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In Memoriam: Roger Faulkner (usenix.org)
55 points by johannes1234321 on July 18, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments

I had the good fortune of having an office that was just a few doors down from Roger's at Sun. The project to merge SunOS and AT&T System V was fractious at Sun. People quit, passive-aggressive behavior was rampant, and generally the frustration of working with AT&T "Systems Engineers" whom had never written a line of code was often infuriating.

Roger pushed through the /proc file system in the middle of this morass and was an excellent mediator between Sun and AT&T on various issues. I really looked up to him for that and sought to seek out the common good of the discussions rather than spend my time trying to eradicate the rampant stupidity. At first it felt like I was "caving in" but later I realized you could start from that point of common understanding and work out to the places of stupidity productively rather than confrontationally. RIP Roger, you'll be missed.

It's great to hear anecdotes from that era (presumably in MTV 5?); by the time I showed up in 1996, it was MPK 17[1] and those days (from which there were few survivors, for the reasons you allude to) were the stuff of lore. It's not at all a surprise that Roger was in the middle of it all -- and it seems an apt and valuable life lesson to focus less on eradicating stupidity and more on suffocating it by building useful things, which Roger did for essentially his entire career...

[1] Now Facebook Building 17 -- a succinct epitaph for Sun.

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