GNOME has the help wanted sign out

Summary:GNOME needs to find itself an entrepreneur, and set a direction pretty quickly, or it's going to be run over from behind.

Stormy Peters is leaving her position with GNOME to take a developer relations job with Mozilla.

Good for her. Bad for GNOME.

Mozilla is a well-established organization, whose software and funding are both on solid ground. GNOME, on the other hand, is at a crossroads.

Losing Canonical was a big deal. Negative reviews of the shell are hurting desktop Linux generally. A firm hand and definite direction are needed. This can go pear-shaped pretty quickly.

In my view Peters, who joined the GNOME payroll in 2008, found herself in a horses-for-courses dilemma.

There are managers who are good at charming corporations into giving their money, their time, and their imagination to a cause. There are teammates who are just good with people, peer-to-peer. Peters is of the latter school. GNOME needs someone from the former.

My former co-blogger Joe Brockmeier, writing this up at Network World, is deliberately cagey. As he notes at the bottom of his story, he's a member of the GNOME Foundation and sometimes helps the group with their PR. Which means he probably has views on this he can't say out loud, and which should be reserved for the ears of his fellow wizards.

I'm not a wizard, a point I intend to emphasize when I talk to the Apache Foundation tomorrow. My view is GNOME needs to find itself an entrepreneur, and set a direction pretty quickly, or it's going to be run over from behind.

But that's just one blogger's perspective. What's yours?

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.