Eric S. Raymond

Eric S.

American Computer Programmer, Author, Open Software Advocate, Author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." present maintainer of the "Jargon File" (aka "The New Hacker's Dictionary")

Author Quotes

In the U.S., blacks are 12% of the population but commit 50% of violent crimes; can anyone honestly think this is unconnected to the fact that they average 15 points of IQ lower than the general population? That stupid people are more violent is a fact independent of skin color.

We're weighed down by a crappy implementation language (C++).

Linux evolved in a completely different way. From nearly the beginning, it was rather casually hacked on by huge numbers of volunteers coordinating only through the Internet.

Why the hell hasn't wxPython become the standard GUI for Python yet?

A clash of civilizations driven by the failure of Islamic/Arab culture (though I would stress the problem of the Islamic commandment to jihad more than he does). I think he [Steven den Beste] is also right to say that our long-term objective must be to break, crush and eventually destroy this culture, because we can't live on the same planet with people who both carry those memes and have access to weapons of mass destruction. They will hate us and seek to destroy us not for what we've done but for what we are.

Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp itself a lot.

A critical factor in its success was that the X developers were willing to give the sources away for free in accordance with the hacker ethic, and able to distribute them over the Internet.

Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong.

And for any agents or proxy of the regime interested in asking me questions face to face, IÂ’ve got some bullets slathered in pork fat to make you feel extra special welcome.[2]

One may call their motivation 'altruistic,' but this ignores the fact that altruism is itself a form of ego satisfaction for the altruist.

Anybody who has ever owned a dog who barked when strangers came near its owner's property has experienced the essential continuity between animal territoriality and human property. Our domesticated cousins of the wolf are instinctively smarter about this than a good many human political theorists.

Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.

Being able to break security doesn't make you a hacker anymore than being able to hotwire cars makes you an automotive engineer

Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around.

Berkeley hackers liked to see themselves as rebels against soulless corporate empires.

The ARPAnet was the first transcontinental, high-speed computer network.

Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter.

The beginnings of the hacker culture as we know it today can be conveniently dated to 1961, the year MIT acquired the first PDP-1.

For the first time, individual hackers could afford to have home machines comparable in power and storage capacity to the minicomputers of ten years earlier - Unix engines capable of supporting a full development environment and talking to the Internet.

The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.

Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.

The workstation-class machines built by Sun and others opened up new worlds for hackers.

Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

Thompson and Ritchie were among the first to realize that hardware and compiler technology had become good enough that an entire operating system could be written in C, and by 1978 the whole environment had been successfully ported to several machines of different types.

If Unix could present the same face, the same capabilities, on machines of many different types, it could serve as a common software environment for all of them.

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American Computer Programmer, Author, Open Software Advocate, Author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." present maintainer of the "Jargon File" (aka "The New Hacker's Dictionary")