April 9, 2007

ChangeLog: New chick leads LinuxChix

Author: Peter Galli

After a six-year reign as the leader of LinuxChix, Jenn Vesperman has appointed programmer and writer Mary Gardiner as her successor. Gardiner is the third woman to take the lead at LinuxChix. The group, founded in 1999 by Deb Richardson, calls itself an "international group of free software users and developers," with the aim of "supporting women in Linux."

Vesperman is retiring from her position due to health concerns, Gardiner told Linux.com. Vesperman has shared publicly her battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Gardiner lives in Australia and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computing at Macquarie University. She recently participated in a panel interview at ABC.net's Triple J youth radio station, along with Mark Pesce and Jeff Waugh, to discuss the "inter-blog harassment of Kathy Sierra" and possible solutions for "cyber-bullying." Of her involvement in female-dominated online communities, Gardiner says, "We find that we get a lot of misogynist material ... occasional violent threats. Generally, you don't have recourse to that kind of thing."

LinuxChix describes itself as a "looseknit, casual" group, with regional chapters operate in countries all over the world. In addition to attending local meetings, LinuxChix members can take courses online. Some of the current studies include a class on learning to use the GIMP, a course entitled "Tools for Participating in Free Software," and "Linux Commands."

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