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Goodbye Marco (gnome.org)
567 points by SnaKeZ on June 8, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 57 comments

I had this weird thought the other day, not sure if it makes sense; We all think that one day we'll grow old, we see old people around us all the time so I guess we assume one day we'll be one of them. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be true for many of us.

Goodbye Marco. May you rest in peace.

And to you my friends, smell the flowers while you can.

> And to you my friends, smell the flowers while you can.

I'm 35, and I've already lost at least 4 friends. Causes of death: Drunk driving, Suicide, Murder, and bacterial infection/dropped dead.

The friend with the infection was a super-healthy woman who was opening a fitness studio, one of those people that you would expect to grow old, not catch a random bug and die.

What bug?

This is something of a fear of mine, especially after my wife received a MRSA infection a few years ago.

Internet obit says "a rare form of Group A streptococcal disease"

I know she was feeling crappy, enough to head into a hospital late-ish at night, and apparently by that time her kidneys had already shut down. I don't live in the same city as she did anymore, so I don't have any more info.

Sounds like it could have been toxic shock syndrome.


Try to stay away from hospitals then.

I know the feeling. We're somehow wired to blindly believe in the decades ahead of us for so many aspect of our lives -- be it compound interest or love affairs. The most peculiar aftermath of losing somebody you love way too early is this sort of spell being irremediably broken. You start being skeptical about even the not-so-distant future, because you can't help but feel it might won't be for you after all.

It's not even a good or bad thing on its own, you've always known it was part of the game: the sun rises, bigger animals eat smaller animals, tides come in and out; yet learning to live with it on your skin affects you deeply. Anyway, thanks for your comment.

It's not a weird thought at all, after all that's life. While the odds of you growing old outweigh the odds of a short life (average life expectancy is around 80 in western countries) it still happens frequently that people die too soon, for whatever reason. Yet most of us focus all of our energy and motivation on a time in the future when we have hopefully achieved X, while forgetting to enjoy the present in a meaningful way. That is kind of normal because the human psyche tries to ignore too negative thoughts and it's probably the best way not get too depressive about life as a whole. It's similar to how we do not really care about people far away that have a really tough life or anything that does not directly impact our own lives.

Though the upside to not growing old is that you don't have to become old.

Evince is my favorite PDF reader on Linux. Sad to see that his original author is gone :(

The original Evince was and still is my favourite PDF reader too. Unfortunately the newer versions feature a Gnome 3-style UI that renders the program unusable for me.

Anyway, I hope he had a happy life. RIP.

Take a look at Mate's Atril: https://github.com/mate-desktop/atril.

Indeed. I've found xpdf is OK for quickly viewing most PDFs, but Evince is the only one I've found that has decent support for form-fill-in.

Also on windows.

Yeah. Well most Linux software is kind of multiplatform anyway, or at least portable. My reason for citing Linux here more than Windows is that Evince was included by default in many distros.

Has a former GNOME Fundation member I would like to wish my deepest condolences to his family. It's very sad to see someone leave us so young. The FOSS lost a great mind, his work will was/is/will be in our Linux Desktop for some time.

Thank you Marco!

Oh man...

Marco created Galeon, which was my favorite browser back in the 1.2 days. He'll be missed.

Galeon was my favorite too. The best thing about it was you could bookmark search dialog boxes and it would show a search dialog box right in the bookmark bar From there, you could search for something and it would open up a new tab. It may not seem like a lot, but my coworkers and sped up our workflows by quite a lot once we figured this out back in the day.

Started a tilt for his family if anyone wants to donate:


Is it in Growth Engineering 101 to exploit a family tragedy?

Growth Engineering 101 is to exploit everything that is exploitable. (Sometimes, though, what is exploitable is the public appearance of restraint in an obvious opportunity for exploitation, but that's probably 201 -- or at least 102 -- level.)

This is sad news as this he has obviously made some really great software and shared it with the community. At the risk of threadjacking - I am always curious how evince and others are funded (if at all)? Is it corporately sponosored, completely volunteer, backed by a foundation. And following that up, if it is backed by a foundation, which ones generally give the most? Just trying to figure out how the money for opensource relates to things I know and use everyday.

I remember reading somewhere (I forget where) that making software has the ability to improve change/many lives and that alone makes software development, but especially open source, a useful endeavour.

How great it is then, that now I know who to thank for Evince. So sad that he's not here to receive my thanks.

Deepest condolences

So sorry to hear this; Evince rocks!

On a side note, as someone with cancer i'm getting more and more annoyed with people saying 'lost the fight' 'after a long fight' etc. Somehow (and I know more people have this) it makes it feel like you didn't try hard enough. Stop saying that please.

As a long time hospice spouse, I wonder if "Living with cancer" might better capture what matters. The battle metaphor often leads to medical approaches that reduce quality of life and induce pointless suffering. Accepting the inevitable fact of mortality isn't necessarily surrender, sometimes it is innate wisdom.

