Like many others, throughout my life, in my professional career, when creating this site, or exploring ideas and building somewhat crazy projects, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to stand on the shoulders of giants — others, that came before me, and created incredible pieces of technology, sharing them freely, one way or another. Knowing where to stand, and which giants to choose from the countless existing ones, is, more and more, a skill by itself, and I won’t delve into that now. One thing I’m positive about, though, is that regardless of the giants we pick, I clearly feel there is a very large “thank you deficit” going around in today’s somewhat crazy and fast-paced world.
These first short, but nonetheless important, words are here to explicitly thank some of the giants I elected.
I should probably start with Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Tim Berners-Lee, Rob Pike, among many others, for a lot of things we take for granted today, like C, UNIX, IP and TCP, the internet, the web, or UTF-8, to name a few.
Then, rooted in, and role-modeling the modern open source world, the unavoidable Linux kernel — created by Linus Torvalds in the early nineties, with countless individual, institutional and commercial contributions since then — that, combined with ingredients from the GNU Project — lead by Richard Stallman since the early eighties — have resulted in a freely available, highly scalable, instructive and widely usable operating system: as a product, in and of itself, and as a building block for much more complex systems.
The Debian Project and Red Hat are also worth mentioning, for putting out really solid Linux Distributions for so many years; then again, even if more of a newcomer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation for the highly educational, accessible and inspiring Raspberry Pi and Raspbian.
Python and its creator, Guido van Rossum, could not go unnoticed here, as well as the Python Software Foundation and key, but often neglected, projects like the Python Packaging Authority. Then, at least Twisted and cryptography — Python packages I build upon very often — deserve highlight for the high quality products they ship, and, likewise, Pelican and Alchemy — the tools I use to create this web site.
Wrapping it up, in no particular order, here is a list of very relevant tools and products I use or have used a lot in the past, which I won’t let go unnoticed: the Xen Project and its hypervisor, the Apache Software Foundation and its widely used HTTP server, PostgreSQL for an incredibly powerful non-exclusively relational DBMS, OpenSSL for its cryptography toolkit, Redmine for its yet to be beaten project management software product, and Drupal as a powerful if somewhat complex CMS.
Lastly, the non-forgotten but so very often more under my fingers than in my head, Vim and git. Vim is the text editor I learned to love, following the lead of vi, the de-facto UNIX editor, by Bill Joy; git is the popular distributed version control system by Linus Torvalds.
Thank you very much to all: people, projects and organizations, authors and creators, maintainers, sponsors and the infinite amount of volunteering contributors. You are the best!
These words of thanks are written in an honest and respectful tone, with no intent whatsoever of inciting or kicking-off discussions and fights over which People, Projects or Organizations are “better” or “best” for any hypothetical purpose.
I have decided to explicitly thank my selection — yes, assuming the risk of forgetting a few — hoping to inspire others in doing the same, trying to promote awareness, kindness and respect for others and the work they have shared.