Interview with Matcher and Conservancy Board member Jeremy Allison
byon January 14, 2021
Jeremy Allison. Photo © Jeremy Allison, licensed CC BY-SA 4.0
A generous group of individuals has banded together to increase the amount of our match donation. This post is part of a series of interviews where these extraordinary folks tell us about why they care about software freedom and why they support Conservancy
We asked Jeremy Allison to describe himself for this interview, and he described himself as "a tedious audiophile who torments his friends with esoteric speaker trivia. He also likes to write C code and tries really hard not to put security holes in it. He co-founded the Samba project, whose list of CVE reports shows he is failing at this task. For some odd reason, Google thinks he is worth employing."
Q: How did you first get interested in software freedom?
A: I first got interested when I read the GNU Manifesto, back in the late 1980's. I don't know if was the "Astroid Mining" part that took my fancy, but it seemed like the right thing to do as learned in primary school - "Sharing is good !".
Also I grew up in the UK at a time where there was a great diversity of computing platforms many of which encouraged hacking. There was even a laptop that ran Forth as it's primary language rather than BASIC ! The spirit of wanting to be able to understand and work on the code that runs our lives never left me.
Q: How did you get started with Samba and why did Samba join Conservancy?
A: I was the person who submitted the first patch to Andrew Tridgell's (tridge) project (smbserver) that became Samba. I never looked back after that. I have to be honest, but Samba joined Conservancy because neither tridge or I wanted anything to do with non-technical things, and Conservancy seemed the easiest and lazyist way of getting other people to do these things. I now know that's not true, but it seemed a good idea at the time :-).
You've been on the board of Conservancy for a long time - what's that like?
A: The people who contribute to it are what make Conservancy. I know the projects are great, but the staff and other Board members are *AMAZING* ! It's an education and a privilage working with them. I love helping out and I hope to be able to do so for a long time to come.
Q: Why do you think people should contribute to Conservancy?
A: Conservancy's work has never been more important. More and more computing platforms are moving to locked down, proprietary code (sadly sometimes even based on top of Free Software).
The right to understand, to learn, to tinker and modify the code that runs all of our lives has never been under more risk. Please help conservancy do its vital work of continuing to fight for the freedoms I took for granted in my youth.
If we lose them, we'll all be the poorer for it !
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