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Dhcpcd Will Need a New Maintainer (marples.name)
1012 points by elvis70 35 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 221 comments

Messages like these are so sad to read. The world will never realize how many people are working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep society moving forward.

Cheers to all of the silent (and sometimes not so silent) people that continue to give of themselves to make this world a more wonderful place in their own little way. You all are awesome and we literally couldn't go on with our way of life without you.

I call this "Postel decentralisation": everyone thinks there's some kind of system or institution making everything work, but in fact there's just a guy doing it all on his own.

> but in fact there's just a guy doing it all on his own

"Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect." -Teller

Interestingly, you seem to be the only person on the World Wide Web to ever have used that phrase (three times over three years?), but it's such a perfect description of such a common phenomenon that I'm pretty sure its propagation could save hours of time in typing for nerds on the Web.

Ironic, that. I'm happy to be the one person trying to coin this phrase.

I'd be wary of colliding with Postel's Law, which I depend on much more often than I'd like. But otherwise agree!

I think that's intentional? Postel's Law is about robustness, as is the "decentralisation" formulation of it.

Relevant: http://ccs.mit.edu/papers/CCSWP197/CCSWP197.html

Postel picked up the role of number coordinator because it needed to be done.

Also see RFC 2468, written in remembrance of Jon Postel.


In reality it works nothing like this though. People like to think that all of these companies and downstream projects depend on this maintainer, but realistically they would have no problem switching to a fork or doing it internally.

Using his work as-is from upstream is just the path of least resistance. If nobody picks up dhcpd maintenance companies will have no problem carrying forks and more than likely the open source community will quickly converge around a future implementation.

This isn’t comparable to some sole manufacturer or anything like that. It’s similar instead to someone publishing blueprints for basic things and everyone using them because of time saved because redoing them from scratch is tedious and wouldn’t have much of a point.

That's both true and wrong at the same time.

Sure all the big companies that relied on dhcpcd will rewrite it. But still the loss of one opensource project has a major impact on the economy. You mention the part of time saved by the company. Sure, but that goes longer than that.

For instance, in Android, since Android 6, they stopped using dhcpcd and decided to use their own DHCP client. 5 releases later, Android's DHCP client still don't support storing leases (or any feature that has less than 20% usage really). Sure that's just one packet, but the most user-deployed OS in the world has an additional RTT when connecting to WiFi, because of using internal DHCP client rather than a FLOSS-driven one.

Let's do back of the napkin computation: This adds like 0.5s when connecting. I'd say that personnally I'm connecting manually to WiFi (and thus wait for WiFi to connect) maybe once a week. K, worldwide I'd say once a month. There are 3B active Android devices. I'd say mean salary in those 3B is 1USD/h. If my computation is correct ( ((3*1000*1000*1000)*0.5*12)/3600 ), that makes a society cost of Android NOT using dhcpcd of 5M$ per year.

Now, let's go to the mirror successful part of dhcpcd, still at Google. Chromebooks are using dhcpcd as their DHCP client. Considering what happened on Android, I'll assume that if Chromebooks weren't using dhcpcd, they wouldn't use leases either. There are maybe 100M Chromebooks worldwide, but they are mostly centered in the US where salary is higher, but Chromebooks are mostly for students, so let's make it 5USD/h. But on a Chromebook you connect "manually" to WiFi every day (every time you open your laptop pretty much). That means that the existence of dhcpcd is a gain for society of 25M$ per year ( ( ((100*1000*1000)*0.5*365)/3600)*5 ).

So, yes, if nobody picks up dhcpcd maintenance, companies will have no problem carrying on. It doesn't mean that we, as a society wouldn't have lost a lot.

PS: I'm definitely not trying to put a price on Roy Marple's life. But if someone would try, it would be incredibly high.

This assumes behavior on both sides of the implementation and has nothing to do with open source.

> Sure all the big companies that relied on dhcpcd will rewrite it.

Unlikely. dhclient works just fine and carrying a fork of dhcpd will work just fine.

You’re missing my point. When you work on open source and end up with millions to billions of users, everything you do ends up having a huge monetary impact (guess how much Roy’s bugs have cost the economy in lost time). However, that’s just a side effect of software, not you being some unsung hero.

Tons of people need software that does X. Once one or two people have an open source solution to X, people can just use that and move on. That’s a good thing but it doesn’t mean that those one or two people are critical to anything. If they quit, fail, whatever, downstream dependencies will just swap and move on.

Well, they do depend, in the sense of it's listed in their dependencies.

Yes, they could change. But that would be something that had to be chosen, it's not automatic. I'm reminded of openssl: while it wasn't even unmaintained, it was "undermaintained" to the extent of critical security holes, and both the effort to fork it and simplify and the effort to replace with modern from-scratch versions have been a bit fraught.

(Perhaps the real rule as to who the "maintainer" of something like this is "who has to panic when a security hole is reported")

“I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. then I realized I was somebody.”

There's always a relevant XKCD https://xkcd.com/2347/

What does "Postel" refer to?

Presumably Jon Postel, who co-authored many RFCs foundational to the internet such as TCP, IP and DNS. As a single person he was very involved in the internet's architecture.

Today, the "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority" refers to an organization. But for many years it didn't refer to an organization, it was Jon Postel's title.

Upvoted – but don’t forget Joyce K. Reynolds. There’s a lovely anecdote of how the IANA operated in the early 90s in “The story of getting SSH port 22”: https://www.ssh.com/ssh/port

No disrespect toward Ms. Reynolds, certainly! But Mr. Postel had been in that role for 11 years before Ms. Reynolds joined him (1972-1983). Though it turns out that my history is a little fuzzy on the name itself; though Mr. Postel had been in the role for many years, the earliest reference to the name "IANA" that I can find is from 1988. Regardless of whether they were using the name "IANA" in 1972-1983, Mr. Postel was the sole authority during those years, and many of those who were around then would later refer to him as having been the IANA during that time.

Thanks for the historical insight. I hadn’t realised that Jon Postel’s work went that far back. I only came across the Internet in the late nineties – and though I’m aware of the existence of DARPAnet, I don’t really think of the Internet as being a “thing” until the eighties (when most of the common protocol standards I’ve read were written) so I should really find a good book on the subject.

Sadly, I don't have a solid book recommendation about the early Internet.

But, my favorite Internet history book of all time is "IPng: Internet Protocol Next Generation" edited by Scott O. Bradner and Allison Mankin. It's about the development of what would become IPv6, and each chapter is written by a different engineer who was involved in the process. Some chapters were written for the book, and some chapters were publications/reports from the process.

Beautifully worded.


i mean, even within institutions, it's usually just some person hacking away behind the scene. what else would it be?

A rulebook that says who should be hacking away when, and how/when/from where to get and/or produce more of those people. That long-lived superstructure is what NASA calls a "mission." It's what ensures someone will still be around (with the right expertise, budget, connections, and tools) to fix a satellite when it breaks 50 years later.

It's the closest, or at least one of the closest, things to altruism in this field.

Nadia Eghbal's work and writing about this subject was eye opening for me.

I heard her on a podcast[1] talking about her book Work in Public[2] and loved it, is that the work and writing you're referencing?

If not, are there other pieces you'd recommend?

[1]: https://a16z.com/2020/08/01/working-in-public-communities-op... [2]: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578675862/

Her first big piece on this was https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/learning/research-report... which i still find better than the book at making the point.

This is a sad reminder of the masses of invisible labor (unpaid and paid) that hold up our world. Social scientists have been studying how labor becomes visible (or invisible) for a while without finding obvious solutions to "the situation."

How can we build a world where an infinite procession specialists like Roy can get the care they need and also find and train successors in their important work? Not just because we will all die, but also because we might all want to retire or go on long vacations or, even if we are good at it, change careers.

