Open access, open internet, closed book
January 12, 2013 1:13 AM Subscribe
Aaron Swartz, web technologist, has committed suicide.
posted by Llama-Lime (528 comments total)
122 users marked this as a favorite
First mentioned on Metafilter for his involvement in the standardization of RSS in 2001 as a ninth-grader
, most of Swartz's 26 years were devoted to leaving a lasting impact on the web. Swartz co-founded Infogami
, which merged with the internet aggregator Reddit
, and also founded the Internet activist organization Demand Progress
which fought against the SOPA/PIPA
legislation. His framework for web servers, web.py
, was first released in 2006 when Reddit switched from Lisp to Python and continues to be actively used and updated
. In a 2008 attempt to make a public version of the contents of the PACER public court records database, Swartz angered government officials
when they learned he had downloaded 20 million articles, which he subsequently made freely available
. In 2011 he was indicted for data theft
for downloading large amounts from the academic article repository JSTOR. Despite JSTOR's statement indicating "no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter
," the US case continued with additional charges
, to which Aaron pled innocent in September of 2012.
Swartz maintained an active blog
which ranged over many topics, including Who Writes Wikipedia?
. His introspective posts such as Raw Nerve
and How To Get a Job Like Mine
were common inspirations for aspiring web technologists.