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Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
Marta Rybczynska: Woman force in open source
At Muktware we publish a series of interviews to feature women active in the Open Source world. Marta Rybczynska is a very active contributor to the KDE project and in this interview we talked to her to understand her work.
Swapnil: Can you tell us about woman presence in the KDE community?
Rybczynska: Compared to other FLOSS projects, it is quite visible. In some random order: Anne Wilson, Anne-Marie Mahfouf, Camilla Boemann, Lydia Pintscher, Myriam Schweingruber, Sinny Kumari and Valorie Zimmerman are very active.
Their involvement varies from coding to project management and translations. Everything is covered. There are also the current GSoC and outreach students. I think that giving visibility to women makes it more likely to attract new women developers.
Swapnil: The environment of Linux & Open Source development is not considered to be very friendly (mailing lists and forums can be harsh for newbies) how much role does this ‘hostile’ environment plays in the invisibility of woman?
Rybczynska: Hostility on some mailing lists made me stop posting there. It is as simple as that. It did not make me stop from contributing, but I can imagine that it could. This is why I think it is important. Moreover, I find the attitude of some forums and mailing lists to be a big problem. I think everyone can help here by responding if they find some hostile reaction. I see no other way we can fix it. At the same time we can attract many new developers who are too scared now.
Fortunately, there are many friendly and helpful sites. Apart from the KDE sites, I am frequently at LinuxQuestions.org too. I have met many great people online myself and obviously our community simply wouldn’t work without this type of communication.