Just in my personal opinion, things like a UBI move us towards that world. It wound allow people flexibility.

I wonder if UBI could be marketed politically in this way, e.g. "Finally paying for all the things you've already been using" or "Finally paying for the free labor you've based your life on" etc. type of messaging.

I mean, it should be less guilt-y of course (I'm not in marketing) and somehow capture it's _society_ finally paying for the things generated by free/underpaid labor, not individual citizens, and not imply that people have been selfish etc.

Sadly I think the people who are against UBI now, really don't care about anything like that. If someone is so devoid of empathy that they don't want to provide such a basic financial safety net for people in their own country from living in homelessness/poverty, I don't think they really care about paying people who's work they've used unknowingly.

Come on. The world isn't divided into people who agree with you and psychopaths. That's such a juvenile and unhealthy way of looking at the world. People who oppose UBI generally worry about cost (which they feel they will pay) and the potential for shifting incentives to result in a worse society - they have just much as empathy as you, they are just empathizing with different people (the lower and middle class paying for the UBI instead of the underclass receiving it) or envisioning different outcomes.

I don't believe that. Here's why. EVERYONE is/should be worried about the cost of UBI. I'm as progressive as they come, but I worry about it too. The reason is there is no one simple answer for how it will be paid, and so until we come to a position of actual debate on the details of the implementation it's not certain how it will be funded.

The difference then is in motivations. Are you motivated to make UBI work or aren't you? Those that are believe that fundamentally, our society must be able to bear it. We know we have the total wealth generated to support it, sot he rest is an implementation detail. If you prioritize it as a key aspect of a successful human-orientated society, it is achievable.

The people that are against UBI are not psychopaths. But they ultimately do not believe in the idea and use costs and other such concerns to justify not moving towards that direction. The reasons why they don't support it can be diverse, but mostly it comes down to a lack of empathy for others. They truly feel that others do not deserve help or support, and base the rest of their beliefs around it.

I'm motivated to make the world better, not to support any particular policy. If UBI is a good policy, I'm motivated to make it work. If UBI isn't a good policy (e.g. if the expenses or changing incentives would cripple society), I'm not.

I think if you reread your post closely, you would see the circular reasoning. You've assumed that UBI is a policy with positive outcomes, as part of your argument for why folks should support UBI. That's "begging the question" (the classical meaning of it).

I'm pretty sure that most opposition to UBI has little to do with lack of empathy, but rather with practical economic reasoning and general beliefs about the role of government in society.

Maybe I'm just too indoctrinated by reddit at this point, but someone would really have to give me a lot of real world evidence counter to not only the examples where UBI and other programs targeted towards the poor have benefited the economy. But even just to counter the pretty basic logic that more productive members of society helps the economy, and more money in the hands of people spending money, not hoarding money, means a better economy.

A huge part of this depends on your philosophical axioms about the inherent morality of individuals. Are people default-good or default-bad?

Frankly, this view is the major divide between conservative and liberal. And, it'll directly affect all practical implementations such as giving everyone free money. It's also profoundly philosophical in questioning the essence of the soul, so most people like to get unphilosophically political (which is like trying to make software without knowing a language).

The counter evidence is simple, it costs $300 billion a month to provide 300 million adults with $1,000 a month. That’s $3.6 trillion a year.

That’s the entire federal tax revenue consumed by UBI. So you need to double everyone’s income tax to get back to even.

Of course there is evidence giving people free stuff improves their lives. The problem is that’s an insane amount of money that has to come from somewhere.

To put that in context, the top 1% have an aggregate wealth in the US of about 34 trillion. So we could take all of the net worth from doctors, lawyers, business owners, CEOs, FAANG employees, etc and pay for this for about 10 years. Then we’re left with consuming the middle class and then we’ll just be out of wealth period.

There is just no reasonable explanation for how this will be paid for. Even wealthy countries favorable to socialist policies (e.g. Norway) have nothing like UBI.

Let me turn the question to you. What makes you think UBI is sustainable? You have to have some pretty damn good evidence when you’re betting the entire federal government budget on it.

Despite the "U" in UBI, I would assume these $1k/month payments would phase out at a certain income level. Someone making $20k/month, perhaps even $10k/month, does not need their basic needs propped up.

UBI would likely replace most welfare programs, so that'd just be moving budget around. I'm finding a bunch of numbers for US welfare spending, some of them not really consistent with others, but welfare spending is easily over $1T per year.

I would absolutely be in favor of adding more (higher) marginal tax brackets to help with any further shortfall. That 1%er $34T cash hoard you mention is built through income, which can be taxed more. I'd also be in favor of a wealth tax. Top 1% is probably too wide for something like that, but a sub-5% wealth tax (perhaps taxed progressively, as with income) even on the top 0.1% or 0.01% would likely net a big chunk of change that could be put to useful work, vs. sitting around in some management fund for someone's great-great-great-great-great grandchildren to spend, assuming we haven't collapsed our financial system by then.

> Despite the "U" in UBI, I would assume these $1k/month payments would phase out at a certain income level. Someone making $20k/month, perhaps even $10k/month, does not need their basic needs propped up.

Rather than phased out the idea is usually that everyone gets exactly the same UBI (thus removing overhead and friction associated with existing welfare schemes) but it is cancelled out for the wealthy by an additional/increased regressive income tax.

The GDP per capita in the US is over $60000USD. 20% of that is a rather large chunk to directly redistribute to the workers, but is it an impossible amount? The effects of UBI on how we live our lives would probably be quite enormous and it's (to me, as a comp sci person) difficult to ascertain what its effects would be.

Yes, that’s enormous and you’re forgetting that a huge chunk of that already is income. You mentioned GDP in an effort to downplay the the enormity of the size. That’s every transaction for a good or service. That means to pay for this, not only would there be an extra 20% on income tax for everyone, but there would be a 20% federal sales tax on everything (including homes, surgeries, tuition, etc).

“Redistribute from workers” is a cutesy way to make it sound like it’s just coming from some excess cache reserve. No such reserve exists. For the numbers to work out, this needs to come from the middle class’s income as well as the rich. There isn’t enough wealth, let alone income, at the 1% level to even scratch the surface on these proposals.

>You mentioned GDP in an effort to downplay the the enormity of the size

No, actually I mentioned it because I thought you skipped out on the fact that money isn't a static amount which we drain out with UBI in this quote:

>To put that in context, the top 1% have an aggregate wealth in the US of about 34 trillion. So we could take all of the net worth from doctors, lawyers, business owners, CEOs, FAANG employees, etc and pay for this for about 10 years.

So I wanted to have a different measurement which took how much we produce into account.

But thanks for assuming I'm arguing in bad faith, lol.

> No, actually I mentioned it because I thought you skipped out on the fact that money isn't a static amount which we drain out with UBI in this quote:

You can’t print your way to GDP. If you’re suggesting the government just issue the extra money without funding it, you’re just diluting everyone’s existing money because you haven’t increased the production of the economy. Constant issuance of amounts this big needs to be funded or the massive amount of demand for the same fixed amount of goods and services will just cause hyper inflation.

And if you’re arguing that giving people UBI will make them work more and not less (enough to account for the GDP loss), that’s a pretty extraordinary claim that hasn’t been backed up by any ongoing UBI experiments.

> But thanks for assuming I'm arguing in bad faith, lol.

I’m not. I’m pointing out the incredible road block for UBI and you’re refusing to address it. It would fundamentally alter the economy to become the highest taxed of any first world countries and we would have the largest monetary entitlements per capita ever. Nothing like this has ever worked, none of the communist/socialist states (even at their peaks) gave out this much in income.

