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Hacking for Christ

everybody loves eric raymond episode 56 strip

We met Gervase Markham at LUG Radio Live 2006 and he’s a superbly nice chap and a great speaker. Image credit (Gervase’s body double) to DKR.

Back in January, I promised to donate a tenner to the FSF for “a (genuine) photo of you hugging esr whilst wearing [an eler t-shirt]”.

Well, I’ve had my first claimant, Cathy Mullican! Check out the details at the all new ELER blog, FOSS HOLE.

38 replies on “Hacking for Christ”

Aww.. poor Eric’s widdle feelings are hurt because the strip’s mean to him? Let’s all hug him now! Or maybe we could just let him shoot us all because we’re anti-american pinko liberal commie fascists.

(Seriously, it’s always amazing how those who dish out cannot take it when they’re on the receiving side of things for once…)

It’s only mean if it’s in the context of a comic strip. If you’re making an Important Political Point on your blog, then you can say whatever the hell you want.

At least, it seems that’s what esr thinks.

It is mean. It’s mean because it’s true…he’s an asshole, and the strip says “hey! he’s an asshole.” Perhaps if he were *not* an asshole, there wouldn’t be a mean strip about him?

There is a difference between humor and mere cruelty. Eric was merely pointing out that it’s possible to have fun without making fun.

This strip’s sense of humor is akin to pulling the wings off flies and then laughing.

The guy is an “EX HACKER” – You can’t pull ESRs wings off – they are nailed to the perch!

This blog is simply merciful euthenasia. :)

Ugh! He’s a steeenkin christian – I feel nauseus!

Not even ESR in all his depravity is one of “those”

Russell Neslson: “This strip’s sense of humor is akin to pulling the wings off flies and then laughing.”

And yet you keep coming back Russ, you sick fuck.

Russ is one very confused individual. He claims to be a pacifist, but seemingly can’t stop himself from using war metaphors, threatening to kick people’s asses, and referring to “my Internet”, as if he owned it.

This is a lot like a vegetarian who constantly speaks of her ability to “bring home the bacon”.

ESR is ‘the Skipper’ in Russell’s “Gilligan Island” fantasy. To be clear, Russ is Eric’s “little buddy”.

Twenty-three days in February… that about sums it up.


No, no, no. An “ex” hacker is not a former hacker — there is no such thing, once a hacker, always a hacker. An “ex” hacker is someone who writes his hacks in the “ex” editor. Type Q to your favorite vi to find it, or just type “ex” to the shell. You can return to vi mode with the “vi” command (what else?); vim helpfully tells you that every time. (Vim is a lousy “ex”, but the maintainer blew off my complaints.)

And have you stopped using Perl? Larry too gives credit to the Author of his story.

John Cowan, “ex” hacker extraordinaire

Wouldn’t an “ex” hacker be more about writing programs in ex/vi macros? You know that stuff that attempts to emulate emacs, such as:

” C-style comments out the current line
map =C ^i/* ^[$A */^[

vi/ex macros are Turing-complete, so you should be able to write any program you need, albeit at great cost of both your time and speed of execution.

Bill Joy gave up using ‘vi’ years ago (*)…why haven’t you?

And yes, an “ex-hacker” is one who no longer hacks, possibly because s/he has expired and is pushing up daisies. ESR no longer hacks


(*) And once explained away the extremely grotty code with a wave of his hand and a “that was when I didn’t know how to program.”

Russ, Russ, Russ. Pulling the wings off flies? That analogy only holds when the attacker is vastly more powerful than the attackee, like a human vs. a fly.

On the other hand, maybe you have a point. Maybe ESR matters so little now that a strip dedicated to making fun of him is overkill.

Fortunately, RMS and Linus make better characters. Maybe a new name is in order. ESR could still appear if he does or says anything worth mentioning or laughing at.

WTF is hacking for Christ?
Oh, I get it… a rootkit on hell’s server…

Well, in this case I have to hand it to Eric. He’s not above some self-deprecating humour, even if,
quite litterally in this case, he’s being taken the mickey off.

I think this blog is pretty soft with the author of “Ethics from the Barrel of a Gun:
What Bearing Weapons Teaches About the Good Life”

ESR just says “more mean than funny”. That doesn’t mean that the strip is mean, just that ESR doesn’t think it’s very funny.

About the strip: I like it, very funny. :)

I find it interesting is that most of the comments to these strips are about ESR, and not about ELER. Somewhere ESR must be laughing with ELER and laughing at the anti-fanboy fanboys who can’t live without him.

Admit it, trolls, you still love the guy.

More often than not I disagree with ESR, but he showed class here. How many people would have been kind to that young woman given the insult on her shirt?

Also he made a fair reply about whether he liked the strip. He didn’t complain, he gave a reasonable answer.

Jim Thompson:

I got those line-noise things out of my system back when I was a PDP-8 and PDP-11 Teco hacker. And I don’t use vi mode, so what Bill Joy doesn’t do is irrelevant to me.

Looks like the ghost of Bruce Perens is a-haunting:

“At this point I got a mental image of Bruce pointing and laughing (yes, right in the middle of a conference call with lawyers), which just won’t go away.
I have now officially wandered into “out out damn spot” territory thinking about Bruce’s claims to BusyBox. I see it every time I look at the code, even though I can PROVE it’s not there.”

ELER is not pinin’. ELER’s passed on. This “comic” is no more. ELER’s a stiff. Bereft of respect. ELER’s kicked the bucket. This is an ex-comic!

Can’t be an ex-hacker? No problem! I think the anti-ESR people can just say that ESR is a hack at best, and would try to deny that he ever really was a hacker. There would be some truth to that claim, as argued in older strips, titled “I’m with them” or something like that.

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