Remembering Seth Vidal

red-hats-seth-vidal-2

It’s not every day that we think about the people behind software unless one of them gets pretty rich (Gates), exemplifies innovation (Wozniak), is accused of pretty hefty legal charges (Reiser), or is quite eccentric (Stallman). However, we’re going to deviate from that social norm today. I’d like to talk about Seth Vidal.

This Monday evening, 36-year old Seth Vidal was killed in a hit-and-run accident while riding his bicycle. Seth was a native of A Small Orange’s own hometown Durham, NC and attended the esteemed Duke University.

However, we have a deeper tie to Seth. The GNU/Linux community owes a great deal of respect to Seth. Seth wrote YUM (the Yellowdog Updater, Modified) which is core to Redhat and Redhat-like Linux distributions- such as CentOS, which is what we use for our shared cPanel servers, and SUSE’s YaST, which is used in many enterprise-level environments. He also worked with Fedora, Redhat’s open sourced/community implementation without which CentOS would arguably not be possible.

Indeed; without Seth’s work, it’s quite possible that A Small Orange and countless other webhosting companies (in addition to other service providers, such as many VoIP providers) may not even exist. We all owe a great deal of success to Seth’s creativity and hard work. Seth will be sorely missed by our community, and serves as a reminder that behind the software which we use on a daily basis, there is always a person who wrote it.

If you’d like to read more about Seth, you can read Fedora’s dedication on their mailing list here, BusinessInsider’s article on his death here, and some inside story about YUM here.

So long, Seth, and thanks for all the fish.

Photo via G+/Seth Vidal

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