Boris Kraut, the former lead app maintainer for F-Droid, has announced in a recent post to the site's forums that he is leaving the project. Among the reasons cited for his departure were a lack of interest and motivation due to not actually using Android himself, as well as some internal disagreement about the best way to handle some future challenges the organization faces. He will still be around in the F-Droid IRC in the meantime. 

When it comes to software development, a maintainer is someone that compiles, organizes, and distributes the software. They take the work done by developers and make it accessible to users. That often makes them the last set of technical eyes to rest on a product, so they have to handle a varied workload.

F-Droid is a non-profit volunteer project for distributing Free and Open Source Software, so the position Kraut is departing was not paid. If you'd like to consider contributing to the project yourself, you can make a donation or check out the various means of volunteering here.

Kraut's departure doesn't appear to suffer any animosity or drama. He made it clear in his statement that he felt F-Droid would be better served by a fresh perspective. He also lamented that he wasn't able to train a successor to take over for his current duties, but he is optimistic that the workload can be spread to others. Kraut' responsibilities at F-Droid pertained to adding and updating apps in the repository.

As a maintainer, his precise commitments cast a wide net, since every developer has a different way of making and distributing software. He was involved in operating and analyzing the build process for apps, monitoring commits, checking for errors, communicating with developers, and updating documentation. His later comments imply that his duties should be picked up by other contributors without too much difficulty, and he will still be able to communicate and answer any questions other contributors and maintainers might have.

The full text of Kraut's message to the F-Droid community is below:

Dear community,
dear upstream developers,
dear F-Droid staffers,

after more than three and a half years as lead (and most of the time sole)
app maintainer, I "retire" from F-Droid.

I don't use Android myself anymore -- don't you worry, I don't use any less
free systems either -- so my own interest and motivation are low. Also, I
really think maintainers should indeed be users of the "product", they should
dogfood it and actually care about the whole platform.

Given some dissent about the way to handle upcoming challenges (like complex
builds, app developers eager to use latest pre-release stuff from Google and
how to monitor all the stuff builds (and Google itself) start pulling in at
buildtime etc.), I and my personal believes about software might also hinder
F-Droid's further success: Newer generation always have a different
view on "values", on techniques, on problem-solving, so these new problems
might need fresh people to solve them.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to "train" a successor. While we had and have some
very talented, dedicated people that do have my trust, I really hope some of
you will help spreading the workload and join their ranks soon.

It has been my great privilege and pleasure to be part of this. Thanks for the
past years and as always: patches welcome :)


Boris Kraut