After listening to episode 159, I knew this newsletter would be dedicated to Dawn Foster. Dawn is the Director of Open Source Community Strategy in VMware’s OSPO. My friend Richard Littauer interviewed her last month in London, and I had to listen twice. It was that good. The part that sucked me in was when Dawn brought up an uncomfortable truth that could become a big issue for the open-source community:

I'm worried about for a lot of these big mature projects. It's just aging out. They're not growing enough maintainers behind people, there are a lot of related issues around sustainability of these communities, and the maintainer ships and a lot of maintainers are burnt out, they're exhausted they're frustrated maintaining a project. It's a tough job. It's very demanding.

Dawn's Ph.D. research was on the Linux kernel. She knows better than anyone I know. The writing is on the wall. We need to get the next generation of Kernel (and other big mature projects) maintainers onboarded pronto. One of the most pressing and important non-code contributions would be facilitating that transition.

Last but not least, I wanted to plug Dr. Foster's FOSDEM talk "Contributor Growth Strategies for OSS Projects."

John Deere's ongoing GPL violations: What's next

Denver Gingerich · SFC

"The right to repair farm tools is now in serious jeopardy, not because farmers haven't fought to maintain this right, and not even because farmers haven't chosen to use tools that guarantee their right to repair their tools."

The SCO vs. Linux saga

Steven Vaughan-Nichols · Open Source Watch

Today, many Linux users would be shocked to know that there was once a lawsuit aimed squarely at Linux's heart: Its intellectual property (IP). Some people even thought SCO's lawsuit against IBM might end Linux. That didn't happen, but it did make the Linux community realize it had to understand its IP's legal and source code history.


A lot happened this week regarding Docker. Here are six links I have collected throughout the week that show how fragile our digital infrastructure can be at times:

The bottom line: Docker is in a no-win situation here. As someone in the CDN industry, I know storing and delivering Docker images is expensive, especially at their scale. With the current state of the economy (e.g., bank failures), I'm sure they are under a lot of pressure to get costs down. It's not like anyone else is paying for their infrastructure, so they are probably doing all they can to stay alive. What happens if/when Docker goes out of business? There is no FDIC for open source.

If you liked this issue, forward it to a friend. Have a great week. :)

Issue 47 · Dr. Foster

Dedicated to Dawn Foster, the Director of Open Source Community Strategy in VMware’s OSPO. Plus Dockerpocalypse-ish & more.