[linux-elitists] RIP Ed Foster

Karsten M. Self karsten@linuxmafia.com
Fri Aug 1 15:43:05 PDT 2008

We've lost a few members of what I consider to the the home team in
recent weeks.  First Joe Barr, now InfoWorld Gripe Line columnist and
blogger, Ed Foster.

Ed looked at one of the more overlooked aspects of technology, and one I
think FSF Free Software tends to support very well:  the end-user, and
very often the average Joe and Jane, the experience had in using
software and technology, and much more often than should be the case,
the deliberate frustrations inflicted by vendors.  Ed looked not only at
such mundane and common gripes as printer ink gouging and poorly-written
applications, but beyond the interface to the broader environment, and
very often the legal environment, including crusuades against UCITA (a
rewriting of the Uniform Trade Act governing most business and purchase
transactions), Net Neutrality, and EULA practices.

When InfoWorld's early online forray, InfoWorld Electric, found that its
existing, proprietary, forums software was no longer up to the task
(Y2K issues were cited), and the publication disasterously adopted yet
another proprietary solution, to overwhelming criticism of both readers
and staff, Ed set up his own Gripe Line blog using software I'd
suggested for InfoWorld itself:  the Scoop engine, licensed under the
GPL, originally developed for Kuro5hin.org.

Ed's blogs remain online at:


Ed apparently thought Free Software might be the way to go as well.  I'd
just read the announcement of his passing, and having already thought
this was a milestone worth mention on l-e, noted that Ed's family has
requested, in lieu of flowers, donations to the Free Software

Thanks, Ed, for everything.  We'll miss you.


Karsten M. Self <karsten@linuxmafia.com>        http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten
    Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.
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