OpenUK Honours

So, I was awarded a medal.

OpenUK, who are a non-profit organisation supporting open source software, hardware, and data, and are run by Amanda Brock, have published the honours list for 2021 of what they call “100 top influencers across the UK’s open technology communities”. One of them is me, which is rather nice. One’s not supposed to blow one’s own trumpet at a time like this, but to borrow a line from Edmund Blackadder it’s nice to let people know that you have a trumpet.

There are a bunch of names on this list that I suspect anyone in a position to read this might recognise. Andrew Wafaa at ARM, Neil McGovern of GNOME, Ben Everard the journalist and Chris Lamb the DPL and Jonathan Riddell at KDE. Jeni Tennison and Jimmy Wales and Simon Wardley. There are people I’ve worked with or spoken alongside or had a pint with or all of those things — Mark Shuttleworth, Rob McQueen, Simon Phipps, Michael Meeks. And those I know as friends, which makes them doubly worthy: Alan Pope, Laura Czajkowski, Dave Walker, Joe Ressington, Martin Wimpress. And down near the bottom of the alphabetical list, there’s me, slotted in between Terence Eden and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. I’ll take that position and those neighbours, thank you very much, that’s lovely.

I like working on open source things. It’s been a strange quarter-of-a-century, and my views have changed a lot in that time, but I’m typing this right now on an open source desktop and you’re probably viewing it in an open source web rendering engine. Earlier this very week Alan Pope suggested an app idea to me and two days later we’d made Hushboard. It’s a trivial app, but the process of having made it is sorta emblematic in my head — I really like that we can go from idea to published Ubuntu app in a couple of days, and it’s all open-source while I’m doing it. I like that I got to go and have a curry with Colin Watson a little while ago, the bloke who introduced me to and inspired me with free software all those years ago, and he’s still doing it and inspiring me and I’m still doing it too. I crossed over some sort of Rubicon relatively recently where I’ve been doing open source for more of my life than I haven’t been doing it. I like that as well.

There are a lot of problems with the open source community. I spoke about divisiveness over “distros” in Linux a while back. It’s still not clear how to make open source software financially sustainable for developers of it. The open source development community is distinctly unwelcoming at best and actively harassing and toxic at worst to a lot of people who don’t look like me, because they don’t look like me. There’s way too much of a culture of opposing popularity because it is popularity and we don’t know how to not be underdogs who reflexively bite at the cool kids. Startups take venture capital and make a billion dollars when the bottom 90% of their stack is open source that they didn’t write, and then give none of it back. Products built with open source, especially on the web, assume (to use Bruce Lawson’s excellent phrasing) that you’re on the Wealthy Western Web. The list goes on and on and on and these are only the first few things on it. To the extent that I have any influence as one of the one hundred top influencers in open source in the UK, those are the sort of things I’d like to see change. I don’t know whether having a medal helps with that, but last year, 2020, was an extremely tough year for almost everyone. 2021 has started even worse: we’ve still got a pandemic, the fascism has gone from ten to eleven, and none of the problems I mentioned are close to being fixed. But I’m on a list with Tim Berners-Lee, so I feel a little bit warmer than I did. Thank you for that, OpenUK. I’ll try to share the warmth with others.

Yr hmbl crspndnt, wearing his medal

I'm currently available for hire, to help you plan, architect, and build new systems, and for technical writing and articles. You can take a look at some projects I've worked on and some of my writing. If you'd like to talk about your upcoming project, do get in touch.

