.NET Foundation admits it 'violated the trust of project maintainers'

Mashes the Sorry button, offers to reverse forced code migration, and promises not to ever mess with projects again


The beleaguered .NET Foundation has apologised, again, and reversed one of the policies that saw its members revolt.

The Foundation's had a tricky few weeks, after a board member resigned and complained the reasons for doing so were misrepresented. Members have also complained the organisation had made unauthorised changes to projects, and about the decision to move projects to a GitHub account the Foundation controlled without advance notice. Foundation executive director Claire Novotny stepped down as the controversies swirled.

The apology came in a GitHub late Tuesday post from new board member Rob Prouse, who opened by stating "Around a year ago, the .NET Foundation added a large chunk of the member project’s GitHub organizations to the foundation's GitHub Enterprise account."

Project maintainer Rob Mensching said that decision made "my blood run cold" because it amounted to "usurping the project maintainers trust and the trust the maintainers have built with users by managing the project".

Prouse's post apologises for the Foundation's decision to move code to its account.

"This move was a mistake," he wrote. "The board deeply regrets that this happened.

"The .NET Foundation violated the trust of project maintainers because they were under the impression that the dnfadmin user account would only be used in case of emergencies and for the CLA automation system," Prouse added.

With the benefit of hindsight, he stated, "Project maintainers should have been offered the option to join the GitHub Enterprise account, with an explanation of the benefits." The Foundation also erred by not publishing a policy outlining when and why the Foundation would request admin access via GitHub support.

The Foundation has a new policy: "Going forward, the Foundation will not make changes to member projects unless asked to do so."

Projects that have landed in the GitHub Enterprise account can also now request to have their code removed – and the Foundation is actively asking them if they'd like that to happen.

Comments on the post are mostly positive, with one poster suggesting the changes described restore their trust in the Foundation. Others ask for more detail. Another points out that the Foundation still has many other complaints to resolve, as The Register listed earlier this week. ®

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