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A Simple Thank You

It seems very strange to me indeed, writing about someone I have never met, nor even have been in the presence of - very strange indeed. Over the course of my professional life and career,  I have been fortunate enough to have been in the presence of such luminaries as Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Bjarne Stroustrup and the two Steves, Wozniak and Jobs, and actually had the good fortune to have had conversations with several, but I don’t think that anyone of these folks has given me more insight into my chosen craft than Pieter Hintjens. 

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Pieter, and until recently so was I. Pieter, amongst many, many, other things, is the author and technical genius of ZeroMQ. Pieter is also a human being, a philosopher if you will, and someone who carefully considers and writes about culture, society and technology. Oh, did I mention, a prodigious author of open source software?

I have just begun to read Pieter’s books, “Social Architecture”, “The Psychopath Code”, “Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution”, and “Code Connected, Vol. 1”, but I have come to know Pieter mostly by working with ZeroMQ over the past several months.  I have never actually spoken with Pieter, but the elegance of ZeroMQ has spoken to me in ways I cannot really express. Its encapsulation of complexity, expressed in simplicity is something I marvel at. To me, it is a reflection of the man, his philosophy and  genius. 

Sadly, recently, I’ve learned that Pieter is gravely ill. Even though this is devastating news, Pieter has somehow managed to write about his illness in direct and inspiring ways. You can read these writings on his blog, http://hintjens.com/. I don’t know how he does it, but he manages to inspire even at a time like this.

And so Pieter, I simply wanted to say thank you. It is just too soon for me to say goodbye.