People who are against UBI are concerned with that. It has nothing to do with lack of empathy.

The problem with UBI is that it’s not solving a particular problem so there are no efficiencies to be gained. Like if we wanted to solve housing, we could have the Army go out and build houses at scale and the per house costs could be quite low. No such economies of scale come into play with UBI.

You’ll find more support for federal government built housing and federal government provide food than you will for UBI when the reality sinks in of what you’re asking the middle class to sacrifice.

The money doesn’t disappear, it goes back into the economy. People use it to buy things they need. Most sane people outside of the 1% don’t just pathologically hoard wealth and jerk off to it.

That doesn’t help. If you don’t fund it you’ve just increased money supply without increasing the goods and services available. In fact, if UBI serves its purpose, a bunch of people will quit their jobs and the supply of goods and services will decline.

BTW, people in the 1% don’t hoard money, that’s a... financially stupid thing to do. They buy shares in companies and other assets. So there is a lot less money supply trapped up in wealthy peoples’ banks than you would think.

I'm against UBI largely because my understanding of human nature (which could be wrong) suggests it won't work, but will take 1-2 generations for its failure to manifest.

I have a lot of empathy for others. Enough so that I'm unwilling to back polocies that I expect will cause more overall suffering in the long term.

That’s terrible messaging for UBI because it’s universal. It’s literally for people who haven’t meaningfully contributed anything to society as much as it is for the struggling underpaid artist.

Framing it as “finally paying for something you’ve been getting for free” is an amazing way to kill it because you’re paying to support drunks, spouse abusers, racists, etc. That will immediately lead to discussions about criteria to receive it and it will no longer be UBI.

I love this! This thread got me thinking that nurturing/feeding/raising a child could be seen as something a parent does not just for their family but for society, and if it were for society, is it now a paid job that requires minimum wage? And all of the other things that are "volunteer labor" but for corporations, which technically in the US one can't very legally volunteer for a for-profit company without compensation.

I like the spin on seeing this from a new marketing angle, new framing.

Remember that, if you make it a job, you're no longer free to decide how you want to raise your children, what values to teach them etc, you're now just a caretaker that produces a labor source for their employer. I'm not sure that's such an attractive thought.

There are a lot of self employed that have freedom on how to do their work. We could see it as self-employed contribution to the future of society. Also raising new citizens with a diverse set of values & beliefs is exactly what I would want to see. It would be horrible if their was some kind of institution that would dictate the same kind of upbringing for every child. However, in the end parenting is really not a job even though it provides value to society. That doesn't mean it doesn't have to be financially supported just because it is not like the kind of work that typically gets paid.

Self employed people aren't disconnected from society though, they don't "work for themselves", they still need to offer something that others consider to have value. I don't think we want parenting to be judged in that regard, it does very much change the relationship between the individual and the state (and not in a good way imho).

UBI + Government funded, free healthcare for everyone.

It makes no sense that, with all the excess industrial supply that we have today, that we refuse to provide a basic minimum standard of living for all human beings.

The problem with healthcare is that "basic minimum" is wildly subjective.

Healthcare is still very expensive. There are diseases (including cancer) we could easily spend millions per patient on. Pulling out all the stops you could spend 10s of millions. But we really don't have that kind of societal overabundance, not yet.

So how much do you spend per patient? Are there certain diseases that you don't spend any public money on because the interventions are so expensive compared to success rates? It's really not a simple set of decisions to make, and those decisions do need to be made (or more to the point: agreed upon).

The only reason it costs millions to treat cancer patients is because of medical patents allowing companies to extract profit margins of several thousand percent (or more).

In countries like Australia, where drug companies have to negotiate a fair price with a single government agency, the cost of treatment is an order of magnitude lower.

This is not true.

MRI machines are not expensive because of "patents". They are expensive because they are expensive devices that utilize superconducting magnets which need a constant supply of liquid helium.

Various drugs are expensive because (regardless of patents) there aren't enough patients to justify mass-production, so the price stays high. Sometimes even with mass production drugs are hard enough to make that the price still stays high.

Doctors are not cheap to train, so their services will always be expensive until we replace them with robots.

There are a plethora of reasons why medicine and healthcare is expensive beyond "patents" – remove patents from the equation and you can still easily spend millions per patient for various diseases.

The comment about drug prices isn't some theoretical supply-and-demand problem. Go to chemistwarehouse.com.au (popular Australian chemist) and just type in the name of your favourite prescription drug.

The "private prescription price" is the un-subsidised cost that people not covered by Medicare (e.g. foreign residents) pay. The discounted PBS price is what regular residents pay, the concession price is for people on low incomes or pensions.

Even un-subsidised, you're typically looking at a price 80% lower than what people in the US pay. With subsidies, it's closer to 90-95% less. This has nothing to do with manufacturing costs - manufacturing in Australia is more expensive. It's entirely because our government doesn't allow pharmaceutical companies to profiteer from their IP to the obscene extent that the US government does, and we've had a right-leaning government for 19 out of the last 25 years.

In Australia, we treat this very differently.

My training as an anaesthesiologist has cost the taxpayer roughly 2 million AUD from medical school to specialist qualification. The direct cost to me? About $75,000 AUD.

Some treatments are expensive and futile. We aren’t compelled to offer them. We do have to prioritise treatments and triage patients, resources are not unlimited. By the same token, no-one is denied care on the basis of age or ability.

Many patients suffer from too much medical intervention, and I am extremely grateful that I almost never feel compelled to perform treatments that don’t benefit patients.

For diseases where there are just a handful of patients requiring sky-high treatment prices, it would be worth investigating whether society can spread their costs among enough people that the costs are bearable anyway. And 10 people yearly requiring a $10m (each) specialized treatment would cost a population of 100 million taxpayers a dollar each.

Of course, if these treatments are more common at the same price, the social costs might be too high and we'd have to let people live or die depending on their financial situation or ability to fundraise.

But millions per patient is the exception, most people don't have that spent on them, thats why it averages out, and why countries like Australia can afford public health care.

So Australia does not have any caps whatsoever on what they will spend for disease X?

There are no fixed limits at the individual level.

There is a government advisory committee called PBAC which advises the government on whether to pay for certain drugs. There have been cases where PBAC refuses to fund a new drug because it doesn't see the benefit as worth the cost. For example, suppose there is a new cancer drug which costs $100,000 a patient, and on average extends the patient's life by 3 months. PBAC will likely say it isn't worth it for taxpayers to pay $100,000 to extend a person's life only by 3 months.

To give another example, in the public health system, there are a certain number of ECMO machines available. Given the limited number, they can't just leave patients on ECMO indefinitely. Sometimes they will take a patient off because the probability of survival is low and there is another patient needing one with a higher probability of survival. But, if you look at patients with low survival probability, most of them will die even with treatment, but a small minority may have nonetheless survived yet now that you are withdrawing treatment they won't. However, we cannot know who will be in that small minority, and society isn't willing to spend unlimited resources on trying to save people's lives against the odds.

We spend far more money on widely prescribed drugs like statins.

The most expensive drugs are rarely needed by many people. The big one recently is a drug to treat Hep C, at about A$22000 a patient (but possibly saving years of dialysis) and a macular degeneration treatment (what price do you put in vision?).


From someone on the PBSAC: https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/the-ch...

It isn't so much the cost, but whether they actually work, or are any better than other treatments.

Not that I know of, medications make their way onto the Pharmaceutical Benefits schedule (PBS) schedule, so some new drugs aren't available for a short time - as someone else mentioned the government negotiates a fixed price for the drugs. You have to pay for drugs but there's a yearly cap of a few hundred dollars last time I was involved in it and you can claim that back, pensioners have a special low price per drug.

