Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

In what seems to be an acknowledgment of the status quo, rather than a big change, GNU C library (glibc) founder and maintainer Roland McGrath has stepped down from the project. This is not caused by any "big news with me", he said, just a recognition that he has drifted away from the project. "This summer marks 30 years since I began writing the GNU C Library. (That's two thirds of my lifespan so far.) It's long enough. So, I'm hereby declaring myself maintainer emeritus and withdrawing from direct involvement in the project. These past several months, if not the last few years, have proven that you don't need me any more. You'll make good decisions, as you've already made good decisions. You'll actually get around to implementing some of the things I've been suggesting or meaning to do (or saying I would do) for years, as you've already made progress on some of those ideas in recent months. If I stayed around to give advice, you'd ignore my advice to be more paranoid and more cautious, plow ahead anyway, ship it, and then have to redress the problem when the practical issues manifested, as you've already done and had to do. :-) All in all, I have no doubt at all that the job you're doing now and will do in the future maintaining glibc is better than I ever did that job myself and at least as good as my presence in the project might ever make it." As several responses to the post have already indicated, McGrath will be missed.


From:  Roland McGrath <roland-AT-hack.frob.com>
To:  "GNU C. Library" <libc-alpha-AT-sourceware.org>
Subject:  I'm already gone
Date:  Fri, 7 Jul 2017 00:21:12 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID:  <20170707072112.1272F2C3BAA@topped-with-meat.com>
Archive-link:  Article

Hello, friends!

You might have noticed that I haven't been present on the list or
perhaps answered your direct email in several months.  I'm sorry I've
been away so long without a word, but I'm not coming back any time soon.
There's no big news with me.  I've just found that I've drifted away and
today I'm acknowledging what's already happened.

This summer marks 30 years since I began writing the GNU C Library.
(That's two thirds of my lifespan so far.)  It's long enough.

So, I'm hereby declaring myself maintainer emeritus and withdrawing from
direct involvement in the project.  These past several months, if not
the last few years, have proven that you don't need me any more.

You'll make good decisions, as you've already made good decisions.
You'll actually get around to implementing some of the things I've been
suggesting or meaning to do (or saying I would do) for years, as you've
already made progress on some of those ideas in recent months.  If I
stayed around to give advice, you'd ignore my advice to be more paranoid
and more cautious, plow ahead anyway, ship it, and then have to redress
the problem when the practical issues manifested, as you've already done
and had to do. :-)  All in all, I have no doubt at all that the job
you're doing now and will do in the future maintaining glibc is better
than I ever did that job myself and at least as good as my presence in
the project might ever make it.

Over these 30 years, a few others have contributed individually more
than I did and the rest of you have contributed collectively far more
than I ever could have.  I'm eternally grateful to everyone who has been
or is now involved in nurturing, improving, shaping, and supporting this
creation.  I won't name any names since that would always give many more
short shrift.  But I'm especially grateful to the small handful of folks
who contributed in the early days when so much was so different than it
is today; to the diehard few who've hung on through all the changes and
tribulations over the many years; and to those, old and new, who have
come together in recent years to breathe new life into the project and
steer us towards becoming the vital community that the project and its
users have always deserved.  I'm proud of what we've been able to build
and deliver to our users.  But I'm more proud to have collaborated with
all of you.

I've unsubscribed from libc-alpha.  (I still wish I'd renamed the
mailing list before it grew past five members and me maintaining the
list by hand!)  I'll be dropping off of more free software mailing lists
for things I haven't done anything about in months or years, and
otherwise disentangling myself from administrative responsibilities that
I haven't really been fulfulling for a long time now.

If there's something I promised you in the past I'd do or something you
had an expectation of me replying to, I'm sorry about that.  I won't be
following up on any of those things.  Anything in the project I'm still
supposedly the maintainer or primary point of contact for, I've already
abandoned in practice and I'm now officially leaving to whoever has been
taking up my slack.  I'm glad to be of as much help as I think I can be
in any transitions of responsibility that need to happen.  Of course
you'll always be able contact me personally on subjects related to the
project when I can be uniquely useful.  Experience has shown that I've
most likely already forgotten the details, so I wouldn't have high
expectations about how much help I'll actually be.  But I'm still here.

Lastly, I'm not planning on travelling to Prague for this year's Cauldron.
I regret I won't see you all there.  Maybe you'll look me up next time you
are passing through the Bay Area.


So long, Thanks, and Happy Hacking,
Roland


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Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

Posted Jul 7, 2017 17:01 UTC (Fri) by OrbatuThyanD (subscriber, #114326) [Link]

does that mean that he started writing glibc when he was 15?

Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

Posted Jul 7, 2017 17:35 UTC (Fri) by kjhambrick (subscriber, #23704) [Link]

That is one of the most amicable and gracious letters of resignation that I have ever read.

I'll be saving Roland's text to use as a model when the time comes that I need to write a letter of resignation.

Finally, thank you Roland for your thirty years of service !

-- kjh

Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

Posted Jul 7, 2017 20:28 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Roland has always epitomized "amicable and gracious".

Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

Posted Jul 7, 2017 20:08 UTC (Fri) by NightMonkey (subscriber, #23051) [Link]

Thank you, Roland. It would, in an ideal world, be proper if you received a 'ticker-tape parade' for your work, since glibc is part of an unheralded foundational infrastructure of entire industries and technologies. Almost everything we use as users (and as developers) has glibc in the stack path. :)

Article link is 404'd?

Posted Jul 8, 2017 3:50 UTC (Sat) by bnorris (subscriber, #92090) [Link]

Again? I don't remember Gmane ever having this problem :(

Article link is 404'd?

Posted Jul 8, 2017 7:48 UTC (Sat) by jwilk (subscriber, #63328) [Link]

Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

Posted Jul 8, 2017 5:14 UTC (Sat) by unixbhaskar (subscriber, #44758) [Link]

Thank you, Ronald! for your invaluable service to us. We are indebted to your service. All I can see , a wise man made roads for others to take over.

Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

Posted Jul 10, 2017 14:08 UTC (Mon) by ortalo (subscriber, #4654) [Link]

Nice to see some people are as good at fully delegating work as at actually making it (and that they do belong to this community).

I am eager to see where this programming vocation will lead him next: down under in the depths of the kernel or upper nearer from the realm of user-level applications. But I am confident the programming abstinence will not last - or is it I am just hoping for it to end already?
Hey, after 3 decades hesitating, it's time to make a choice! :o)

Outside of the pun, many thanks intended.