I had the pleasure of talking with Eric S. Raymond for an hour or so at FOSSCON 2015, and It’ll be a talk that I will remember for a long time. If you dont know who Eric Raymond is, take a moment to read his wikipedia entry.
Eric is one of the leading advocates for Open Source, and he has had his hand in developing software that most of us use on a daily basis. Ever browse the web and look at gif files? Guess who wrote giflib… that’s right Eric Raymond. Do you have an Android phone and have ever used its GPS? Guess who wrote the gpsd (gps daemon)… that’s right Eric Raymond. Eric’s work has not only support but helped create our modern technological way of life. And for those that love Open Source, Eric helped push Open Source into the mainstream.
But his most recent work is one that is of even more importance to everyone, even those that use Windows or Apple. NTP, or Network Time Protocol, is a fundamental component of our information society today. The NSF reached out to Eric and he’s taken up the task of recoding NTP. For more information read the post on his blog post: Yes, NTPsec is real and I am involved.
Eric has been developing code that we all rely on for decades, and I’d like to make a simple request… If you have a few dollars to spare, consider making a small donation on his Patreon page. For a man who has been helping push Open Source, and has given us the ability to get where we need to go and watch animated cat videos on line, surely we as a society can help him out.
To be clear, I’m not asking you to drop support for someone else to donate to Eric! I’m just saying, if you have a few extra bucks on top of what you are already supporting others with, consider becoming a backer. As a believer in the Open Source way, Eric has given away his software for free — the least we as a community can do is give something back.
Talking with Eric was a total pleasure, and I hope that down the road I’ll be talk to him again.