Published November 6th, 2010

I will write a separate post about ApacheCon 2010 in Atlanta.

I write mostly about technical things that I have an opinion about. I enjoy writing those blog posts, and learning more from the commentary and feedback. I believe they can generate value

I generally avoid posting about politics, because they just make me unhappy. Writing more blog posts about politics won’t fix anything. I don’t believe they generate value.

I avoid unhappy topics in general. I don’t like mulling on unhappy things. I think that is how most humans feel too.

At ApahceCon this week, a member of the Apache Software Foundation’s Board, Noirin, was assaulted by another member of the community. Noirin has a post covering it on her blog, entitled “A hell of a time”.

I consider Noirin is a friend, we are both involved in Apache HTTP Server, both part of the ‘younger’ generation at Apache, and she was a colleague at Joost for a time.

I was at the bar in question. I didn’t see anything, as I was having a good time, hanging out with many friends around the table. I have met most of the people around the table in random locations all around the world. It wasn’t a seedy dive bar. It was adjacent to the Westin Hotel. We were all having a good night.

When I heard about this event on Friday, I was first in shock, then anger. Then it turned into disgust. Now I am just resolved in disappointment.

Disappointed that this could happen here. Happen within our community. Our community has plenty of flaws, but sexual assault of any kind if just unacceptable. This wasn’t an episode of Mad Men, set in the 1960s. This is the Apache community. Our community.

I know I made my mother angry a few times in my life. Not things I am proud of. I think the times I felt the worse is when she said she was disappointed in me. The feeling that I have failed. Anger is passing, disappointment is a judgement.

And that is how I feel now. Disappointed. This behavior is unacceptable in our community.

I don’t know how to fix the problem. I just know one thing, I am resolved to stamp it out of Apache. If you don’t like that, leave. You can stay home.

The Apache community talks much about ”Community over Code”. We value community and the people far more than most open source and technology groups. All people must feel welcome and safe at Apache. We must make sure this never ever happens again, and the knowledge that this behavior is never acceptable is spread.

Written by Paul Querna, CTO @ ScaleFT. @pquerna