Eric Raymond

Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4, 1957), often referred to as ESR, is a computer programmer, author and open source software advocate. His reputation within the hacker culture was established when he became the maintainer of the "Jargon File". After the 1997 publication of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", Raymond became, for a number of years, a high-profile representative of the open source movement.


Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1957, Raymond lived on three continents before settling in Pennsylvania in 1971.[1] Raymond's mild form of congenital cerebral palsy motivated him to pursue a future in computing;[2] his involvement with hacker culture began in 1976, and he contributed to his first free software project in the late 1980s. His primary contributions to open source software have been maintaining the fetchmail email client for a certain time, and gpsd. Other contributions have included Emacs editing modes and portions of libraries like GNU ncurses, giflib/libungif, and libpng. He also wrote CML2, a source code configuration system; while originally intended for the Linux kernel, it was rejected by kernel developers.[3] Raymond attributed this rejection to "kernel list politics".[4]

Raymond initially became known by hackers for his adoption of the Jargon File. Some of the changes made under his watch have been controversial; early critics accused Raymond of unfairly changing the file's focus to the Unix hacker culture instead of the older hacker cultures where the Jargon File originated. Raymond has responded by saying that the nature of hacking had changed and the Jargon File should report on hacker culture, and not attempt to enshrine it.[5] More recently, Raymond has been accused of adding terms to the Jargon File that appear to have been used primarily by himself, and of altering the file to reflect his own political views.[6]

Raymond is the author of a number of How-to documents and FAQs, many of which are included in the Linux Documentation Project corpus.[7] Raymond's 2003 book The Art of Unix Programming covers Unix history and culture, and modern user tools available for programming and accomplishing tasks in Unix.

Open source

Raymond coined the aphorism "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." He credits Linus Torvalds with the inspiration for this quotation, which he dubs "Linus's law". The quotation appears in The Cathedral and the Bazaar, published in 1997.[8] Raymond became a prominent voice in the open source movement and co-founded the Open Source Initiative in 1998. He also took on the self-appointed role of ambassador of open source to the press, business and public. The release of the Mozilla (then Netscape) source code in 1998 was an early accomplishment. He has agreed to lecture at Microsoft,[9] has accepted stock options from VA Software to provide credibility to the company and act as a hired "corporate conscience"[10] and has spoken in more than fifteen countries on six continents.

In his open source advocacy, Raymond refused to speculate on whether the "bazaar" development model could be applied to works such as books and music, not wanting to "weaken the winning argument for open-sourcing software by tying it to a potential loser".[11] Later, he said that it could not work for an encyclopedia;[12] he was particularly critical of Wikipedia, calling it a "disaster",[13] and raising concerns about the factual accuracy and neutrality of its article about him.<ref name="newyorker2006" />

Raymond has had a number of public disputes with other figures in the free software movement. He has rejected what he describes as the "very seductive" moral and ethical rhetoric of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, asserting that this is "not because his principles are wrong, but because that kind of language ... simply does not persuade anybody."[14]

Raymond addressed some of his critics from the software development community in his 1999 essay "Take My Job, Please!",[15] stating that he was willing to "back to the hilt" anyone qualified and willing to take his job and present the case for open source to the world. In February 2005, Raymond stepped down as the president of the Open Source Initiative.

Interests and politics

Other than his computing interests, Raymond is known to have strong interests in science fiction and firearms, is an enthusiastic amateur musician, and has a black belt in "Moo Do, an eclectic martial art based on Tae Kwon Do".[16] He is an advocate of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.[17] Raymond identifies himself religiously as a neopagan,[18] and is an initiate witch and coven leader.[19]

Raymond is a prolific writer of political and technical opinion pieces through his website and blog. Raymond is an avowed anarcho-capitalist and a supporter of the Libertarian Party. However, he supported the War on Iraq, and criticized the Libertarian party for perceived isolationism in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks;[20] he said that the Western world should embark on an "imperialist" military campaign to "civilize" the Muslim world. He acknowledged that some might call this plan "deliberate cultural genocide."[21]

Other controversial opinions he has proffered include that African-Americans are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of crimes because they have lower IQs,[22], and that "pederasty has never been a marked or unusual behavior among homosexuals, and even advocates of outright pedophilia are not shunned in the homosexual-activist community".[23]


