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Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 21:13:17 -0600
To: type2_at_type2_dot_com, vintagebus_at_type2_dot_com
From: Ken Hooper <bighouse_at_type2_dot_com>
Subject: Goodbye to Ron Van Ness
Cc: Ron Van Ness <rvanness_at_neuron.uchc_dot_edu>


I have been thinking for several years that bus-ness is really organized
around two central principles:

	Procedure
and
	Lore.

I may well re-do the web page (which now has entirely too many damned
buttons) around this theme. This is important, because the way in which we
categorize things has everything to do with the way we are able to
comprehend them. And it is the people who index knowledge, who categorize
and prioritize it, the librarians and the database administrators, who make
the age of technology possible.

Josh Rodgers started the Type2 Library in (I think) 1997. It was not a
completely original idea, and in the beginning Josh filched a lot of the
files from the Vanagon files archive run by Skip Montanaro (Skip in turn
had filched a lot of it from Joel Walker). Still, Josh understood that
categorizing this stuff so people could find it, was a consideration that
trumped all others if we were going to build a *resource* on the web, as
opposed to a scrapbook, and he made the first sustained effort to do that.

Some of Josh's choices were non-obvious (I never could quite figure out
what the difference between "electrical primary" and "electrical secondary"
was) but he was the first to make some attempt to take this stuff and
pre-chew it and spit out the crap, and organize the good stuff so people
can easily find it. It was irreplacable work.

When Josh died, Ron Van Ness took the Library and began to work on it. Now
the thing was in the hands of a born data master. =^ )

Week by week, he shaped it up, added to it, began to cross-index it. If you
go there now, you take it for granted that the articles are sorted both by
subject, and alphabetically, because it seems so obvious that it *should*
be that way. But to sort it that way took a tremendous amount of work, you
can't know how time consuming it is unless you've done it. Ron cultivated
the resource, adding good stuff as people posted it to the lists, sometimes
pulling it out of the archive, often building compilations that act as
FAQs, doing the endless tedious HTML work that a page like that requires.

Ron made that resource what it is today, and it is a truly awesome piece of
work. He also maintained his Ness-Tek page, which was mostly devoted to
technical articles that Ron wrote himself. Turns out that in addition to
everything else, the man is a superb technical writer.

Ron is moving on now, he wants to open up some time that he's been spending
on the list stuff and spend it on other things instead. I wanted to wish
him well and say goodbye to him and most of all, to say

	thank you!

for all he has done. We are infinitely richer for what he gave us.

The Library itself has been given over to Sean Bartnik, another incredibly
generous person, who I know will do nothing but make the resource even
better. Ron Van Ness himself, if he is no longer a part of the Procedure,
will now be an immortal part of the Lore and I am going to miss him.

If you are very new, what I am fussing about is here:  http://www.type2_dot_com

--Ken		Greasy Fingers Smearing Shabby Clothes
		type2_dot_com Webmaster