There are some drugs that require the doctor to make a case for it - but thats a fairy routine matter. You do hear of people flying overseas for a special treatment (mainly experimental) thats not yet here, that isn't covered.

Edit: an example - I had a checkup last year, got a bunch of tests done - total out of pocket for me was $30 or so, all the blood tests are free. The $30 was for the doctor, if I wanted to shop around there are free doctors that just charge the schedule price. I had to get an MRI about 7 years ago, now I could have waited, or got it in the hospital, but I chose to get it at a clinic, cause I wanted to get out of the hospital (which was free) - out of pocket was $800 for that.

How is it not true?

Prices being high or things being expensive (both subjective terms that are hardly useful in this context) aren't a universal truth. Generally, a nation-organised and at least partially managed medial healthcare system costs less and delivers better results than a free-for-all corporations-decide system.

It's not true because it's not true.

"Cheaper" =/= "cheap".

Good point. Not only are physicians needed, nurses are needed as well. They might be cheaper to train and hire compared to physicians – OTOH, there are more of the them and the numbers add up. Not all diseases can be cured by simply taking a pill.

Doctors aren't paid as much outside of the US. It turns out skilled and intelligent people will do skilled labor for only 3 times what a grocery clerk makes instead of 30

We also don’t have the stress of bankrupting our patients. For all the difficulties we face at work; in public practice we are more worried about the parking fee for our elderly patients than the cost of treatment.

Ha, immediately on reading the parent comment I was pretty sure somebody would have exactly this response.

So yes you have a point in that especially in the US the dollar amounts attached to treatments aren't necessarily indicative of the effort involved. Treating their argument charitably though, as a species we have finite capacity, and "spend millions per patient" is a linguistic shorthand for "we don't have enough resources to evenly distribute this level of care to everyone."

That argument isn't infallible (e.g., it's pretty easy to get a majority to agree on upper and lower bounds for such an idea, so picking a number in between might still be reasonable), but it's much more interesting to pick apart the thing they're trying to say rather than the exact words they used.

> There are diseases (including cancer) we could easily spend millions per patient on. Pulling out all the stops you could spend 10s of millions. But we really don't have that kind of societal overabundance, not yet.

My Mum in Australia had a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer, discovered at stage four.

She had almost three years of radiation, chemo, all the associated drugs, scans, treatments and even two different trial drugs.

She never paid a cent, all of it on Australia's standard "heathcare for all".

If Australia and many other countries can manage it, then more countries can too.

Anything less is just an excuse.

The calculus is still not that simple. What if that economic output could've instead been directed towards better education for children, or reducing the use of something which is known to cause cancer in the first place (e.g. coal power plants)?

The decision is simple for you, because it's your mom. The decision is not a simple one for a society.

We do not yet live in a post-scarcity world. Spending on one thing by necessity means less spending on something else.

Australia has free education as well, and optional private education. University is paid but fairly reasonable, and there's a loan system, though it could be better imho.

I'm sure you could find ways to spend more money and increase the quality of that free education, no?

Improvements are always possible, and on ongoing discussion. Though I have no major complaints with the current system, my kids are finished school and so I pay less attention now. There was a "Gonski report" commissioned a few years ago with enhancements in mind, it's the source of ongoing discussions I believe.

Edit: if you don't like it you can always pay for private education - it to is partially government funded.

We create a lot of the scarcity that exists in the states not so we can spend more on enriching society but so we can enrich a minority at the expense of society.

Your argument is only sound in the hypothetical case.

My argument is "we don't live in a post-scarcity society, not even close".

This is objectively true. There is nothing hypothetical about it.

We are objectively wealthy enough that everyone could have a place to live, enough food to eat, free medical care even to the point of expensive cancer treatment, free education if so much of our resources weren't directed towards enriching so few without sacrificing essential items.

Even calculations about what is and isn't a reasonable expenditure are inherently polluted with the presumption that the current cost structure is an immutable condition as opposed to being the result of a system designed by the worlds dumbest,greediest,least worthy democracy to ever exist.

To clarify what I'm trying to say is that because of the nature of physics warmth which is to say energy is a scarce quantity and will always be so but in the context of making sure everyone is warm its almost always very simple there actually IS enough to go around despite it being scarce. The same thing is true of food.

We cannot afford infinite degrees of effort per patient but what we can afford is more than what most would consider sufficient.

> We are objectively wealthy enough that everyone could have a place to live, enough food to eat, free medical care even to the point of expensive cancer treatment, free education if so much of our resources weren't directed towards enriching so few without sacrificing essential items.

I'd love to see your math on this.

At least a dozen counties already achieve basically all of this, today. They have done for a couple of decades. That's plenty of proof.

Care to name them? Medical care without limitations definitely does not exist in ~dozen countries, and education isn't entirely free in most of the places that have nationalized healthcare either.

Running through a filtered list of OECD countries: (here's 16)

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland

Granted the line for elective procedures or medicine varies by country, but necessary medical treatment is very well covered in all of the above countries. Most will pay for travel to other countries for specialist treatment if it doesn't exist within its own borders and is approved within their own system.

For one of those -- homelessness -- the costs to society for not housing everyone exceed what it'd take to simply give everyone some fixed shelter. We still give medical care to homeless people, we jail them (at costs far greater than housing would be), we offer a variety of social programs that aren't housing, and it all adds up to much more than they had a stable place to live. We'd be jailing fewer of them, and their health care needs would be less if they weren't exposed to the elements through rough sleeping night after night.

Why don't we? Because of so many people who point out the unfairness of someone who's not working at all getting housing for free from the government, when so many working people are struggling to house themselves.

So there's perhaps other unfairness at work there that people are unwilling to look at how solve (why is housing so expensive, relative to wages? why do we expect people to work 2-3 jobs and have no leisure time, no time to relax, just to satisfy the basic needs of survival?), and that alone seems to have boxed people into a system where we're jailing people and leaving them out in the elements, even though it costs us all more in the long run.

Where health care is concerned, what bothers me most is how outrageously expensive US care is for its outcomes, compared to every other western nation. That doesn't seem right, and doesn't seem like a good use of our society's money or human effort, expending so much money on systems that could easily be made unnecessary -- like medical billing and the mass of health care insurers.

(And then I had an ex whose father is a doctor, a GP, who lived a very nice life, and insisted that he deserved that...when I asked him what he thought about how doctors in other countries aren't so richly compensated, he only responded, "hey I went to med school, I deserve this," and he too couldn't conceive of a different ordering of things, because...I'm guessing here...his mind went to the couple of new cars in the driveway of his massive house in a tony suburb of an expensive east coast city, and how, had he had less, he might have just one new car instead of two...but that's a speculation on my part. I wasn't inside his head.)

Not sure why you've been downvoted, as this all tracks with what I've read. SF has been spending $5k per month per tent in the "sleeping villages" set up for homeless people during the pandemic[0]. That $5k could easily pay for a decent studio apartment, utilities, groceries, a phone plan, etc.

[0] https://hotair.com/archives/john-s-2/2021/03/05/san-francisc...

That would require less NIMBYism in SF though, which doesn't look to be happening any time soon.

What problems do you see beside the ones that basically any country with a public health care system has (/has solved)?

What do you mean? A country having implemented a nationalized healthcare system does not mean the problem in question has been "solved", it just means that particular society has managed to agree where to draw the line. But this does not guarantee the population at large will continue agreeing indefinitely into the future.

Umm... yes? Of course this is subject to change. What else did you expect?

That is what I expect.

I honestly have no idea what point you're trying to make.

This complexity was one of the major reasons the Affordable Care Act’s public option was eliminated. There was going to be a group of people who made these decisions. But when the public found out they were deemed as “death panels” that would get to chose who would live or die.

