Let me tell you about Eric Raymond. Originally (before he went full crazy) I knew of him as the editor of the Jargon File, which had a section dedicated to proving the legitimacy of Eric Raymond being its editor, and as, well,
the original perpetrator of the “what is a hacker?” essay, in which you quickly begin to understand that a hacker is someone who resembles Eric Raymond. – Dabblers and Blowhards (2005)
As a proof of his hacker qualities that he was shouting about at every corner he offered fetchmail, a program he claimed to have written (which, as I would later learn, started as another program but had the original copyright notice removed). Well, fair enough, I thought, here’s a hacker who’s an attention whore and a gun nut.
And then I suddenly needed a POP-to-SMTP thingie, so I downloaded fetchmail, compiled it, wrote a config file while marveling at its insane syntax, and then promptly realized that it issues SMTP commands without parsing responses, losing mail on any error (and making the server vulnerable to SMTP commands in the message body, why not). “You had one job”, as they say.
So when this guy advises Linus to “listen to grandpa” or tells RMS to “shut up and show [him] the code”, I just can’t treat him seriously. As a “hacker”, he gets no respect from me, and any of his opinions about programming are worthless. He has shown me the code, now he should shut up.
My father used to tell me the same thing. :-)