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Published on Oct 12, 2015
What Part of "... for Life" Don't You Understand? by Jacob Kaplan-Moss
When we released Django, we took our structure from the Python community, appointing Adrian Holovaty and me as "Benevolent Dictators for Life". Turns out, "... for life" is a pretty long time — who knew — and this role turned out not to be sustainable.
About a year and a half ago we resigned, and Django transitioned to a completely community-run project.
This is a story about this journey: how I became a BDFL, what worked and didn't about that, how I burnt out and "retired" — and what I've been doing in open source since.
In 2005 Jacob Kaplan-Moss joined the "Lawrence Journal-World", a locally owned newspaper in Lawrence, KS, and helped develop and eventually open source Django. He later founded the Django Software Foundation and served as its president for several terms. Today, Jacob is the director of security at Heroku.