Someone has to make these calls in any pooled-resource scheme. Jeff Bezos is free to pay whatever he likes from his own pocket, but any shared pool should be sensibly regulated to prevent ridiculously wasteful spending in the last few months of life.

If we perfected artificial hearts, for example, and they cost some nominal amount (less than a typical car, for example), we still wouldn't implant them in 102 year-olds. I'd argue against that implant for my parents, myself, and in the unlikely event I'm around then, for my kids.

I don't live under NHS, but the calculations they do, while often the subject of finger-wagging, seem entirely sensible to me.

As opposed to insurance companies determining who would die?

It really is different. The existence of unlimited pay-as-you-go care means that you could possibly raise the funds. In systems where all care is state-administered and an attempt to pay for more care would be criminalized as bribery, you'll die of a treatable disease if some bureaucrat decides that the treatment isn't cost effective for a person like you. The details of choices vary, but go something like this: "treatment X for disease Y is not cost-effective (considering quality-adjusted years of life) for people over age X, so provide only pain relief".

This already happens. The average american has so small a pool of resources and health care is so expensive that surgery or drugs that insurance doesn't pay for is unaffordable beyond trivialities for the vast majority.

61% couldn't shell out $1000 if their life depended on it.


If little johnny needs a 150k operation and the insurance says no he's going to die and they can't all pay into each others go fund me. The economics just don't work out.

Also virtually nobody has suggested outlawing cash payments for services. That idea is much outside of the mainstream as believing that the earth is flat. Pretending that is what socialized medicine is, is a straw man.

They are 2 ways to cost pool neither suggests or requires the elimination of cash payment.

If we have a health care system that's effectively only available to the very well-off, that's not a good health-care system -- it doesn't even deserve to be called one.

So you just die if you cant afford insurance instead.

What an improvement.

Plenty of countries have both a public and private insurance options.

The UK has public and private provision of healthcare, and adults are free to leave the UK and buy healthcare from other countries if they can afford to do so.

Most (all?) advanced countries have government funded free healthcare for everyone. It’s UBI that’s the hurdle.

All, by definition. Claiming to be a first world/advanced nation without universal health care would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. Maybe one day UBI will be the same.

In times of plenty, such socialism works well. In times of struggle and famine, someone other than you gets to decide how resources are allocated. Your hard work and instinct to survive no longer belongs to you at that point. Many today have only ever known times of plenty and think the USSR was a failure because of selfish leaders, not because there were genuinely hard decisions to make during struggle and famine.

You see the narrative today being that whites don’t deserve what they have. Whites don’t deserve their hard work because it was built on empire building and slavery and privilege. To me, this is being set up to cripple capitalism, pretending that the hard work capitalism encourages is somehow false or fake.

Yes, UBI would solve your problem in the short term. However, I think proponents of UBI are deviously attempting to downplay capitalism’s benefits and entirely hiding UBI’s drawbacks when society is no longer as well off (e.g. during wars)

> You see the narrative today being that whites don’t deserve what they have.

I challenge you to find one post (with positive score) on HN with such a narrative. And besides, it's incredibly strange how you shoehorn race into this discussion.

> entirely hiding UBI’s drawbacks when society is no longer as well off (e.g. during wars)

So we should not have UBI during good times because if the nation collapses it would not work? I can come up with plenty of things that don't work when society is no longer well off, but it's unclear what bearing that has on whether they are solving problems in the present day...

I support UBI! I also suspect that we need to go beyond universal benefits into grappling with the reality that different people have different needs. We'll need to agree on a way to discern which society should take on and which are individual.

"Just in my personal opinion, things like a UBI move us towards that world. It wound allow people flexibility."

I don't have any well formed opinions about UBI and I believe myself to be open-minded about it.

I do, however, think that GSE/WSB is going to push it back outside the overton window.

Nobody in power - across the broad political spectrum, from Feinstein to McConnell and everyone in between - is going to sign us up for more of that.

Currently I think UBI is early, there is still plenty of work for people who are willing to put in the time and sacrifice. HOWEVER, in time it will become very necessary or there will be mass civil unrest as AI and other automation takes over almost all of our jobs. I feel healthcare should be a human right but I can't quite justify UBI to support all of society, I don't think it works currently and isn't practical. I have seen essentially the same going on (heavily subsidized rural areas) and people do become dependent and lazy (maybe unambitious is better word) if they know they will be receiving enough money to cover rent/food/moderate entertainment money. I am not blaming them compeltely, the areas I lived in had very very few opportunities and people want to stay close to their family and "what they know". I was more of an adventurous, nerdy soul so I got out of it as quickly as I could, but it is disingenuous to act like people won't be lazy if given the chance. There has to be something in the middle to incentivize them, especially when they've seen no other way of life. I full expect to be grayed into oblivion but I think my viewpoint holds some truth.

It would allow flexibility for those who can manage their money successfully, and aren’t horribly unlucky. Unfortunately that population is relatively sparse - the monthly stipend is going to be funneled into the pockets of unscrupulous lenders as fast as you can say, “easy credit”. If it weren’t the US, with our habit of lifestyle inflation and tremendous consumer and educational debt, I’d be much more optimistic about it.

Would it be better than what we have now? Possibly! I’m fairly confident a real social safety net would be better. Or tight regulations around all that liquidity in the market, presumably pulled from elsewhere in the public coffers. At the end of the day it still sounds like wealth redistribution away from properly funded public works.

UBI can exist outside of the US.

Perhaps you're correct, and my cynicism misplaced.

The way I see it, we already have that world, with capitalism functioning as a filter.

I worked my ass off to reach financial independence, now I'm dedicating the rest of my life towards helping other people.

I've proven to be capable of using the system to a degree where I can do whatever I want, which allows me the freedom to help other people full time.

It's not a perfect system, but I doubt UBI will be much better. At least capitalism filters out many of the people who shouldn't be helping others.

Helping those in need isn't something everyone should be doing. Not every needy person should be helped and helping others in desperate need incurs a mental cost that's not easy to carry.

Why should any single person carry the weight of the person in desperate need? UBI + healthcare implies that there’s a social safety net that creates an entire network of people to carry this weight. I don’t have a clue if any implementations would successfully do this but to just throw people in desperate need to the wolves is inhumane.

I don't think people would prosper under such a system. Free health care, yes, free education, yes. Retirement for all, take care of the disabled, yes.

But in my opinion, in today's society, if you take away the need for people to struggle (which UBI will do) they often end up in a worse mental and physical shape than if you make them suffer a bit. Just the way natural selection programmed us. "All basic needs are met <- conserve energy".

I can imagine a educational system where we prepare our children from childhood for UBI and it will work.

But given how rudimentary most education still is I don't see that happen anytime soon. Maybe in 100 years.

>But in my opinion, in today's society, if you take away the need for people to struggle (which UBI will do) they often end up in a worse mental and physical shape than if you make them suffer a bit.

This is exactly the opposite of how people actually work people excel when given support and opportunity to grow. Adversity especially insofar as fear of basic needs being met isn't inspiring it's stunting.

Anything else is a basic dysfunction in understanding people fed by survivorship bias. Imagine if you met someone who was sure that plant growth was maximized by periodically holding a lighter to one or another of the leaves because all the surviving plants had gone through that. Your understanding is every bit as ridiculous.

We can find sufficient challenge and adversity as we need to move us in our own selves, relationships, and field of endeavor.

> people excel when given support and opportunity to grow.

Some people do. Many don't, they'll take that support and rest on it. Plenty of European Countries have UBI for all intents and purposes (free health care, housing, utilities, enough cash money for everything else including entertainment and communication). People don't excel, and plenty don't bother to contribute, because it's not necessary.