On that note, I really liked this conversation of D. G. Mayers (who died of cancer in September) regarding this topic. A small excerpt:

"Tony Gwynn died recently, just last month, of salivary gland cancer. (…) He was a great ball player, and a great man. He had salivary gland cancer for 8 years. (…) Every article about Gwynn's death quite rightly celebrated his prowess on the ball field and what a wonderful man he was. The last 4 and a half years of his life disappeared from all of the accounts. The only thing they ever said was that he had a 4-and-a-half year "battle" with cancer. And you know how much I hate that word, "battle." (…) You know, his experience of it--he continued to coach baseball at San Diego State. How did it affect his coaching? What did it do to his religious faith? How did it alter his relationship with his wife? All of this went unsaid, and it just disappeared into one word--battle."


This seems like very good idea to me. It is good enough that I will try to remind people in-person and online about it.

I have given eulogies before. I have focused on only things I wanted to remember and perhaps things I thought others would want to remember--not that there's anything majorly wrong with that. It is not easy to devise guidelines about what should and should not be communicated. But, I do think it is a disservice to someone's life with a disease to be summarized with a single word or short phrase--ESPECIALLY if that time frame is many years.

In summary, I see the issues as:

- Individuals summarizing another person's experience with a disease or condition using single words or short phrases such as "battle" or "long fight"

- Focusing only on periods of their life prior to to their diagnosis

- The ignoring of accomplishments, day-to-day realities of life, significant persons, significant places, etc. after their diagnosis

On another perspective, life itself is a fight.

There are attitudes toward cancer and death that are drawn from another perspective. The concern is that by describing another person's life as "fighting cancer" we ascribe that perspective to the other person without respecting how that person actually views [or viewed] their life.

Life is much more than a fight. Even life with cancer. Take a look at Steve Jobs. His "fight" wasn't publicized (likely because that's what he preferred), but he did accomplish things while also living with cancer that were publicized.

Shouldn't it be the same for others who live with cancer?

Life on HN is relating philosophical and existential questions to successful entrepreneurs.

No, life is a game! etc.

The graphics are amazing, but it's a bit grindy. :)

I am glad that you brought this up. It annoys and saddens me when people associate will, strength of character and general moral rectitude with surviving cancer. As if those who passed away were lacking in those qualities. Oh your dad died of cancer, so sorry, he must have been a wimp that's why he died. Please dont do this and no my dad doesnt have cancer.

It's not even technically accurate. At the very least it's a draw :)

> Stop saying that please.

Might come across as snarky, but really meaning not to: What's an expression that would be more acceptable?

Well, if you die of something else, these terms are not used. Or maybe I didn't see, but you don't say 'after fighting alzheimers' 'after fighting ALS' etc, they just say; he/she died of X. That feels more fair than taking some kind of process into account whereby one gets the feeling that if you had battled harder you would've come out on top. For many cancers this is simply not the case yet; I was 'lucky', he was not, but that's all it is. It has not much to do with fighting IMHO.

> they just say; he/she died of X

That's what my sneaking suspicion was. I recall having heard expressions like "after a long battle with illness", but your point makes a lot of sense.

Actually, I realise there's no mention of losing in that expression, which was made clear to me after finding this article


after searching Google for the above phrase.

Interesting point.

I wonder if one reason for the difference in language is that chemotherapy is so brutal that it ends up feeling like a "battle". Plus maybe that there's a chance of "winning", which isn't there with Alzheimer's or with ALS.

(I'm not justifying the correctness of the word, just speculating on the cause.)

It's that "chance of winning" thing when "battling" that's part of the reason it shouldn't be used. Too easy to imply (or for others to infer) that if they don't win it's because they didn't fight hard enough. Better to just get rid of the battle analogy altogether, IMO.

I've read phrases like "battling", "fighting", etc. used in a variety of illnesses. Its never been apparent to me that it is specifically relating to cancer.

I agree that it certainly isn't accurate to assert that they (or you) could've done more, but I hesitate to tell people to stop using that terminology. Because it IS a fight, and it's one that each day brings us closer to collectively winning properly.

I'm a bioinformatician working in genetics- I'm moving away a little from cancer genetics right now, but I've been involved some in the past. I think it'd be a little more accurate to assert that people like ME lost the battle against cancer- because we're the ones trying to understand cancer behavior and develop effective treatments. I celebrate that people see cancer as something to be 'fought', though, and hope that even more talented programmers will enter the fray.

Here's hoping your fight against cancer goes well, and that you have many happy days ahead, tluyben2! :)

> and hope that even more talented programmers will enter the fray

Where'd be a good place to start? And is it all statistical modelling and stuff, or what's involved in programming in the fight with cancer?

http://rosalind.info/problems/list-view/ It's the 'bioinformatics stronghold' at Rosalind- I feel like explanations I might give would be lacking, but these being practice problems in genomics, they might explain it better! :) Certainly there's a lot of statistical modeling involved, but just as much, it's a matter of getting a large number of command line programs to work together and yield a usable result! Many tools that do not all play nicely together. XD

https://tutegenomics.com/ is the place I'm interning at right now, part time, while I also help at a lab at university. That website is pretty interesting, as well, you might find- and I'd best get back to work for now. Ask me any other questions you have, though, I'd be happy to help, just a little short on time at the moment. :)

Ah! I think Biostars might also be a good resource to get an idea for the programming, statistical, and biological techniques required- this link may help! https://www.biostars.org/t/Tutorials/?sort=followers&limit=a...