  • The New Hacker's Dictionary (editor) (MIT Press, paperback ISBN 0-262-68092-0, cloth ISBN 0-262-18178-9) — printed version of the Jargon file
  • The Cathedral and the Bazaar (O'Reilly; hardcover ISBN 1-56592-724-9, October 1999; paperback ISBN 0-596-00108-8, January 2001) — includes "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", "Homesteading the Noosphere", "The Magic Cauldron" and "Revenge of the Hackers"
  • The Art of Unix Programming (Addison-Wesley, October 2003; paperback ISBN 0-13-142901-9)

See also


1. ^ Interview with Eric Raymond. Retrieved on 2007-03-14.
2. ^ Let my software go!,
3. ^ CML2, ESR, & The LKML. KernelTrap (2002-02-17).
4. ^ McMillan, Rob. Interview: Eric Raymond goes back to basics. IBM developerWorks.
5. ^ Raymond, Eric. Updating JARGON.TXT Is Not Bogus: An Apologia. Retrieved on 2007-01-26.
6. ^ Need To Know 2003-06-06. Retrieved on 2007-01-25.
7. ^ Eric Raymond's FAQ collection. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
8. ^ Raymond, Eric S. Release Early, Release Often. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
9. ^ Open Source Advocate Invited To Microsoft
10. ^ Eric S. Raymond -- Surprised By Wealth, ESR hard times
11. ^ Raymond, Eric S. (2000). Afterword: Beyond Software?. Retrieved on 2007-07-24.
12. ^ Wikipedia stand-off in search for online truth. Retrieved on 2007-1-11.
13. ^ Schiff, Stacy (2006-07-24). KNOW IT ALL: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?". Retrieved on 2007-16-01.
14. ^ Shut up and the Show Them The Code. Linux Today (1999-07-28).
15. ^ Take my job, please., Eric Raymond.
16. ^ Eric Steven Raymond's Curriculum Vitae.
17. ^ Ethics from the Barrel of a Gun.
18. ^ Raymond, Eric S (1995-07-25). Dancing With The Gods. Eric's Home Page. Individual. Retrieved on September 14, 2005.
19. ^ The Neopaganism FAQ
20. ^ Post-postmodern politics. Armed and Dangerous (2002-11-06). Retrieved on 2007-07-24. “And, unfortunately, the Libertarian Party has courted self-destruction by choosing to respond to 9/11 with an isolationism every bit as vapid and mindless as the left's "No War for Oil!" chanting.
21. ^ Eric Raymond's blog
22. ^ What good is IQ?. Armed and Dangerous (2003-11-17). Retrieved on 2007-07-24. “In the U.S., blacks are 12% of the population but commit 50% of violent crimes; can anyone honestly think this is unconnected to the fact that they average 15 points of IQ lower than the general population? That stupid people are more violent is a fact independent of skin color.
23. ^ The Elephant in the Bath-House. Armed and Dangerous (2002-06-16). Retrieved on 2007-07-24.

External links

NAMERaymond, Eric Steven
SHORT DESCRIPTIONcomputer programmer, author and advocate for the open source movement
DATE OF BIRTHDecember 4 1957
PLACE OF BIRTHBoston, Massachusetts
Jem is an American animated television series that ran from 1985 to 1988 in U.S. first-run syndication. The cartoon is about a singer named Jem, her band, the Holograms, and their adventures.
..... Click the link for more information.
"December 4th" redirects here. For the song by Jay-Z, see December 4th (song).
December 4 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.
..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1920s  1930s  1940s  - 1950s -  1960s  1970s  1980s
1954 1955 1956 - 1957 - 1958 1959 1960

Year 1957 (MCMLVII
..... Click the link for more information.
programmer or software developer is someone who programs computers, that is, one who writes computer software. The term computer programmer can refer to a specialist in one area of computer programming or to a generalist who writes code for many kinds of software.
..... Click the link for more information.
Open source software is computer software which source code is available under a license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that meets the Open source definition. This permits users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified
..... Click the link for more information.
hacker is a person who follows a spirit of playful cleverness and enjoys programming. The context of academic hackers forms a voluntary subculture termed the academic hacking culture.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Jargon File is a glossary of hacker slang. The original Jargon File was a collection of hacker slang from technical cultures including the MIT AI Lab, the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL), and others of the old ARPANET AI/LISP/PDP-10 communities including Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN),
..... Click the link for more information.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Cover of the paperback compendium edition
Author Eric S. Raymond
Publisher O'Reilly Media
Publication date 1999
ISBN ISBN 1-56592-724-9
Followed by Homesteading the Noosphere

