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Novell names new OpenSuse liaison

Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier will help share with Novell the thoughts and concerns of OpenSuse Linux users and programmers.

Novell has hired Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier to be community manager of its OpenSuse Linux project, the company said Monday.

OpenSuse is a free Linux version Novell uses to test out new features it puts into its supported product, . Brockmeier, who has written about open-source software for many technical publications in recent years, will work on OpenSuse marketing, expanding its developer and user base, and on relaying community feedback to Novell, the Waltham, Mass.-based company said.

On his blog, Brockmeier said he wants to use his position to attract Windows users to Linux. "I'm...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."

Brockmeier also said he wants to emulate what Max Spevack has done in helping to make Red Hat's Fedora project more independent from Red Hat.

(Spevack has just left his role as Fedora project leader, with Paul Frields taking over in January.)