I learned this
morning that a good man by the name of Jacob Sparre
passed away over the weekend. While Jacob (sparre) is not the first person
I know of to have died in the open source community, he is the
first I interacted with on some frequency. A constant presence in the Ada developer
community, most often I would chat with him in
#ada on the Freenode network
but we would also see each other once a year at FOSDEM.
sparre was a tall lanky Dane with a slow, methodical, and deep voice who patiently shared all the knowledge and experience he had with the newbies and experienced hands alike. I don’t believe I ever saw a negative comment towards, or about anybody, from sparre. His ever present willingness to help is a behavior I envy, and wish I emulated more often than I actually do.
Recently while cleaning out some old files, I ran across a demo repository he
had shared with me in direct response to a question I had asked in
around potential plugin architectures for Ada. I made a mental note “this is
really good code, I don’t want to lose track of it!” before returning to my
His positivity, willingness to listen, desire to help, and ability to share not only made sparre a great developer, but a good person.
The Ada community just won’t be the same without him.