SPI board drops Perens

Open source developer and evangelist Bruce Perens says he is not overly concerned about being voted off the board of Software in the Public Interest, the non-profit open source organization he founded a decade ago.

An SPI board meeting on 1 August, saw Bdale Garbee elected as president, with Michael Schultheiss voted as vice president, Neil McGovern as secretary and Josh Berkus as treasurer of the board.

Members to lose their seats were John Goerzen and Benjamin Mako Hill.

Perens, who like Garbee, was once a former Debian GNU/Linux project leader, cited his busy schedule as a contributor to losing the support of other members of the board.

"I didn't have time to attend board meetings. People got annoyed because sometimes the board didn't have enough people attending to make quorum," he said.

"SPI and Debian are something I feel strongly about, but don't really have time for any longer as there are more important fights to be carried out for Open Source," he added.

"So, I was in conflict about it. I probably should not have run, but had trouble letting go."

New York-based SPI was established by Perens in 1997 to help organizations create and distribute open source software and hardware. Some of its member projects include Debian, Fresco, GNUstep and PostgreSQL.

Most recently, Perens sat on the SPI board for the past three years.

He said his number-one concern was his family and watching his young son entering first grade. "That's job number one, of course," he said.

But in amongst that there have been many achievements in the past year.

"I have raised consciousness about the problems that software patents present for open source, enough to goad some people into action. There are other things like software I wrote and released, books published in my series with Prentice Hall, and the various open source projects and companies working with open source that I've advised."

Newly elected secretary, Neil McGovern, one of the founding members of OpenVAS, a open source fork of the security scanner Nessus, said his main goal for SPI is to achieve a greater degree of involvement from its member projects, and the community in general.

"At the latest count, we have 10 member projects, with more than 1500 members. However, we have only around 350 contributing members of SPI. I believe that we should try to expand SPI's membership base and encourage a greater participation from our membership."

Perens bio reveals he has been involved in open source for some time. He is the co-founder of the advocacy group, the Open Source Initiative. He also famously made headlines in 2002 when he was "terminated' from his Linux and open source strategist role at Hewlett-Packard. Perens disagreed with the direction HP was taking on its Linux platform when it merged with Compaq.

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