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The Developer Community Loses a Great Mind and an Advocate of Freedom

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DZone was saddened by the news this weekend of Aaron Swartz's suicide.  The developer community has lost a champion and a creative leader as we begin this year.  It's been heartbreaking for many, and certainly a source of anger for some, given his legal situation and the irregularity of the case.  But I just wanted to make sure that we took some time, not to focus on the anger in the community right now, but to reflect on the brilliant community leader we've lost. 

Fourteen years old - that was when Swartz first made his mark on the Internet's legacy.  He was just fourteen and already he had helped create the first RSS specification. 

I always remember the power that young people have to do great things when I think about the Roman Emperor Augustus, who began his bid to control the Empire at age 19.  With programming skills and the internet it's even simpler for even the youngest members of our society to do great things early in life, and we were extremely blessed to have benefited from a man who did great things with just 26 years of life.  That's my age, and I feel like I've just barely gotten started!  Who knows what greater things he could've given to the world if he'd lived longer?

I'd like to remember Aaron Swartz as the man in the video below.  A creator, and defender of freedom and openness on the web.

Here are some more links on the life of Aaron Swartz:

Remembering Aaron Swartz: Commons Man

My Aaron Swartz, Whom I Loved (Swartz's girlfriend remembers him)

Why am I so Upset About Aaron Swartz's Suicide?