[squeak-dev] In Memory of Andreas Raab

John McIntosh johnmci at smalltalkconsulting.com
Wed Jan 16 02:59:02 UTC 2013

I knew Andreas for about 18 years, ten of those as a co-maintainer of the
Squeak VM. This is a long time.  Nearly two decades. I am reminded today of
how short life really is.

I'd like to share an analogy.

My relationship with Andreas can be compared to running on a beach.

Sometimes the sand was great and I could keep up, other times it grew soft
and he would be far down the beach. Yet always checking and ensuring I
could keep up. Much like the role he took later with the Squeak Board,
setting the direction for the community; waving people onwards.  As people
have already pointed out, it's easy to quantify the lines of code he wrote.
It's harder to understand the impact he had on folks with his ideas; how he
did things, and where he ran to. I would always wonder what he would do

Once or twice I buried myself (and the community, little did you all know)
quite deep in the sand dunes. Andreas came back to save me. Instead of a
shovel, he'd use some sand levitation device carefully built with Squeak
bytecode, to extract me and you from disaster. I'd thank him, then spend
the rest of the day trying to understand what happened.  Before, and after
the sand trickled over my eyebrows.

That was the era of trust, before Sunits were written, and we trusted all
his code.  It is not that Andreas was infallible, but playing the game
"hunt for bugs" in his software was like digging for diamonds in your back
yard. Possible yes, in actuality not really workable.

Beyond the large amounts of software Andreas wrote for the community, it
was always great to catch up to him at conferences.  He would always have a
smile and time to talk. He should be remembered not only for his software,
but as a caring person who was a good friend. I will miss him greatly.

My wife Cordelia and I both are saddened by his sudden passing, and send
heartfelt condolences to his family.

Tears on the keyboard.
John M. McIntosh <johnmci at smalltalkconsulting.com>
Corporate Smalltalk Consulting Ltd. Twitter: squeaker68882
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