> We can find sufficient challenge and adversity as we need to move us in our own selves, relationships, and field of endeavor.

You're looking at a tiny subset of people that wouldn't stop working (but maybe work on different things) if they won the lottery, and extrapolate from them on to the general population. Not everybody is like that. Any solutions that pretend that they are will fail.

I don't think people having their basic needs met is in any way equivalent to winning the lottery. When you win the lottery you can have anything financially that you like for the rest of your life or until you blow all your money. With UBI you can have a minimalistic life devoid of most luxury or ease.

The kind of person who doesn't bother to contribute is probably the kind of person who would be contributing by making fries or checking you out at walmart. These contributions can be replaced by automation and nothing of value will be lost meanwhile some portion of the people will use their time that would have been thrown away at walmart to actually contribute.

If 90% of the team at walmart was replaced by robots and 10% found more meaningful ways to contribute it would be a net gain.

> You're looking at a tiny subset of people that wouldn't stop working (but maybe work on different things) if they won the lottery, and extrapolate from them on to the general population. Not everybody is like that. Any solutions that pretend that they are will fail.

If you offered most people a poverty wage of 2k monthly and netflix and the opportunity to earn 2k + whatever they could earn in addition doing something with their life 90% would chose the latter given the option especially if free education were available to get from A to B. Most people want to feel their life is meaningful. If you don't understand that then you don't understand people in the slightest.

If UBI is what you’re hung up on I think there’s a lot of Americans that would gladly take free education, healthcare, and retirement. Healthcare shouldn’t be a thing people should struggle through.

Much of that “desperate need” is created, or worsened, by capitalism.¹

It isn't just a matter of “working hard”. Say you're a brilliantly capable developer for three months out of every year, have around four months of chronic pain and bad mental health unpredictably breaking up the remaining time. Unless you're wealthy, capitalism doesn't let you get to a situation where your bad mental health doesn't disrupt that five month stretch where you could be doing worthwhile things – even if you would make enough money in those three months to support yourself, when most of it's going into paying off the debt you got into because you lost your job and had to eat, it's difficult to do so.

Think this is a bit much? Okay, how about this: you're in jail on suspicion of committing some crime or other. This lasts 1½ weeks, before they realise that no, actually, you weren't guilty. But in the meantime, you've lost your job, and without the savings you'd usually gather prior to job-hopping… what then?

You might've worked really, really hard to get where you are. For many, working really, really hard simply isn't enough.


¹: “Capitalism” here is shorthand for “society being structured under the assumption that capitalism is a fully-general ideal solution for allocating all resources, and there are only a handful of narrow examples where it makes sense to do something else”. There's nothing inherent to capitalism that causes these things, any more than a chainsaw is responsible for felled trees. But this is pedantry, so I kept it out of the first sentence.

> I worked my ass off to reach financial independence

This is a false pursuit, and in a sense a vacuous statement.

You are never independent of society around you. You are in constant need of others doing that invisible and visible labor - in production and in services - to maintain your way of life.

It's only with Capitalism being the way it is that you need to "work your ass off" to not be financially dependent on your parents, or at the risk of a crisis and collapse upon losing your job etc.

Not really capitalism's fault. Regulatory capture, weak laws that let that happen, government corruption, lobbying laws and other things are more to blame.

The USA was still a capitalist society when the American dream was alive and well with a thriving middle class. Meanwhile nations with planned economies, abolished land ownership and worker owned means of production were starving and seeing general iniquity.

Now those protections that gave us a thriving middle class and general economic prosperity have been largely gutted and our government generally subverted.

My point is, the ills of a country are likely the cause of governmental failings and destabilization exploited by the ruling class of the system to entrench themselves and expand their interests at the expense of the general public, regardless of what that that system is. It can happen to any system of governance paired with any economic system.

I think we should be cleaning our government up and taking that power back, but that by putting the blame squarely on capitalism you're missing the forest for the trees. The problem is allowing whatever naturally formed ruling class in an economic and or political ecosystem from concentrating too much power, and potentially resources [1], in the first place.

[1] Though I'm skeptical of this but in so much as resources equate to power maybe it's necessary.

Completely agreed. I see too many people jumping on the "Capitalism is the root of all evil" bandwagon too easily without critical thought. Like you, I see our current problems arising due to the usual historical culprits of corruption and shifting balance of power within a system of government. All systems of government are subject to these forces and while it's true our current system is clogged with crap, it's not capitalism we should be blaming.

I disagree that pursuing financial independence is a false pursuit.

"Financial independence" != "independence from the society". No one claims to be independent of the society. One just does not have to earn money anymore.

I agree that money are worthless without places to spend them and someone producing stuff to buy. This does not make financial independence less useful though.

Is there anything like an “Open Source Hall of Fame”, for recognizing and remembering significant contributors? It’s not perfect, but perhaps it is a way to at least preserve the memory and the history.

Linux has the CREDITS file where you end up once you drop out of maintainership of some subsystem:


(e.g. https://github.com/torvalds/linux/commit/054c4610bd05)

Ha - the last comment on that CREDITS list is pretty funny =)

Definitely worth the full scroll.

Poor Leonard stuck at third to last - has to be a big hit for someone with a name like that.

Who is "significant"? If you make many people significant, you have a hall of fame so big that nobody can remember anybody. If you make few people significant, then most FOSS labor is again performed by unsung heroes.

I think this is an amazing idea. This needs to exist.

Google publishes a list a few times a year with their Open Source Peer Bonus scheme:



NetBSD has dedicated particular releases to developers who died.

There’s this half formed view I’m finding interesting: currency based economy is one way to assign workforces in the Earthian human society, but not the only way, and not just in motivational sense, there truly are other ways, in existence or to be studied/theorized or the world is in need of.

If I was super rich or in power I could gather and pay a group of average people to make dhcpcd financially driven, but I can’t see that working.

Yeah I think if I suddenly became a billionaire after being in the industry for a while and maintaining important but underpaid legacy stuff I would handsomely reward some of these icons of the industry that has made me both very happy and very sad at times, but it is my life. OR send it to the charity of their choice :) .

A tragic message.

> I have been dealing with cancer for some time and sadly the treatment has not worked. My life expectancy is now fairly short.

I'm not sure what to say in response, since I don't know Roy. Though the prognosis is bad, nothing is certain. I hope he and his family gets as much time as possible.

Besides, having a tumor during the pandemic is particularly unfortunate as the standard of care has degraded mostly everywhere. Sadly, I know first hand.

I hope he gets as much time as possible. Immunotherapies are improving all the time.

> Besides, having a tumor during the pandemic is particularly unfortunate as the standard of care has degraded mostly everywhere.

Same here... I lost my dad to cancer at the height of the first lockdown, and it was really painful to overhear the oncologists that were treating him holding passionate conversations about covid and nothing else. The nurses were obviously overworked and did nothing else than provide morphine. Cannot complain about the professionalism of the care he received, given the circumstances. But I feel that I could have spend a few weeks more with him if he had fallen ill at a different time.

So tragic.

Generic cancer treatment in the US, with a few exceptions, was already a horrifying, barbaric affair: unless you have a cancer treatable with newer genetic or immune methods, it's still approached with cut, burn, and poison, like it's been for many decades, with varying results.

Add to that a constant battle at every step with insurance for pre-authorization pitting your doctor against a corporation, then fight against oppressive rules for pain management, all possibly while a family struggles to care for the sick person and worry about going to work to pay for it all.

I can't imagine adding covid into the horror. Best of luck to anyone facing this.

The developer's cancer blog seems to indicate that they live in the UK and are receiving medical treatment from the NHS.