Good luck, viewer5! :)

I just lost my Aunt. Her last years were a battle, but it often felt like a proxy war between Medicine and Mutation using her body as the battleground. First they sent in advisors, then they attempted regime change, then there were truce talks, then the conflict reignited. At the end she told the doctors to fuck off with their knives and needles so she could melt slowly into a hospice bed, robbed of her beauty, dignity, and life.

fuck cancer.

i hear what you are saying, and i will try to phrase it differently, but i do see it as a war. i am a smoker. i often work with carcinogenic chemicals. i see cancer as an inevitability, and when it shows up, i plan to either do nothing therapeutic (chemo, removal) and just go on a no holds barred adventure around the world to look at stuff i've only read about OR donate my body to some team of researchers who need a living model to test their ideas on. this is just my thinking currently; it may change. i have no children, few possessions, and few ties outside of family.

So for me, i do see it as a war that i will inevitably become a part of.

fuck fucking cancer.

> when it shows up, i plan to either do nothing therapeutic (chemo, removal) > donate my body to some team of researchers who need a living model to test their ideas on.

I have a cousin who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and, like everyone, have lost various other relatives and friends to cancer over the years.

One thing which is very clear from their experience is that all cancer treatment is experimentation on living people, with a hope that some combination of treatments will bring a cure. For some people there is a brief success (reduced tumor size, sometimes to undetectable levels) but, outside of some cancers which are very treatable, this is normally a brief pause.

Treatments people receive today are because of the experiences of people in the past which showed a good response and this is fed into developing and fine-tuning what is done today. The hope is this experimentation will mean more success in future and longer lives with better quality.

There are lots of anger filled comments (understandably so) here. The reality is you are best to receive the experimentation early on when it can bring benefits, but to also recognize it's not always going to benefit you for long and the benefit may go to someone a few years from now who have a better treatment and better results because of your experiences.

I think that's really the only positive thing you can take from the experience.

If you ever do get diagnosed, the bucket list thing is good. That's what I'm doing with my cousin while she has time. There is only a brief interval to tick that off; take it before it's too late.

Both my parents had cancer. Lung cancer for my father (he was a smoker for most of his adult life). He had a couple of surgeries and radiation and chemo and it bought him probably 10 years at the expense of a few intervals of discomfort. I think that's probably worth it, but it's hard to know ahead of time how things will turn out. The cancer eventually returned, and given his age and overall health at the time there was nothing more to be done.

Mother had breast cancer, caught early, and fully cured with lumpectomy and some radiation (no recurrence before her death due to unrelated causes).

Other forms of cancer are less treatable. It all depends on type and how early it's detected. I don't see much point in making any kind of hard-and-fast decisions ahead of time. When the time comes, look at the facts, get some good medical advice, and then decide what you want to do.

That all makes sense. I guess, in my head, when i say research i am thinking: wire the fuck out of my body. plant sensors, take biopsies, whatever. Metaphorically, i am a craft (space or flight) that is definitely going to crash, so instead of trying to fix it, let's get some hardcore telemetry. that may seem strange, but i believe data is the key to, well, everything. and i want to help my Family, which is every human being, and in my mind good data is the best way to do that.

Losing doesn't mean you didn't try your best though.

I know, it just doesn't feel right. And like said before; I'm not the only one who thinks that. I hear it quite a lot.

I lost my mom to cancer almost two years ago. I read this in reddit [1] and I liked it: "She didn't lose the battle - the cancer didn't live on either. At worst it was a draw, at best she took that fucker down with her."

Take care, buddy.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/talesfromtechsupport/comments/2pjmu...

> Stop saying that please.

What should we say instead?

Possibly 'succumbed'

It's metaphorical... PS, get well


I expect you're being downvoted for appearing insensitive to a person with cancer. The person you replied to has cancer. It's likely difficult, and it's easy to think of it as a battle -- but the person you replied to is allowed to complain about what we call it, whereas we and the familes of people facing cancer are not allowed to complain about it __to them__. (I also realize that many people with cancer might _prefer_ the "battle" term, as well.)

This is based on something I've read that was very formative [0]. The main idea is that the central person is allowed to complain to anyone, but anyone not at the center of a tragedy is only allowed to complain to people farther from the tragedy. A short version of this is, "comfort goes in, complaints go out", if you think of these layers as rings.

Cancer patient: Can complain to anyone about anything Cancer patient's family: Can complain to anyone __except__ cancer patients about anything. Bystanders (me): basically has no standing to complain about things ("this is so hard for me to deal with!"). ;)

Sorry if this seems a little preachy, because your feelings are valid. I think that the downvotes are mainly because of the way you said them, and on who you replied to. I found this article really helpful in framing my own thoughts and words about tragedies, because I've been inadvertently insensitive in the past about things like this. I hope you enjoy it too.

0: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-0407-s...

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