Originally Published: Monday, 6 August 2001 Author: S.A. Hayes
Published to: develop_articles/Development Articles Page: 1/4 - [Printable]

Linux.com Interview: Brian Behlendorf

Linux.com sits down with Brian Behlendorf, President of the Apache Software Foundation and CTO of CollabNet to talk about open source, the meaning of freedom, Richard Stallman and aliens from outside our solar system.

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Brian Behlendorf

Linux.com: Are you still involved with the Apache project?

Brian Behlendorf: Yes, very much so. My role right now - my official role - is president of the Apache Software Foundation which means I'm responsible for making sure the organization works together as a team, trying to handle some of the interpersonal politics at times, keeping the developers happy and smooth, keeping the relationships with companies - you know there are real companies putting real investment and developer time into Apache - trying make sure they are happy and make sure the back ends of their systems are going well and stuff and try to provide some leadership here and there where I can.

I don't get a chance to code any more. I'd really like to. But the reality is that the ten hours a week I can give it, or whatever, keeps me mainly focused on [my role]. And, I think that is actually appropriate because I'm really not the world's best programmer, I think it's a good thing that I'm not touching the code.

So that's my main role right now and really the politics also includes going out and communicating to the world why Apache is a good thing, why companies should be involved in it, and why individuals should be involved in it too.

Linux.com: What do you think is the most important thing you learned from being involved in Apache and continuing to be involved?

Brian Behlendorf: The most important thing that I've learned?

Linux.com: Yeah, what's the most you have gotten out of it, because obviously you've given a lot into it.

Brian Behlendorf: I think the most that I've learned has been, how do I put this? The innate goodness inside of all of us. I mean, I know that sounds really cheesy, but you know what is nice about Apache and its license and the community that formed around that license is that it is not a community compelling somebody to do something, it's a community based on not just one time generous acts but ongoing generous acts and giving time to the common good, and they are there because it is the most effective way to get software developed, they're not there because they have to be or because someone is paying them or because the license makes them contribute things back. And that is reassuring, to see people who are very positive - five years after the first explosion, the first release of code - is a very good thing.

Certainly I get a lot personally out of it as well, there's the recognition and things like that but mostly I try to take that as an opportunity to explain why I hope we could see more projects like Apache out there and why it's a good thing for society.

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