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18 April 2013, 09:35

MariaDB Foundation on course for community governance

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MariaDB Foundation

The MariaDB Foundation has expanded its Board of Directors and has appointed Simon Phipps as its Secretary and interim Chief Executive Officer. Rasmus Johansson has been appointed Chair of the Board, which also includes Andrew Katz, Jeremy Zawodny, and Michael “Monty” Widenius as members. Speaking to The H, Phipps said: "The key change here is the Foundation is now officially under the direction of a diverse Board rather than just one director." With this change, it is on track to be completely member-led in the second half of the year.

Many of the board members are well known in the open source software community: Phipps is also President of the Open Source Initiative, Katz is a legal expert in open source matters, and Johansson is a leader in the MariaDB developer community. Widenius, of course, was the main author of MySQL and was a driving force in the fork that forms the basis of MariaDB. The new members of the Board are taking interim positions while the foundation moves to a "membership-based governance model that includes a diversity of stakeholders".

The MariaDB Foundation says that it is aiming to create a governance model similar to that used by the Eclipse Foundation, and the Board has appointed the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich as an advisor to lead this transition. The plan is to create the new governance model and have it publicly reviewed by July, at which point the Foundation will have its members and contributors elect a new, permanent board according to the rules it will be establishing. When asked if he expects any friction between business interests of companies using MariaDB and the fact that the project's source code is GPL-licensed, Phipps said: "The existing community around MySQL and MariaDB is used to the GPL so I don't anticipate any new issues. I've been pleased to hear from many business users just how much they prefer dealing with MariaDB."

The Foundation also says that it is inviting companies wishing to contribute to the MariaDB project to contact them concerning engagement in the Foundation's governance as well as sponsorship opportunities. It is working to gain 501(C)(6) status as a non-profit organisation in the US. The Foundation is already operating within the bounds of this mandate and says the work to gain tax-exempt status is progressing as planned.

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