The blog post mentions one person at the clinic he's being treated at has lived for 7 years on this treatment. Although the median is much lower, unfortunately :(

Very sad to hear, even though (especially because?) I have never heard of Roy before now but have used dhcpcd for many years. I hope he gets as much time as possible, and enjoys what he has left.

Very difficult to read. I think the only thing to say in this type of situation is to offer them whatever gratitude and love you can.

This is so sad because if you read his blog post from January 2021, he sounds so very hopeful and happy at the prospect of the immunotherapy working. It sounds like he discovered a new lease of life. Being thrown from that situation to the new prognosis which is infinitely worse, sounds like a hammer blow.

He was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers. He also mentioned in his first cancer blog entry that he had a malignant melanoma cancer removed two decades ago.

Immunotherapy came from left field as a cancer therapy - and for stage 4 cancers, the 4/5-year survival rate is much better than control groups - about 50%.

Jim Allison and Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel prize in medicine for their work in cancer immunotherapy.

There's an interesting documentary on Jim Allison's work - see https://www.breakthroughdoc.com/ (for USA PBS viewers: https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/jim-allison-breakt..., for TVOntario viewers: https://www.tvo.org/video/documentaries/jim-allison-breakthr...)

Cancer requires clinging to glimmers of hope. Yes, he felt that way at the time and yes, he wrote it down, but these improbabilities are all anyone ever has, its not over till it’s over.

I read that post too, going from a tiny undetectable bump under the skin that only his partner noticed, to unbearable pain pressing against his spine making him unable to sleep and think clearly.

It seems like 4 months were wasted just getting appointments.

There's a progression that is "forced" when you get a cancer diagnosis, especially if they have to surgically remove anything. They won't start chemo or anything else for several weeks post-op. It seems like you're trying to get appointments or whatever, but realistically, they're getting you in as soon as their liability (or patient care laws) says they can. Stage III, stage IV, doesn't matter. If they operate first, you're going to spend a lot of time waiting.

If you're an american, remember that FMLA only lasts a quarter, so if you can go back to work after the surgery but before the chemo i strongly suggest you do that if there's any concern about insurance or whatever, since you're probably going to want to sleep for the first few weeks worth of chemo dosing. Good luck to 1/2 of the american population, because that's the rate of cancer in the US.

1/2 sounds a bit high? (I'm completely ignorant on the matter, of course.)

> It seems like 4 months were wasted just getting appointments.

Unfortunately the UK health system is struggling with the huge COVID overload. It's one of the additional tragedies in countries with high infection rates: the acute care for COVID patients also decreases the care for all other illnesses.

> Cancer requires clinging to glimmers of hope.

Does it, though? Is there anything that suggests the mental state of the patient is a factor in the efficacy of treatment?

Pieter Hintjens has written a bit against the "fight" model.

I specifically didn't say fight and this wasn't a reference to someone's mental state having any affect on the user experience.

This was simply about the user experience itself. A dramatic way of saying that people grasp for hope, not that "beating cancer" requires glimmers of hope, only that the "user experience of cancer" involves the patient/host/victim grasping for them. I'm surprised you read it any other way, but I can see how, yeah this definitely wasn't one of those unquantifiable "beat cancer because they're a strong fighter [and everyone else that didn't was a useless weak wimp that gave up]" voodoo posts. His blog post was one of those glimmers of hope. It is predictable that people do that because they have nothing else. No more, no less.

The point is that deep down he still knew the odds and that his mortality was still in question.

Its "the last good day", a trope in cancer, where things seem normalizing and improving, but you don't know its the last good day.

A better mental state is its own reward, isn't it?

> It seems like 4 months were wasted just getting appointments.

That's the NHS "free" healthcare at play.

Remember, you get what you pay for!

I've been using a website for 15 years or so that had a similar situation. The creator/maintainer got a short prognosis, but made an effort to ensure that his service would outlive him.

Even though I'll never meet Josh from Spamgourmet his work continues to make my life a little bit easier on an almost daily basis. I hope Roy's legacy is able to continue in the same way and that he gets some comfort from that.

I have used Spamgourmet almost since its inception. Maybe the first great SaaS, and you couldn't help but immediately notice it was built by a lovely person.

Despite having only months to live, Josh was working on a plan to shut the site down in an orderly fashion as long as he was still able to notify all users, but then his son stepped in and took over part of the operation.

Dan Jezek died way too early and his family worked hard to keep BrickLink alive - and now it will continue as it’s under the umbrella of the LEGO Group. https://www.danjezek.com/

I believe open source work is amongst the greatest works of charities ever. It is just staggering the amount of work that goes building/maintainer open source. And I possibly wonder every week on who are these wonderful people creating/maintaining them.

My heart goes to maintainer & family.

Everybody in this forum needs to do a bit.

Request everybody to donate generously via paypal mentioned in the link.

wrt FOSS as charity, the IRS has been resisting FOSS orgs applying for 501(c)(3) status for a while. Not the best world to live in.

https://opensource.org/node/840 https://www.beavandenberk.com/ip/computer-internet/developin...

@Dang : Could you please change the title to convey this better.

'Dhcpd will need a new maintainer' - doesn't tell the real story.

Sometimes you can say a lot more with fewer words. It's the title he used to make the announcement.

Dear Roy,

It is unfortunate you are dealing with this. I am so sorry and hope for the best. The Handshake founders had an airdrop pre allocated for you in the Handshake Blockchain [1] so there is about $64,000.00 in there that you can claim under marples.name as of writing.

[1] https://dns.live/top.html

i cannot believe you made a marketing stunt out of his situation for your shitcoin

That's not his shitcoin; rasengan is Andrew Lee,[1] and seems to have no involvement outside of an open source grant from his company a long time ago. Besides, the airdrop for Handshake was ages ago, and it was given to everyone in the Alexa top 100k, I think.

It's a stupid cryptocurrency, sure, but insinuating bad motives is probably incorrect here. He just seems to like the crypto.


Why don't you/they just donate the funds to him on his PayPal?

What does this mean? Did the founders decide Roy's work was worthy of the coin donation?

I do not entirely understand how it works, but I think they allocated coins to users on GitHub based on certain metrics, and also reserved names in their system for the top 100k sites on Alexa.

It seems to be mostly automated/algorithmic.


Maybe he has more urging matter than claiming this ? Thought about the paperwork and taxes handling ? Could you do that for him ?

He provides a paypal link for donations in the post, and for most people $64k is a non-insignificant amount (i.e. would be worth the effort of claiming).

Well, it feels like a passive publicity stunt, so far, to me.

god shut up. it’s $64,000. he’ll take the time to claim it. can you please not post?

He came over to NetBSD from Gentoo a number of years ago, bringing dhcpd with him. An excellent acquisition for NetBSD. He has been a dedicated and thoughtful BSD developer. This is very sad news.

s/dhcpd/dhcpcd :)

As someone else commented in this thread, would be surprised if anyone could find a higher quality alternative. This one is free, open-source, written by a volunteer, not by a company nor by any organization that accepts money derived from online ad sales.

Was this a paid job or volunteer?


It's very disappointing that a man can go to the doctor with a rapidly growing lump and instead of cutting it out on the spot they make him wait for months of tests to come back, after which it's inoperable. Disgusting.

This guy is a machine. Roy fixed several bugs in dhcpcd that allowed the megacorp I worked for to ship dhcpcd in millions of devices. I donated.

but did the megacorp?

Unlikely. If you expect something different you’re missing the point of open source. Roy didn’t have to fix anything if he didn’t want to.

I mean, it's not a legal obligation, but it might be a nicer world if we considered it an ethical one.

No, that defeats the fucking point of open source. Nowhere did I say it was a legal obligation. I’m saying it’s not an obligation at all because that’s the entire reason it’s open source to begin with.

