I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Debian project founder Ian Murdock at the age of 42, per the blog post on Bits from Debian (bits.debian.org).
Without Ian’s work, neither Debian nor its many offshoots, including Ubuntu and Linux Router Project (discontinued), would have existed, and the landscape of the free software community would be radically different. I have used all three of the aforementioned projects and a few others based on Debian as well. I speak from experience when I say Ian’s contributions are some of the most far-reaching and helped set the pace and the tone for the free software community as a whole.
I appreciate Ian’s contributions to the free software community, in not only the technical sense, but the ethical and moral senses as well. The Bits from Debian post refers to the project’s stances on release engineering and software freedom as “the gold standards” in the community, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ian leaves a substantial legacy to the free software community, and this despite the fact he has left us way too soon.
Rest in peace, Ian. You will be sorely missed.