Geek Feminism Wiki

Very frequently, we get asked "What have geek feminists ever contributed to open source" (... "except for whining about sexism" is the implicit, or quite often explicit, addition to that). We seldom dignify these questions with an answer, because they are generally not intended in a serious spirit of inquiry; if they were, we wouldn't get them so much from anonymous trolls. These questions are intended as a silencing tactic, and are not generally asked of non-feminists (even those whose activism far outweighs their contributions).

It's also worth noting that Geek Feminism is not specific to open source, and covers other fields such as the tech industry at large, science fiction fandom, gaming, skepticism, and other geek fields. The question of open source contribution is even less relevant to our contributors who aren't even in that field.

However, in the general spirit of decreasing the amount of ignorance in the world, as well as a reminder to ourselves when we're under attack, here is a list of things that Geek Feminists have contributed to open source.

Guidelines for adding contributions

When adding contributions, please only list Geek Feminism contributors (blog, wiki, etc); elsewhere on this wiki we have a more general page about FLOSS, a List of women in FLOSS and a List of women-dominated projects in FLOSS.

Please also note that this is for a list of contributions *other* than feminist activism, since we can assume that geek feminists are doing that, by definition, and because the whole point of the question, according to the people asking it, is that such activism doesn't count as a contribution to the community. (A stance, needless to say, with which we disagree. But if you want to see our feminist contributions to open source, you can look at the rest of this wiki.)

List of contributions to open source

  • Valerie Aurora
    • wrote the ChunkFS Linux file system architecture
  • Mary Gardiner
    • served on the papers committee for, one of the world's foremost open source conferences, for several years, and chaired or co-chaired it in 2008–2010 and 2013.
    • was the lead documentation author for Twisted
  • Liz Henry
    • bugmaster for Mozilla, and helps manage test plans for the Firefox browser
    • founded Orange County Perl Mongers in 1998
    • open source community manager for Socialtext and Socialcalc (precursor of Ethercalc)
  • Alex Bayley
    • founded Melbourne Perl Mongers in 1998
    • wrote the perlintro manpage which is distributed with the language
    • wrote the influential Perl module WWW::Automate, which formed the basis of WWW::Mechanize, used for screen-scraping and automated website testing
    • leads the Growstuff project, an open source app to track planting and harvesting of home-grown food, and 3000 Acres, an open source project to help people find land to grow food
  • Leigh Honeywell
  • Tim Chevalier
  • Sumana Harihareswara
    • was Engineering community manager for the Wikimedia Foundation, running dev days worldwide and facilitating open source contributions to Mediawiki, and is now a technical writer for Wikimedia
    • edited and wrote for the GNOME Journal and was Release Marketing Manager for the GNOME 3.0 release
    • worked as project manager for open source software company Collabora
  • Matt Zimmermann
    • was technical leader of the Ubuntu project, chairman of the Ubuntu technical board and CTO of the project
    • maintained the "apt" package management tool for Debian Linux
  • Selena Deckelmann
    • Major Contributor to PostgreSQL (2009-current)
    • Director of the Python Software Foundation (2014)
    • Founder of PDXPUG (2006), Founder of Open Source Bridge (2009), Chair (2009, 2010), Founder of Postgres Open (2011), Chair (2011, 2012), Founder of PyLadiesPDX (2012)
    • Committer to Socorro, Committer to Bucardo,
  • Elizabeth Flanagan
    • Author and maintainer of the yocto-autobuilder
    • Build and release engineering lead for the Yocto Project
  • Coraline Ada Ehmke
  • Audrey Roy Greenfeld
    • Author and co-lead maintainer of Cookiecutter, cookiecutter-pypackage, and a number of other Cookiecutter project templates
    • Author and co-lead maintainer of Django Packages
    • Author of other Python packages such as jinja2_pluralize, complexity, django-columns, binaryornot, standardjson, alotofeffort
    • Author of NPM and jQuery packages messagebar, rotatingnav
    • Contributor to SaltStack formulas, Django, Kivy, and more
  • Ellen Spertus

Award recipients

  • Mary Gardiner received the Rusty Wrench award for services to the Australian Linux community in 2012
  • Valerie Aurora received the O'Reilly Open Source Award for education, innovation, leadership and outstanding contribution to open source in 2013
  • Sumana Harihareswara received the Open Source Citizen award from Open Source Bridge in 2011