Open Source Mourns Death Of Fedora Veteran

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Longtime member of Red Hat’s Fedora team Seth Vidal was killed on his bicycle by a hit-and-run driver

Paul W. Frields, a senior engineering manager at Red Hat, has known Vidal since 2004 when they met online while working on Fedora. “He was very logical but also very warm and also very passionate about the things that he believed in. He was really good at stomping on bad ideas before they could reproduce.”

At the same time, though, “Seth was never mean about it,” said Frields. “He never confused the bad idea with the person. That was one of the best things about Seth. He never got those things backward.”

Fedora Tribute

When Frields first met Vidal in person, in 2005 at a Fedora conference, “I expected him to walk in and he was going to be 8 feet tall and breathe fire out of his nostrils and smoke out of his ears” because of his logical nature and deep development experience. “So I had this expectation and I was completely surprised to find that he was a great speaker and was incredibly funny, incredibly clever, with a very joking and sardonic manner. He was really a warm and funny guy.”

fedora-lAnd like Fenzi, Frields agreed that Vidal always seemed to be in the middle of every group of people, wherever he was. “Whatever group Seth was in, you can guarantee there was going to be more laughter than anything else. He has been for a long time one of the crucial vertebrae in the backbone of making Fedora’s wheels turn properly for all of our contributors.”

At the Fedora Project Website, Robyn Bergeron, the Fedora project leader, posted that group’s tribute to Vidal on 9 July:

“The Fedora Project has lost a valued, longtime member of its community. Seth Vidal died last night, 8 July.

“Seth was a lead developer of yum and the update repository system, and a contributor to the CentOS project as well as the original Fedora Extras system. He worked tirelessly on the infrastructure for the Fedora Project to make all systems work well and consistently for our contributors around the world. He was a gifted speaker, a brilliant thinker, a clever wit, a humble and genuinely funny person, and a good friend.

“The Fedora community owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Seth’s dedication to Fedora and other free software projects, his commitment to community values, and his passion for excellence in his work. To say he will be missed is an understatement. He has been a colleague, a team member, a source of wisdom and advice, and above all, a friend and inspiration to countless people in the Fedora community over the past decade. His seminal and invaluable work in Fedora and free software will live on for years to come, and the legacy of his spirit will stay with the community, and with many of us individually, forever.

“Our thoughts are with his partner Eunice, the rest of his family, and Seth’s many friends and coworkers.

“I know that many members of the Fedora community will want to personally share their condolences. We’ll provide further information as soon as it is available.”

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Originally published on eWeek.

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