Erik Naggum, R.I.P.

[20 June 2009]

It appears from reports on the Net that Erik Naggum, long-time genius loci of comp.text.sgml, has died.

In person, he was (as far as I could tell, on the very few occasions I encountered him in the flesh) a very sweet individual. On the net — well, he taught me what a flame war was. His work on internationalization gave hints of great generosity; his resentment against the Unicode Consortium was almost comic in its ferocity (even to me, never one of that organization’s greatest fans).

Erik Naggum, dead? Is it possible? One person fewer who remembers the old days.

So it goes.

4 thoughts on “Erik Naggum, R.I.P.

  1. Eric made passionate argument into an art form. Not necessarily an art form I like; one I find myself staring at in horror. The rant at is a perfect example. He is, in my opinion, so wrong in so many ways that it is breath taking, and yet from time to time I find myself saying “he has a point here”. His rhetorical style is odious, but I still find myself reading to the end, because he cared so much, and meant well. And because this is a really spectacularly articulate temper tantrum!

  2. I’m not sure I ever met Erik in person. I might have, I’m sure we exchanged email, though I don’t have enough of my archives online right now to say if I was flamed or not. I’m sorry he’s gone.

    I am unreservedly skeptical, but I can’t help smile at the thought of Erik standing in the afterlife flaming $DIETY. And winning.

  3. Erik made good points in the article Tommie referenced, but I think forgot that most users of markup languages had not the same level of care and intellect as Erik; the syntactic redundancy has an important role in increasing the cardinality of the set of potential users….

    Even though I had not heard from Erik for years, his arguments were always thought-provoking, he was indeed a sweet individual, and he will be missed.

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