Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why did Frans Pop choose Debian Day for suicide?

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Mar 23, 2024

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock.

Here we publish a picture of Frans Pop and selected emails about his Debian Day resignation with the intent of committing suicide.

We publish these things because we care about the health and safety of all volunteers exposed to Debian/cyberbullying.

To receive updates about these issues please subscribe to the Debian.News independent RSS feed.

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Please also read the pressure from Ubuntu immediately before the suicide and the extensive commentary about the tragedy in these blog reports from a former community representative.

Frans Pop, Debian Day, volunteer, suicide

Frans earlier resignation citing grievances with the way Debian treats volunteers

Subject: [Very long] Post-partem rant and retrospective
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 03:56:11 +0200
From: Frans Pop <>

I've decided to write this in a separate mail because I'm afraid this may get long. Quite a bit of this has been written before, but I hope some of you will bear with me.
So, what has made me decide to leave the project. It's a combination of just plain emotional stress over the whole Sven Luther issue, frustration with the inability of the project to deal with that and with some other issues, and frustration with the fact that a fair number of members of the project seem to feel that as long as you don't upload packages with trojans, pretty much anything is OK.

Frans doesn't want to be Ubuntu's slave

Marc Haber objects to being an Ubuntu slave. That point appears to resonate with Frans Pop.

Original link

Subject: Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes
From: Frans Pop <>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 09:28:43 +0200

On Thursday 30 July 2009, Marc Haber wrote: > I don't think that we shouldn't time our releases according to what > Mark Shuttleworth says. We are not Ubuntu's slave even if they try > hard to make it look like that. > > Our 18-to-24-month release cycle was a nice vehicle to stay > asynchronous with Ubuntu, which _I_ consider a desireable feature to > prevent Debian from perishing. We are not only major supplier to > Ubuntu, we have our end customers ourselves. I'd prefer that it stayed > that way.

Frans expresses more concern about Debian censorship

Subject: Re: resignation, effective after debconf
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 18:57:25 +0200
From: Frans Pop <>

On Monday 12 July 2010, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote: > /me, sometimes dreaming of a moderated -private ... > ... with /dev/null as moderator!
So you'd prefer inter-developer issues to not be discussed at all?
I find this an extremely inappropriate comment for a DPL.

Frans says goodbye the night before Debian Day

Subject: Resignation
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 21:41:18 +0200
From: Frans Pop <>

It's time to say goodbye. I don't want to say too much about it, except that I've been planning this for a long time.
Participating in Debian has been great.
For personal reasons I will be revoking my GPG key. However, it is not compromised and the validity of this mail can still be verified using my public key from current keyring packages.
My resignation means that the following three packages will need a new maintainer: - debtree - debmirror - qcontrol (tbm?)
It also means the following tasks will need a successor: - editor and release manager for the Installation Guide - daily D-I builds for s390 - Dutch translator for website and various debconf/program translations
All mails I ever sent to d-private (and mails quoting them) shall remain private.
So long, FJP

Debian publishes a birthday card (16 August 2010)

Debian Day, birthday card, suicide, Frans Pop, volunteer, 2010

Frans' parents tell us that his main concern was Debian

Subject: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 11:47:34 +0100
From: Steve McIntyre <>

Hi all,
I have bad news to share with people, I'm afraid. This morning, I've just received an email from the parents of Frans Pop telling me that he died yesterday.
"Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life, in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him well."
I promised them that I would pass on the news, so here it is. Frans worked hard in Debian for a number of years, and I know that all of those people who worked with him will feel a great loss today. We've lost a good colleague and good friend. I, for one, will miss him greatly.
-- Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK. You raise the blade, you make the change... You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane...

Colin Watson from Ubuntu / Canonical tries to downplay the Debian connection

This is despite the fact Frans resigned the night before Debian Day.

Subject: Re: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 13:39:21 +0100
From: Colin Watson <>

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 01:52:33PM +0200, Ludovic Brenta wrote: > Steve McIntyre <> writes: > > "Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life, > > in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the > > last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to > > ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him > > well." > > Does that imply he took his own life *because* of Debian, which was "his > main concern"?
This is probably the wrong thread for linguistics, but that phrase would normally just indicate that Debian was his main interest. In under "noun", this would be sense 2 rather than sense 1.
-- Colin Watson []

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