I write open source software. I don’t want my users means tested by the moral brigade to determine they should have coughed up money. I put it out there to literally prevent people from wasting humanity re-inventing the wheel.

It’s right in the damn license. If you want to create an obligation, stay the fuck out of the open source community.

> No, that defeats the fucking point of open source.

The "fucking point of open source" was, in part, that "free software" didn't send the right message and that we needed a new term that didn't imply "free as in beer".

Open collaboration and the freedoms to fix/modify/distribute the software you own doesn't conflict with the idea that maybe megacorps benefiting from it should chip in a little towards the maintenance of the thing they're making megabucks off.

I think perhaps you mean "moral" rather than "ethical".

It is entirely ethical to use free software, even to generate massive profits, without paying anyone anything. That's literally the whole point of software freedom: you're free.

Ethical and moral are synonyms. I don't understand the difference you're trying to draw.

    Definition of ethical

    1 : of or relating to ethics
    // ethical theories
    2 : involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval
    // ethical judgments
    3 : conforming to accepted standards of conduct
    // ethical behavior

    Definition of moral (Entry 1 of 2)

    1a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL
    // moral judgments
    b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior
    // a moral poem
    c : conforming to a standard of right behavior
    // took a moral position on the issue though it cost him the nomination

This is absolutely not correct. Morals are subjective, whereas ethics is a field of study that exists specifically to provide objective frameworks.

Free as in freedom. Even though you can't force them, big corps really should donate at least some free beer.

The point of freedom is that there is no "should" beyond what the license requires. They are free to act as they choose, and do what they choose, with the software.

We are also free to consider that dickish behavior and criticize it.

Sure, but that's plainly not in the spirit of free software.

I think that we can all agree that blowing people up with bombs is dickish behavior, and yet the software that has been released with otherwise-free licenses that prohibit its use in such bombing systems has been rejected by the free software community as nonfree.

The idea behind free software is that no other party gets to tell you what you can or can't do with it, such as "make money without donating anything upstream", "bomb children", or any other such thing.

Cool, so you’re insulting the developers of open source software. No good deed goes unpunished I suppose.

Developers impose the license. If they don’t want it used by corporations freely it’s trivial for them to say so. You’re implying that the developers are encouraging dickish behavior by doing what they want with their software.

Roy has been an incredibly helpful and dedicated maintainer, always helping people use it. Its the best dhcp client I know of too. Very best wishes in a difficult situation.

This is such sad news.

> I did not accept this. I have young kids to watch grow up and a loving wife to grow old with. Life and time are the two most precious commodoties we will ever have.

As sorry as I am that his hopes were futile, time and again the universe shows us how little it cares for these sentiments.

Regardless of what resources one might have to protest, we are all slowly ground to dust.

With many (most?) free software projects, implementing it and getting it to a stable working condition is only a fraction of the overall amount of work invested over time in maintaining the thing.

Compilers change, system libraries change, operating systems change, build systems change, language standards change and so on - and you, who just wanted to write, say, a DHCP server you or your organization needed at some point in life, tear yourself away from your day job, your family, your current pursuits and interests - which have likely not included fiddling with that old piece of code you wrote all those years ago - and bringing it in line what the current state of things.

Sisyphic work, which is usually rewarded mostly with complaints about why the thing is not up to date. "But they only just broke it! Do you expect me to spend my time also anticipating what infernal subtle ways the rug is going to get pulled from under me?" ... but you never tell people that.

You dutifully write your fix and re-publish (which can also be a bunch more work, since the platforms for publishing your FOSS project also change).

I salute you, Roy Marples!

(and I donated.)

Fuck cancer :(

I don’t know Roy but feel so sorry for him and his family.

Ugh, Paypal is still the worst. My transaction got flagged; maybe they think "DHCP" is some new street drug?

I really hope he doesn't have trouble withdrawing the funds. Paypal is known for freezing funds, sometimes for years.

From their email:

> On March 16, 2021, you sent a payment (xxxxxxxxxx ) for the amount of $xxxxx for "DHCP and DHCPd were significant in my early career. Best wishes." Please provide the following information: > > • An explanation of the reference to "DHCP ." > • The purpose of this payment, including a complete and detailed explanation of what is intended to be paid for.

Damn, Roy - I wish you all the best. I remember writing roy an email about the website not working when I setup his openresolv for my wireguard tunnel. He kindly responded and told me what was broken and why. It's just a very small touch into his life I made, but with it this whole thing hits me so much harder.

Roy, thank you for being an activate part of the free software community, thank you for dhcpcd and being nice to work with, thank you for everything!

A reminder that there's always a person behind software. It's been a few years but for a long time I used OpenRC and dhcpcd, made possible by Roy working away in the background. No matter what happens with his cancer, I'll always be grateful for that.

Developers should just stop working for free. This guy is battling cancer while making an effort to do another release. Surely if society needs such kind of software it can pay for it. A functional society shouldn't need heroes to make progress.

Wow! If I were in a similar situation, I don't think I would have the strength to think about the future of my projects.

Such a sad message.

If there was ever a time for companies to step up it's now. I feel terrible for his family. Donated what I could.

Has Roy been doing all of this essential maintenance work for years without pay from some kind of corporate sponsor?

This is very sad to hear.

Roy talked about the cancer in January: https://roy.marples.name/blog/posts/cancer/

Fuck cancer!

That being said, NHS sqhing they can't do anything for him doesn't mean nothing at all can be done! What happened to personalized medicine? What about the mRNA approach which seems promising?

I know, personalized medicine is expensive, but I bet some here on HN could easily finance such an approach and help this man out.

So the mailing list is going here: https://roy.marples.name/archives/dhcpcd-discuss/0003458.htm...

But do we have a new maintainer? Also donate if you can — cancer is expensive.

A note to readers. This is dhcpCd. A client, not a server. Also my client of choice.

Heartbreaking. I've been a long time user of DHCPD but (as I think many of us) never knew or think about all the people and hard work behind it. Thanks for everything.

I’d like to donate but the PayPal app just spins :-/

I’ll try web

If the link doesn't work open the app or website and search for @rsmarples

Web worked if any of you are having the same issue

Do you need a PayPal account or is there a "take my credit card and check out as guest" option somewhere?

Not sure. I already had an account.

It just keeps spinning for me, so I signed into paypal, but I can't look him up by his username. Does anyone have his email?

I've been using his software for decades, and I'd really like to thank him and support his family. I remember how much better of an experience it was to use dhcpcd rather than pump. He made my life better without realizing it.

Very sad. I hope there will be light despite the prognosis.

Why is regular chemotherapy not tried? Immunotherapy is very specific, it might not work.

Roy, thanks for all your hard work. So many people enjoyed and benefited from everything you have done.

Donation sent.

Roy and his work are brilliant.

Take care Uberlord.



That's sad to hear, but to think about the situation a bit more deeply, is DHCP software really something that needs "maintenance"? The protocol is decades old and stable, and no doubt the implementations in equally-old routers and other equipment continues to function unchanged and interoperate with much newer equipment.

Yes, without a doubt -- network software especially needs at least some maintenance to deal with security vulnerabilities. I'll say that not all software needs constant security supervision, but I think DHCP client/servers should. Among the other duties of maintainers. Bless all those who take up the thankless job...

Browse his work[0] to see what’s been going on with it. As a NetBSD user, I’m always happy and impressed to see dhcpcd getting the attention it does.

[0] https://roy.marples.name/cgit/dhcpcd.git/log/

Of course it needs maintenance. Architectures change, packaging methods change, software is started differently or earlier in the boot process, etc.

It probably doesn’t need many new features. But it needs someone to release bug fixes, and ports to new architectures, deal with CVEs etc.

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