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A new role helping open source software succeed


I'm very excited - I am now officially joining the GNOME Foundation as Executive Director! Some background for those of you not familiar with GNOME. The GNOME project is:

  • a free and open source desktop - an easy to use, intuitive interface for your Linux or Unix computer and
  • the GNOME development platform, a developer framework for building applications.

The GNOME Foundation is the nonprofit organization that helps organize and run the GNOME project. The GNOME Foundation members are all contributors to GNOME - hundreds of volunteer developers. They elect a board of directors (from their membership) every 18 months and have a large number of corporate sponsors who participate through an advisory board. My job will be to work with the board of directors, the sponsors and the community to help them further their goals of a creating a free and open source desktop and development platform that is used world-wide by drawing in more developers, sponsors and users.

As some of you probably know, my first experience with open source software was with the GNOME community. Way back in 2000, I was managing the HPUX desktop and we decided that having a free and open source desktop would be advantageous for HPUX users. I ended up working with Ximian (then Helix Code) and attended my first GUADEC in 2001 in Copenhagen. While I was checking into my hotel in Copenhagen, I met some guys in the hotel lobby (Havoc Pennington and some of the Eazel guys) and ended up spending the afternoon exploring Copenhagen with them. The next day at the conference was the day of the famous "You're a girl!" quote. (She was very excited there was another woman at the conference.) I found the GNOME community extremely welcoming and passionate about their project. They got me hooked on open source and I've been spreading the word ever since.

At OpenLogic I've been working on spreading the word of open source in two primary ways.

  1. I started the OpenLogic Expert Community, a group of contributors and committers that help OpenLogic provide 24x7 support for over 400 open source software projects. The Expert Community members are developers that are not only passionate about open source software but willing to help enterprises see the benefits of using open source software. OpenLogic's customers say great things about the support model - having the experts on hand is key to making them feel that open source software is an important and reliable part of their infrastructure.
  2. I helped launch the Open Source Census - a collaborative, global initiative that aims to count all of the open source software that's out there. Not the number of downloads but the number of installs. The goal is to show people how much open source software is already being used in order to show people they should feel comfortable using it. The Open Source Census is backed by a large number of industry sponsors: IDC, ActiveState, EnterpriseDB, OSU OSL, Open Source Alternative, Navica, Unisys, OSA, OllianceGroup, CollabNet, Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon West, HRO, and OSBF.
I'm happy to say I'll be continuing in advisory role at OpenLogic so I'm not saying good-bye yet to all those folks!

I'm also very excited to be joining the GNOME Foundation to help spread the word about GNOME - a free and open source desktop - by strengthening the Foundation and attracting new industry members and community contributors. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
Creative Commons License.


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