborate?

I’m still active in KDE but I have also done some things for other communities including GNOME.

What GNU/Linux distro do you use? What desktop environment? What other distros have used or use?

openSUSEe, KDE, almost all of them 😉

What characteristic of other distro or operating system you would like to have had openSUSE?

It is actually pretty perfect for me.

Who would you like to know or have known?

Hammurabi, Aristotle, folks like them. But more than knowing them I’d love to know their time, how people used to live in ancient Mesopotamia or Griece or in the Indus valley in India/Pakistan. And I’d even more love to live for a while among the people in Afrika 2 million years ago, where no less than three species of almost-human apes lived. You know, walking upright, with only hair on their heads, using tools. Possibly even able to talk. Can you imagine a conversation with a relative-but-not-human? Amazing.

Any hobby or vice confesable?

Cooking! I love cooking, long, much.

Share with us a band, or song you like?

“My Friend of Misery” from Metallica 😉

Teel us a Geek anecdote that happened to you during your stay in Nuremberg or anywhere else?

Dude, which one? I can tell stories from all over the world!

My first openSUSE conference in Nuremberg was fun. I was brand new and did not know much or many people. I decided it was my job to make people happy and have grouphugs – and I think I was quite succesful with that 😉

In Taipei I discovered that people were so polite I was always first out of the elevator, as rude European. Tssk. I was there nto long enough to learn to become even half as polite as them… And they loved the Geeko – they wanted to have their pictures taken with our Green friend all the time!

I was long enough in Brasil to notice how incredibly sweet and friendly the people are. Friendly, as in, they’re friends you’ve known for years within 10 seconds. It is a bit confusing sometimes, you think “Do I know you?” when you get a big hug from somebody you just met 😉

They’re very nice in the US, too, and they always take me to good restaurants or to beer breweries to show the European that not all beer in the US is as bad as Budweiser. (I never dare to tell them I actually like Budweiser quite ok, I’m not much a fan of the big, heavy Ale).

La última palabra es tuya puedes acabar como prefieras!

Let me borrow from Zoumpis, one of the Greekos:

Geekings to you all, en enjoy openSUSE!

Enlaces de Interés

Here in this video you can watch an interview, jump to 55m54s

And Jos in action in openSUSE Conference at Tesaloniki


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