The Debian Project today is mourning the loss of legendary Linux developer Ray Dassen. Ray Dassen served the Linux community and Debian at large for nearly all of Debian’s life, having joined the project in the very beginning working hand-in-hand while the project’s founder, Ian Murdock.
I an addition to being quite possibly the oldest Debian developer, he was also an occasional contributor to Wikipedia. In addition, Dassen has frequently given talks regarding free and open source software and has been published in many texts and journals since 1999.
Ray had this to say about software patents, non-free software, propaganda, and himself.
I think software patents are evil and try to educate people about them, e.g. by pointing them to the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, the League for Programming Freedom, and freepatents.
I advocate free speech. Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign!
I think cryptography is useful as a means of protecting privacy and providing authentication when needed.
Debian had this to say about Ray and his extraordinary contributions:
Ray was a Debian Developer for an incredible 19 years. He joined the project in 1994, and continued to be an active contributor until recently. He was involved in Debian as a maintainer of several packages, particularly Gnumeric, and was a driving force behind the creation of the Debian Gnome team.
The Debian Project honours Ray’s great work and his strong dedication to Debian and Free Software. His technical knowledge and his ability to share that knowledge with others will be missed. His contributions will not be forgotten, and the high standards of his work will continue to serve as an inspiration to others.
As of this time, the cause of Ray Dassen’s death is unknown. All of us at the Powerbase would like to lend our gravest condolences to Dassen’s friends and family, and the community that he has left behind.