..... Click the link for more information.
Boston, Massachusetts

Nickname: Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe), The Cradle of Liberty, City on the Hill, Athens of America
Location in Suffolk County in Massachusetts, USA
..... Click the link for more information.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Flag of Pennsylvania Seal
Nickname(s): Keystone State, Quaker State,
Coal State, Oil State

Motto(s): Virtue, Liberty and Independence

Capital Harrisburg
Largest city
..... Click the link for more information.
MeSH D002547

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive,[1] non-contagious diseases that cause physical disability in human development.

The incidence in developed countries is approximately 2.12–2.
..... Click the link for more information.
Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things.
..... Click the link for more information.
fetchmail is an open-source software utility for POSIX-compliant operating systems which is used to retrieve e-mail from a remote POP3, IMAP, ETRN or ODMR mail server to the user's local system. It was developed from the popclient program, written by Carl Harris.
..... Click the link for more information.
gpsd is a daemon that receives data from a GPS receiver, and provides the data back to multiple applications such as Kismet. It is commonly used on Linux systems. Originally written by Remco Treffkorn with Derrick Brashear, then maintained by Russell Nelson [1] , and now
..... Click the link for more information.
Maintainer: GNU Project

OS: Cross-platform
Available language(s): English only
Use: Text editor
License: GNU General Public License
Website: www.gnu.
..... Click the link for more information.
ncurses is a programming library providing an API, allowing the programmer to write text user interfaces in a terminal-independent manner. It also optimizes screen changes, in order to reduce the latency experienced when using remote shells.
..... Click the link for more information.
libpng is the official PNG reference library (originally called pnglib). It is a platform-independent library that contains C functions for handling PNG images. It is developed by Guy Eric Schalnat, Andreas Dilger, Glenn Randers-Pehrson and others. libpng is dependent on zlib.
..... Click the link for more information.
Configuration Menu Language is used, before compilation of a Linux kernel, to configure the set of values that will determine the composition and exact functionality of the kernel.
..... Click the link for more information.
Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. It is the namesake of the Linux family of operating systems. Released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and developed by contributors worldwide, Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source
..... Click the link for more information.
The Jargon File is a glossary of hacker slang. The original Jargon File was a collection of hacker slang from technical cultures including the MIT AI Lab, the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL), and others of the old ARPANET AI/LISP/PDP-10 communities including Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN),
..... Click the link for more information.
how-to or a howto is an informal, often short, description of how to accomplish some specific task. A how-to is generally meant to help non-experts, may leave out details that are only important to experts, and may also be greatly simplified from an overall discussion of the
..... Click the link for more information.
FAQ is an initialism for "Frequently Asked Question(s)". The term refers to listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Linux Documentation Project (TLDP) is an all-volunteer project that maintains a large collection of Linux (and Linux-related) documentation and publishes the collection online.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Art of Unix Programming by Eric Raymond is a book about the history and culture of Unix programming from its earliest days in 1969 to now, covering both genetic derivations such as BSD and conceptual ones such as Linux.
..... Click the link for more information.
An aphorism (literally distinction or definition, from Greek αφοριζειν "to define") expresses a general truth in a pithy sentence.
..... Click the link for more information.
A software bug (or just "bug") is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from behaving as intended (e.g., producing an incorrect result).
..... Click the link for more information.
Linus Benedict Torvalds   (born December 28 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel.
..... Click the link for more information.
Linus's Law can refer to three notions, all named after Linus Torvalds.

Linus's Law according to Eric S. Raymond

Linus's Law according to Eric S. Raymond states that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow".
..... Click the link for more information.
The B>Open Source Initiative is an organization dedicated to promoting open-source software.

The organization was founded in February 1998 by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond when Netscape Communications Corporation, published the source code for its flagship Netscape
..... Click the link for more information.
Open source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the design and production of goods and knowledge. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property
..... Click the link for more information.

This article is copied from an article on - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.