"That's enough time to build a Cathedral, never mind a patch"
Not if you're in Barcelona mate.
Software luminary Eric Raymond has written an update to his Pilot computer aided instruction language … 20 years since he last bothered looking at it. What was Pilot? According to Wikipedia, it was a precursor to LOGO: a computer-aided instruction program (its full name was Programmed Instruction, Learning, or Teaching). Even …
The Duomo was started in the XIV century, and was "finished" in the XIX century, with the completion of the facade, but, actually, some stained glass windows and statues are still being added. Also, the Duomo was built almost in the same place of the old cathedral, thereby the latter had to be demolished while the former was built, but because the need of not stopping wholly the services, or move them elsewhere, it was done step-by-step, leading to some strange "intermediate" configurations...
In the XX century, anyway, a lot of restoration work became necessary, which still continues.
Anyway, many medioeval cathedrals took centuries to be completed, because of the sheer size of the projects, the costs, the events that stopped the construction for a while.
Apart from writing "The Cathedral and The Bazaar", he has two claims to fame that I'm aware of:
- he wrote fetchmail, which lets you retrieve mail from an external server. This is a useful tool if you run a local mailserver but don't want to punch holes in your firewall to let it receive mail. Unfortunately, fetchmail has long-standing, wont-fix bugs. As a result many/most of its users, including myself, have switched to getmail, which does the same job but without the bugs.
- he designed, built and flies the Sunseeker series of solar-powered, self-launching aircraft.
He's also a notorius gun-nut and sent this to Bruce Perens
Damn straight I took it personally. And if you ever again behave like that kind of disruptive asshole in public, insult me, and jeopardize the interests of our entire tribe, I'll take it just as personally -- and I will find a way to make you regret it. Watch your step.
Quite the charmer.
> He's also a notorius gun-nut and sent this to Bruce Perens
Ideologically, both in software development and on social and political issues, he and I are about as far apart as one could be, yet that was never a problem and I can unreservedly say that it was a pleasure to cooperate with him in certain projects years ago.
"From the late 1990s onward, due in part to the popularity of his essay, Raymond became a prominent voice in the open source movement." Hence, luminary. Maybe that was before your time.
He has writen dozens of essays/books, including "The Art of UNIX Programming", "Homesteading the Nooshpere", and that short UNIX newbie gem, "The Loginataka" (http://catb.org/esr/faqs/loginataka.html).
Visit http://www.catb.org/~esr/ to go to the source.
"And if you're aware of a longer software refresh cycle, you know where we are."
WebChange: Around eight years from deciding it needed to be rewritten until actually releasing a beta in 2010. Technically, though, I was working on it on and off/now and then throughout those eight years. Ahem. And I still need to write a manual. (I did make a start... a few years ago!)
Trellis: I think the last release version was mid-1990s, and I updated it in 2007 when I wrote a new, quick and simple game with it - so about 12/13 years. The game (Quicksand) is available, but not the updated Trellis per se.
So, yeeeaaaah. I'm terrible for finding round tuits to update old (or even current) software - but I've never taken quite that long.
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