Who are the Open Source All-Stars?

by David Lane

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.