Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4, 1957), often referred to as ESR, is an American software developer, author of the widely cited 1997 essay, and 1999 book The Cathedral and the Bazaar and other works, and open source software advocate. He wrote a guidebook for the Roguelike game NetHack. In the 1990s, he edited and updated the Jargon File, currently in print as the The New Hacker's Dictionary.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA 1957, Raymond lived in Venezuela as a child. His family moved to Pennsylvania, USA in 1971. Raymond said in an interview that his cerebral palsy motivated him to go into computing.
He wrote CML2, a source code configuration system; while originally intended for the Linux operating system, it was rejected by kernel developers. Raymond attributed this rejection to "kernel list politics". Linus Torvalds on the other hand said in a 2007 mailing list post that as a matter of policy, the development team preferred more incremental changes.
In 2000–2002 Raymond wrote a number of HOWTOs still included in the Linux Documentation Project. His personal archive also lists a number of non-technical and very early non-Linux FAQs. His books, The Cathedral and the Bazaar and The Art of Unix Programming, discuss Unix and Linux history and culture, and user tools for programming and other tasks. In 1998 he received and published a Microsoft document expressing worry about the quality of rival open-source software. Eric named this document, together with others subsequently leaked, "the Halloween Documents". Noting that the Jargon File had not been maintained since about 1983, he adopted it in 1990 and currently has a third edition in print. Paul Dourish maintains an archived original version of the Jargon File, because, he says, Raymond's updates "essentially destroyed what held it together."..
Quotes by Eric S Raymond
Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they're much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans especially engineer-humans perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code.
The most obvious common ‘personality’ characteristics of hackers are high intelligence, consuming curiosity, and facility with intellectual abstractions. Also, most hackers are ‘neophiles’, stimulated by and appreciative of novelty especially intellectual novelty. Most are also relatively individualistic and anti-conformist.
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