Unfortunately, a few days ago, Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution project, has died at the age of forty-two. I have waited for news, but it doesn’t matter anymore since he’s dead already.
Murdock was born in Germany on 28 April 1973. He wrote the Debian Manifesto when he was studying at Purdue University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1996. He named Debian after his then-girlfriend Debra Lynn, and himself (Deb and Ian). They married and then divorced.
In January 2006, Murdock was appointed Chief Technology Officer of the Free Standards Group and elected chair of the Linux Standard Base workgroup.
Murdock left the Linux Foundation to join Sun Microsystems in March 2007 to lead Project Indiana. From March 2007 to February 2010, he was Vice President of Emerging Platforms at Sun, until the company merged with Oracle and he resigned.
From 2011 until 2015 Murdock was Vice President of Platform and Developer Community at Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
From November 2015 until his death Murdock was working for Docker, Inc.
On short, the news are as follows: “Debian Linux developer and open source pioneer Ian Murdock was found dead in his Pacific Heights apartment Monday after tweeting about a violent encounter with San Francisco police days earlier.” – (http://sfbay.ca/2015/12/31/police-confirm-ian-murdock-arrest-before-suicide/)
Twitter closed his account after he tweeted about suicide. I have seen a screenshot, but it is also said that maybe his account was compromised (I don’t like at all the word “hacked” in this circumstances).
Debian Linux is a brand-new kind of Linux distribution. Rather than being developed by one isolated individual or group, as other distributions of Linux have been developed in the past, Debian is being developed openly in the spirit of Linux and GNU. The primary purpose of the Debian project is to finally create a distribution that lives up to the Linux name. Debian is being carefully and conscientiously put together and will be maintained and supported with similar care.
It is also an attempt to create a non-commercial distribution that will be able to effectively compete in the commercial market. It will eventually be distributed by The Free Software Foundation on CD-ROM, and The Debian Linux Association will offer the distribution on floppy disk and tape along with printed manuals, technical support and other end-user essentials. All of the above will be available at little more than cost, and the excess will be put toward further development of free software for all users. Such distribution is essential to the success of the Linux operating system in the commercial market, and it must be done by organizations in a position to successfully advance and advocate free software without the pressure of profits or returns.
— from Debian Manifesto, written by Ian Murdock in 1994
Down here you have him still alive.
His family has requested that well-wishers and press respect their privacy. The circumstances of Murdock’s death have not been made public yet.
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