"It is not especially easy to write just now. I'm
writing this Tuesday night. About 50 miles from here, in an
enormous pile of rubble, there are people, alive, who have no idea
what happened. They are in some cases pinned, buried alive, in the
dark, dust and smoke in what little air there is to breathe,
enduring pain and fear I do not know and do not know I could myself
Near them are thousands -- tens of thousands, barring a true
miracle -- of people for whom the possibility of rescue disappeared
entirely sometime today. Then there are the hundreds more who
thought they were boarding airplanes to California this
And when there are thoughts like that demanding one's mind,
commentary on the nature and state of a computer operating system
seems almost disrespectful. What's more, it would be difficult to
devote my full attention to it, anyway.
This afternoon, though, a friend brought into focus something
very much worth saying, I think, and it's a way in which Linux, of
all things, ought to be a beacon to a troubled world.
The friend is Uwe Thiem, a KDE developer. He lives in Namibia.
He and I have never met. I do not know his race, ancestry,
religion, or general views on most subjects. Our communication over
time has been solely by email. He does not know my race, religion,
or ancestry (it's impossible to escape my views on anything). Yet,
as I say, I think of him as a friend, and I suspect he thinks of me
as a friend, even if he might provide an entirely appropriate
adjective or two."