Daniel Robbins, the founder of my beloved Gentoo Linux, bowed out of the Gentoo community last year, setting up a non-profit organization to responsibly manage Gentoo and all of the intellectual property that surrounds it. He, along with others, created a very popular Linux distribution that provides unique benefits over the other offerings that are available. Unfortunately, open-source alone wasn’t paying the bills, and Daniel had to find other work.
Mr. Robbins began his new job late last month. With Microsoft:
Gentoo founder and former Gentoo Chief Architect Daniel Robbins began a new position at Microsoft on 23 May 2005. According to drobbins: “I’m helping Microsoft to understand Open Source and community-based projects.” While in the midst of hastily packing to move to Redmond, [Robbins] nonetheless managed to find the time to finalize the transfer of Gentoo’s intellectual property (essentially copyrights on ebuilds and other software as well as soon-to-be trademarked Gentoo logos) to the not-for-profit Gentoo Foundation, Inc.
Best of luck to him, but it strikes me that without Gentoo, I might not have gotten rid of most of the Microsoft products that I owned. I just hope that “helping Microsoft understand open source” doesn’t mean “unwittingly helping Microsoft understand how to get rid of the ‘open source problem’”.