Nut launches death threats at Debian women
'You're killing freesource'
Exclusive Women working on Debian have been getting death threats from a nut job who believes they're killing free software.
A poll by new project leader Steve McIntyre into whether people are happy on Debian revealed one female coder had been getting the threats as thanks for her hard work.
Further daggering soon revealed she was not alone.
McIntyre told The Reg: "I have since discovered that several of our female developers and documenters were threatened. It was some kook in the US who made quite a name from himself harassing women for supposedly destroying the free software movement."
In an email to the Debian community McIntyre promised to "track down and deal with the perpetrators" in future incidents. He told The Reg the women pledged to stand together and not to be intimidated. Which is good, "because we want more women to be involved in open source," he said.
This is not the first time the fringe elements of the open source movement have revealed their taste for intolerance and juvenile attacks. Blogger and author Kathy Sierra quit blogging and canceled a planned appearance at a Tim O'Reilly conference last year after she received death threats.
Turning to Debian, McIntyre told the community: "Many of our developers are used to strong discussions and technical arguments in the course of Debian and free software development, but I was shocked to hear that one of our community has been the target of death threats as a thank-you for her work."
Overall, the survey of the Debian community found the overwhelming problem is there just aren't enough developers involved.
"I wasn't aware of just how badly some of our teams were performing. Quite a few are barely functional at all. In more than one case, I had responses like 'team? what team?'. Several are technically made up of a group of people, but only one person is doing all the work."
Nut jobs attacking women in open source should remember that it's easy to kill their precious projects by turning people off through their antics. Getting people to participate becomes that much harder (see here and here).®
@Destroy All Monsters
OT: Ramming romanised Japanese words into your sentences is neither big nor clever. The word basically means "Go live in the woods"; I know the ADSL roll out is progressing at a rapid pace, but I doubt that there are many wooded areas in which you can get ADSL. There again, if you moved to the woods in the first place surely you're trying to get away from modern technology and such anyhow?
Re: The death threats divert you from..
I was just going to reply "asshole - foff back to M$" to you originally - but I think you've kinda missed the point, (and the original reply makes me look bad too). As was explained to me, some OSS is used as a taster for the full "paid for" variety - for example CentOS/Ubuntu - it's free, but if you want commercial support then you pay for it.
Likewise, you've made the classic mistake of assuming that everyone regards software as a "product" like an automobile, there's a heck of a lot of folks out there who treat it as an art form. Read the biog of Van Gogh etc and you'll see that quite a few of his paintings were done for free in the hope of getting a commission (or selling them) later on. Similarly - I do OSS because I want to show off what a "genius" I am (<grin>) - as you (correctly!) point out "Experts command ... respect" (but I don't claim to be an expert). The other day I was speaking to a major OSS developer and he was saying that it's when he gets those emails/forum-postings saying "this is great" or "this really helped me" that he feels it was all worth it - and it's nice for your ego to feel that others are listening to what you're saying.
Back to the original point - I agree with the posters here - if these are death threats then they need to go to the police - no question. Okay, if the Debian community can assist with tracking this retard (or retards) down, then all to the good, but vigilatism won't help anyone. The person/persons making these threats is obviously mentally ill in a way that makes them dangerous to the community.
(Paris icon because - hopefully like her - OSS developers do what they do sometimes because they enjoy it, not for $$$'s).
You're forgetting one crucial element of the equation - motivation. God knows I'm know FOSS fanboy - BUT: Incredible things can be created for free if there's sufficient motivation on the part of the developers (this goes for anything, not just software - but the price of entry is far less for software).
Hobbyists can indeed produce the best results when they are passionate about what they do; to this day, participants in the demoscene tend to produce code, art, and music that are several years ahead of the best professionals in the business. They don't need high pay to do it, because the motivation is elsewhere.
It's kind of funny that you (who seem to have chosen your field not because you're interested in it but because the options spat it back with the most money attached) make an argument in which you can't even conceive of someone WANTING to do something for free.
Oh, and the free clinic people, I'm sure, would love to do better. Their problem is a lack of resources. But, as I mentioned above, you don't need test equipment, lots of floor space, MRI machines, etc, to build software.
All you need is motivation.