I'm stepping down as maintainer of auditwheel

For the last three years I've been a regular contributor and core maintainer of auditwheel, a Python Packaging Authority (or "PyPA") tool used to build portable binary/extension wheels on Linux. auditwheel's "show" command allows developers to check if their Python wheel's external symbol dependencies comply with the manylinux policies, and its "repair" command enables developers to more easily build policy-compliant wheels inside an appropriate environment like a manylinux Docker image without having to make significant changes to their build processes.

Most recently, at the last Python Packaging Authority sprints in November 2018, I finished work to support the manylinux2010 platform tag in auditwheel. After extensive testing, this functionality was released in version 2.0 in January of 2019.

But why?

auditwheel is a very technically challenging tool to maintain. It requires deep knowledge of dynamic linking, ELF binaries, and symbol versioning on the Linux platform. While this is very exciting technical work, it's not the sort of project that I can work on sustainably in my free time and off hours. I'm currently the only active auditwheel maintainer, and I don't feel like I can give the project the attention it deserves on an ongoing basis, especially given community interest in updating the manylinux specification and supporting new platform policies.

On the bright side, concluding my work with auditwheel and manylinux will allow me to dedicate more quality time to other FOSS projects I'm excited about! In a personal capacity, I have just started a two year term as an individual member of the Open Source Initiative Board of Directors, and I will continue my work in Debian. In a professional capacity, I recently started a new job at Red Hat and I intend to significantly increase my upstream Kubernetes and OpenShift contributions over the next year.

I'm making this announcement now to avoid surprising anyone at PyCon, and I'd love to spend my time at the conference working on a transition plan. I will be giving an introductory talk about auditwheel and the manylinux toolchain if you're interested in learning more about the space and want to get involved! At PyCon, I hope I will have the opportunity to provide some outgoing input on the future of auditwheel and manylinux, especially after the bumpy rollout of manylinux2010.

So long and thanks for all the fish 🐟