Eric S. Raymond

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ESR, summoning the satyrs of yore. Please note: this photo is not manipulated in any way; he actually plays his flute in the woods.
ESR while coding

Eric S. Raymond, (a.k.a ESR) is the author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the Jargon File, and founder of the Open Source Initiative. More importantly, ESR is an (arguably) high profile hacker who has been accused by GPL zealots of weakening the free software movement, and selling out to Microsoft in order to meet his favorite science fiction writer. It should be quite obvious to everyone that he and Richard Stallman do not get along.

In a sense, ESR is the mirror image of Richard Stallman. They're both prone to being uncompromising bigots who smell horribly. However, rather than being a left-wing hippie like Richard Stallman, ESR is a gun-toting libertarian with terrible personal hygiene, who also supports the invasion of Iraq. He is also a Wiccan. Researchers believe that ESR and Richard Stallman were originally the same entity until God decided to divide their souls. Likely he is not afraid of anything because he has a shit-ton of guns at his ready. [No,srs]. He at any one time is carrying his own weight in ammunition. That will make most NERD RAGE disperse in a hurry, because all angry nerds wet themselves at the thought of anything drawing blood without their mom there to help them.

ESR's current quest is to convince everyone that the GPL is not obsolete. Many detect that he is merely trolling in an attempt to stay relevant. He is also a major crypto freak, and will give his public key to anyone wants it, or don't want it. Don't matter to ESR. Fo a bro he will give his private key. Cool.

In the 1980s, before the Internet, he ran Starlight music and was the manager of a group called The Misfits (who did not feature Glenn Danzig).

In the five-minute interval between when VA Linux went public and when its share price dropped to zero, Eric Raymond penned Surprised by Wealth, in which he assured his geek no-longer-brethren that (a) being richer than Bill Gates wouldn't change him, and (b) if they were so gauche as to ask him for money, he would never speak to them again. Needless to say, the article was soon a moot point, but that didn't stop it from being mercilessly trolled. Presently, ESR doesn't have a real job but rather mooches of off his wife.

In 1999, Debian developer Bruce Perens published an "email threat" that he allegedly received from Raymond. Raymond then "clarified" that he only meant to defame Perens. From this we can assume that he is batshit insane and will fucking kill and or write to anyone that says anything about him or his software. If you are lucky you might get an O'Rielly book about you.

Some argue that ESR isn't that great a hacker and isn't fit to shine Richard Stallman's shoes. This is easily refuted by the list of tremendously useful free software projects each of them has started:

Richard Stallman Eric Raymond
GNU debugger
GNU make
fetchmail he didn't actually start that one
wumpus - exact clone of the classic Hunt The Wumpus game


The man on the left can teach you how to be sexy

The exact cause of ESR's unnatural degree of ugliness has yet to be determined by scientists; however, many have speculated that ESR suffers from Downs Syndrome, which is absolute bull, considering that ESR has the power of speech and is one of the world's top h4x0rs. Other scientists (mostly astronomers) believe that his ugliness is the result of being beaten to near-death as a small child by local bullies for being such a massive nerd. As of 2009, this theory is still unconfirmed.

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