Gentoo founder offers to return as president

By   |  January 14, 2008

Daniel Robbins, the original creator of the Gentoo Linux distribution, has offered to return to the Gentoo Foundation as president in order to resolve what he described as the recent “Gentoo leadership crisis“. Robbins wrote:

Several days ago, the Gentoo community discovered the unfortunate news that the Gentoo Foundation’s charter has been revoked for several weeks, which means that as of this moment the Gentoo Foundation no longer exists.
Even worse, there has not been any public explanation from the Foundation’s trustees as to why this was allowed to happen, or what steps are being taken, if any, to fix this. This is very bad for the morale of the Gentoo community.

In his offer to return and serve as president of the Gentoo Foundation, Robbins intends to renew its charter and “work in some capacity to help to get Gentoo going in the right direction from a legal, community and technical perspective”.

He did, however, attach some conditions to the offer. These include that all trustees assist in a quick transition and that they allow him to appoint new trustees to the foundation.

Although promising to retain the not-for-profit aspect of Gentoo, he wrote that community members could expect “everything to be very, very different than how things are today”.

The planned changes he has given are:

1) The Foundation will be responsible for the overall health of the Gentoo community and for pursuing the Foundation’s mission of advancement and education and promotion of software development in an open environment.

2) The Foundation will be responsible for providing general guidance and direction for the project and for ensuring that the Gentoo project is moving in a positive direction and has proper leadership.

3) The Foundation will be responsible for ensuring that Gentoo developers, individual Gentoo users, external Gentoo-related projects and Gentoo-using organizations have a voice and the opportunity to influence the overall technical direction of the Gentoo project in a clear, open and organized way.

4) Legal paperwork will be filed properly and on-time and the Foundation will maintain a proper level of transparency with the community.

5) The Foundation will help the Gentoo community to be a positive and pleasant environment for all participants.

Comments on this offer, both on the blog posting and a related Gentoo forum thread show a generally positive response to the offer among the distribution’s community members, although there was some mention of the fact that there was too little information available to them to make a truly informed comment.

Some members also indicated unease about the offer, drawing attention to Robbins’ short-lived return to Gentoo last year which ended as a result of fights and personality clashes with some Gentoo developers.

The decision, however, lies with the trustees of the Gentoo Foundation, and as yet there has not been any public response.

For more background information on Robbins and his involvement with Gentoo, read this Wikipedia entry,

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