What is this OSUNIX thing anyway?
So there has been some things brewing in a sub-sect of the illumos community about a project to fork illumos, because of alleged problems with my leadership. You can read the thread here if you want.
I want to address this head on.
First the claim is that I've got omnipotent control over illumos. This is absolutely false. While I created the project, and serve as technical lead, I've offered to step down if the developer-council and admin-council would like to me to do so. Notably my employer (Nexenta) has minority representation on both councils, and I've tried to keep the groups as neutral as possible. I said when I created the illumos project, and I still maintain, illumos is a community project, not a Nexenta one.
I'm working on the process to make this more formal through non-profit governance. I should have more to say here before the end of week. (I've got a meeting about this today.)
I've also handed over determination of the Advocate list (the list of people who get to approve and integrate submissions) to developer-council. So far Nexenta has 75% of the advocate slots, but this can change at the request of developer-council. Since about 75% of the contributions to the illumos code have come from my team at Nexenta, this should hardly be surprising. In fact, I've flatly refused to add any more Nexenta advocates, even though there are meritorious candidates, until we get broader representation here. (Becoming an advocate requires making a number of good, well-formed, contributions. And it requires people willing to perform thorough review.)
There is a claim that I've somehow driven companies away from illumos. I hope not. As of now, I'm not aware of any companies that have requested to participate or contribute, who I've turned away. In fact, the only contributions that have been turned down have been Joerg Schilling's star project (he couldn't find people willing to review the code) and the ksh93 update (which has been unable to pass a technical code review -- ultimately we'll probably take in the ksh93 changes in more piecemeal fashion breaking them apart into reasonable and reviewable integrations instead of a 100KLOC+ set of code of varying quality.) As far as I know, everything else is vaporware.
I'd love to know what companies I've driven away, and what I did to do so. Honestly, if there is constructive criticsm here, then I want to hear it because I want to a better job -- and I want illumos to be as inclusive as possible. The fact that nobody has come forward (and nobody has approached me privately either!) makes me wonder how much this is really happening.
In fact, I have done all I can to encourage contribution, and to give credit for such contributions where it is due. And indeed, we have contributions from Joyent, Areca, and others. And a number of things queued up from names like Intel and LSI.
At the end of the day, if the project forks, so be it. Forks aren't necessarily a bad thing, and if a fork means we get more contributors to the ecosystem, then I welcome it. But I hope that the basis for such a fork is not just because one or two people don't like me.
(For the record, I am perfectly happy that I'm not everyone's favorite person... my job is to do the best I can for the future of the project, not to be the most universally well loved person. The open source world is filled with other personalities who people have strong feelings about -- Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Theo De Raadt, Andrew Tridgell, and I don't think that the projects they lead have suffered any for it.)
Anyway, I hope that explains my position. If someone wants to have an open dialog with me about any of this, I'm happy to do so. I don't monitor the OSUNIX lists normally, but I'm reachable via email, IRC (gdamore), this blog, twitter (gedamore), and the developer list on illumos.org.