Eclipse tells ex-community director to 'go away'

Bjorn Freeman-Benson had become a thorn in the Eclipse Foundation's side, so Eclipse executive Mike Milinkovich very directly said, "You're a jerk. Go away."

Mike Milinkovich Eclipse Foundation

Open-source communities are founded on trust. It's therefore disappointing but not surprising, to see the Eclipse Foundation's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, rip into former Eclipse Foundation director of community Bjorn Freeman-Benson and tell him to take his "steady acid drip of negativity" and "go away."

Milinkovich, a steelie, hockey-playing executive, didn't mince words in a blog post:

Your former colleagues at the Eclipse Foundation have tolerated your public abuse quietly because we are professionals, and we honestly thought that you would tire of it. Apparently we were wrong. But the time has come to say it: You are a jerk. Please go away. You quit the Foundation, you have zero commits since April, and we tire of your sniping from afar.

Not the most diplomatic but better than a body check against the glass any day.

Given Freeman-Benson's constant carping on the foundation and his former colleagues, it's understandable that Milinkovich went on the offensive. In a variety of posts, including the one that prompted Milinkovich's post, Freeman-Benson has sought to undermine the Eclipse Foundation, which has successfully managed one of the industry's top open-source projects.

His criticism may have been fragmenting the trust that held together the Eclipse community.

Indeed, as Eclipse Foundation director of marketing Ian Skerrett told me, "There is a long history of troll-like blog post[ing] that built up to this point; yes, it is harsh, but it was hurting the community."

Call it tough love for the open-source set. Given the existence of poisonous individuals in many open-source communities, it may be "love" we see more often.

About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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