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  • Peter Langridge responded at twitter.com I'm chuffed to read this
  • Graham Binns responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Alan Pope 🍺🐧🐱🇬🇧🇪🇺 responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Carlos Sanchez responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Thomas Meehan responded at twitter.com How excellent! Well done. And what brilliant alphabetical placement in the list.
  • OpenUK responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Glenn responded at twitter.com Congratulations and well deserved
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com serendipity, I've decided :-)
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com thank you!
  • OpenUK responded at twitter.com As we move through a difficult start to 2021 in the UK, we look forward to @sil sharing some of his warmth with others and raising smiles, as an #Open…
  • Amanda Brock responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • SyntaxError responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: OpenUK Honours kryogenix.org/days/2021/01/1…
  • Jeffrey Bouter responded at twitter.com That's really awesome! Cool to see @JoeRessington and @m_wimpress on that list as well.
  • Joseph David Borġ responded at twitter.com Congrats Stuart! Much deserved.
  • Joe Ressington 🎅🎄☃️ responded at twitter.com
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com we are brothers of true medal 🤘
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com thank you!
  • Jeffrey Bouter responded at twitter.com Ha, lovely! :-D
  • OpenUK responded at twitter.com
  • Jacob responded at twitter.com
  • Liz Rice 🏡 responded at twitter.com
  • Łukasz Piekarski 🇪🇺🇵🇱🍺 responded at twitter.com
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  • Carlos Sanchez responded at twitter.com
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  • Joe Ressington 🎅🎄☃️ responded at twitter.com
  • Jeffrey Bouter responded at twitter.com
  • Tajinder Singh responded at twitter.com
  • Dave Neary responded at twitter.com
  • Christian Hammond responded at twitter.com
  • Joseph David Borġ responded at twitter.com
  • Joyce Park responded at twitter.com
  • Amanda Brock responded at twitter.com
  • John Sear responded at twitter.com
  • Alan Pope 🍺🐧🐱🇬🇧🇪🇺 responded at twitter.com
  • 👨‍💻 Richard responded at twitter.com
  • James Vickery responded at twitter.com
  • Glenn responded at twitter.com
  • Tommy Persson responded at twitter.com
  • Monica Ayhens-Madon responded at twitter.com
  • Peter Langridge responded at twitter.com
  • James Seconde responded at twitter.com
  • Martin 🙂 Wimpress responded at twitter.com
  • Christian Reis responded at twitter.com
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  • Terence Eden responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Dementor 🇮🇱 responded at twitter.com
  • l.scheelings responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Jacob responded at twitter.com Congrats Stuart!!
  • Anne Bruinsma responded at twitter.com
  • l.scheelings responded at twitter.com
  • Tim Jones responded at twitter.com
  • SyntaxError responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: OpenUK Honours kryogenix.org/days/2021/01/1…
  • Ben Thorp responded at twitter.com
  • Bruce Lawson, Antifa. Black Lives Matter. responded at twitter.com In which flame-haired FOSS Adonis @sil is awarded a medal for his contributions to open source. kryogenix.org/days/2021/01/1… Congrats, old chum!
  • Stuart Colville responded at twitter.com
  • Nicholas Shiell responded at twitter.com
  • Maria Langridge responded at twitter.com Well done Our Son
  • Maria Langridge responded at twitter.com That from a very proud Mam
  • Luke responded at twitter.com Congrats, this line made me laugh... "One’s not supposed to blow one’s own trumpet at a time like this, but to borrow a line from Edmund Blackadder it…
  • jasonw responded at twitter.com
  • Fiona Nielsen responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Alberto Ruiz responded at twitter.com
  • UBports Foundation responded at twitter.com
  • Darshak Parikh responded at twitter.com
  • Fiona Nielsen responded at twitter.com
  • Clyde Da responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Chris Heilmann responded at twitter.com That @sil is honoured as an OpenUK influencer and I can only agree. He is an excellent chap. kryogenix.org/days/2021/01/1…
  • Super Niaintendo responded at twitter.com
  • Czech Da responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • A response was written at neil.themcphails.uk
  • Miia Sample responded at twitter.com Congratulations! Thank you for mentioning those who have been deterred or left open source for not feeling like they fit in, it brought tears to my ey…
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com I think it's a big problem, and although lots of good people are trying to fix it, there's lots of pushback against fixing it from idiots in the commu…
  • Kugi Javacookies responded at twitter.com
  • Ben Thorp responded at twitter.com Congrats! I'm assuming that there will not be any free beer attached to it, but have a pint on me ;) IOU 1 pint. At Jan 2021 prices, though.
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com thank you! I will take you up on that at some point many years from now when all this is finally sorted and we can joyfully undangerously go to the pu…
  • Project Olivia responded at twitter.com
  • Nexample responded at twitter.com I am, it seems, an open source influencer. Quite proud to be on a list with @timberners_lee and @edent and @popey and 96 others, so I wrote
  • Nexample responded at twitter.com
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