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Goodbye Robert Dewar, Gary Smith

 

In the last few days we have heard of the death of two major players.

The first is Robert Dewar, one of the towering figures of software in every sense of the word. As well as being an outstanding computer scientist, being involved in language design, and compiler design – particularly the GNAT compiler for ADA, he was also a businessman, founding ADACore, and an expert on the way copyright and patents affected software. He was a great evangelist for FLOSS – freely licensed open source software. I wrote about his views five years ago,  License to bill and can still remember the hour long phone call as though it were yesterday.

The second is Gary Smith, a fount of knowledge on EDA.  After Dataquest, where he was Managing Vice President and Chief Analyst of the Electronic Design Automation Service, Design & Engineering Cluster, pulled out of examining EDA, he started Gary Smith EDA as a consulting and analysis company, and built it up to become the first point of call for data and trends about EDA and its changes. An open and friendly person, I remember one DAC in San Diego where he spent a long taxi ride reminiscing about being in the Navy at the time of Viet Nam.

The world is now a poorer and emptier place.

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