Remember how last September in a keynote speech at LinuxCon, Mark Shuttleworth (Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life of the Ubuntu Linux project) made a series of comments including one about how “us guys” in the Linux community have trouble “explaining to girls what we actually do”? At the time, I posted an open letter to Mark, saying,
I’d like to invite you to think about the message you’re sending to women in the Linux community, and, if you didn’t mean to convey the message that we’re technical illiterates and hard to educate, consider apologising publicly.
So, I’m glad to be able to report that the other day, in the comment thread on a post about “tribalism” on his own blog, he offered an apology after prompting by MÃ¡irÃn Duffy and Carla Schroder:
I apologize unreservedly to all offended by my poor choice of language on that or other occasions.
Better late than never! I know that several Ubuntu women I’ve spoken to are pleased and relieved that Shuttleworth finally apologised, even if it’s not a textbook apology. So, thank you, Mark. I hope you’ll continue listening to the women in your community, and think about the effects of your words in future.