Who are the Open Source All-Stars?

As I watched the opening of last night’s All-Star Game, I could not help but think of an article I read several days before where the inventor of DNS, a man named Paul Mockapetris, was telling us how serious we should be taking the DNS security issue that had been announced.

Paul who? Well, that was my response. Sure, I knew someone or a group of someones had invented DNS, but I had never heard of Paul Mockapetris before. And sitting watching last night’s All- Stars, I was struck by how many of them I had never heard of either, many of them the current players. Sure, I could tell you why Cal Ripken was standing there but I had never heard of Luis Aparicio.

Similarly, I know who Paul Vixie (BIND) is, but I had never heard of Mark Fedor (SNMP) until I worked for him. Larry Wall (Perl and others) is almost a household name, but how about Eric Allman (sendmail)?

So it got me thinking. Who are some of the All-Stars of the Open Source world? Who are the real giants? I do not think that anyone would argue about including Linus Torvalds, but what about our friend Paul Mockapetris, or is his involvement overshadowed, as one commentator said, by the efforts of Paul Vixie, who actually implemented the solution. Does Vint Cerf belong on the list? DARPA? Dennis Ritchie? Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto?

Let me know your thoughts and I will compile the list and then we can turn it loose to the voters. Who are the All-Stars of Open Source? Both yesterday and today.

______________________

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

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what about. . . .

proponent's picture

wow, this list is ridiculously short. It needs to include not only the great programmers but also the greatest friends of open source (and not just gpl)

- i'll agree with everyones choice of stallman. there from the start.
- how about zimmerman (PGP)? the first man to take on the U.S. and win
- his (zimmerman's) attorney (and gpl3 author) eben moglen
- tridge (also mentioned) is a wildly obvious choice
- linus - he totally belongs. if you include the gpl (esp v2) as part of open source you have to count linus. He is one of the strongest supporters of the value of open source and gplv2
- de Icaza his work on 'MS' technologies has been invaluable to the open source community
- de Raadt. Very coarse personality and views, but a staunch support of open source
- andrew morton
- alan cox
- jeremy allison
- terpstra
- ibm

Mark Fedor

stephen white's picture

You work for the SNMP guy? Tell him I have a foot that wants to be put in his arse, and that it belongs to the leg of a large scale admin.

On the other hand, the stuff that he must have been smoking would be truly off this planet, so I wouldn't want to harsh his buzz, man.

Worked

David Lane's picture

Past tense, and SNMP is now in version 3 and he hasn't had his hand on it since v1. And interesting guy.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

All-Stars?

JonathanH's picture

I'd second Torvalds, Matz, and Cerf...and would add John "Maddog" Hall, Guido Van Rossum, Mark Shuttleworth, Ian whassisname from Debian, Bob Young.

my honorable mentions would include Woz, Randall Schwartz, Bill Joy, Stallman (even tho' he'd hate to be on this list).

my three cents and 12 names.

Bill Joy too may hate to be on this List

anoop's picture

Bill Joy too might hate to be on this list. Below is a small piece of an interesting quote from an article I read from salon.com.

Intriguingly, Joy doesn't subscribe to the fundamental credo of the Linux movement -- the belief that the strength of open-source software is its ability to tap the energy and enthusiasm of a vast network of volunteer programmers. Linux is built on an egalitarian ethic: Perhaps not every programmer will write great code, but together, all those eyeballs and all those keyboard-pounding fingers will incrementally make their way toward greatness.

But Joy doesn't believe that having more programmers equals better code.

"Most people are bad programmers," says Joy. "The honest truth is that having a lot of people staring at the code does not find the really nasty bugs. The really nasty bugs are found by a couple of really smart people who just kill themselves. Most people looking at the code won't see anything ... You can't have thousands of people contributing and achieve a high standard."

The full chapter of the article can be read from the link below.
http://archive.salon.com/tech/fsp/2000/05/16/chapter_2_part_one/index2.html

All good

David Lane's picture

Certainly all those names occurred to me as well. Randall was my introduction to Perl (as he was for most people) as well as what not to do when doing security audits. I would include in that vein Garfinkle and Spafford - visionaries both.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

Parochial Australian

Ritch's picture

I call for Andrew Tridgell to make the list if not because he's an Aussie then for his great marketing plan.

Before the days of GNU licenses, businesses insisting on paying for samba could contact pizza joints in his home town.

Where would we be with out him?

David Lane's picture

Certainly Andrew has earned consideration. Samba is a major addition to the fold.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

Of course you should include

Anonymous's picture

Of course you should include Stallman in the very first place!!! GNU/Linux wouldn't even exist as an idea if it wasn't for him. Torvalds... oh well, he is a hell of a good programmer, but not an OpenSource fighter at all... I'd include him in Programming All Stars, not in Free Software All Stars ;)

Who said anything about Free

theillien's picture

Who said anything about Free Software All-Stars? The article is about Open Source All-Stars.

I would argue that Marc Andreesen belongs in the group. While Mosaic itself wasn't open source it led to Mozilla and ultimately Firefox.

Also a good point

David Lane's picture

I certainly did not. And I would agree that Marc is a worthy candidate.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

Of course!

David Lane's picture

Now how could I forget Richard Stallman. I had his quote on my door for years..."Free as in Free Speech, not free beer."

I agree that Linus is a controversial figure. Much like Pete Rose. Your mileage will vary. (Let's not have a Pete Rose fight here - but if you want to discuss Linus's value, go for it.)

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

Te guy who started it all,

Anonymous's picture

Te guy who started it all, and found the money to fund it. Virtually all of the projects that led to the development of personal computing and the internet were his projects:

"Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (March 11, 1915 – June 26, 1990), known simply as J.C.R. or "Lick" was an American computer scientist, considered one of the most important figures in computer science and general computing history."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.C.R._Licklider

News to me

David Lane's picture

Sounds like someone to consider then. I have never heard of him, but then, that does not make his contributions any less valid.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

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