Two of the early leaders of the X Window System community were lost to cancer this year -- Smokey Wallace, who led the DEC WSL team which created the initial implementation of X11, and Hideki Hiura from Sun Microsystems, who helped design the X11R6 internationalization framework. The X11R7.6 release is dedicated to their memory.
Jim Gettys remembers that “Without Smokey, it is not clear that X11 would have ever existed: he and I drafted a memo that proposed developing X11 in Digital’s WSL and making the result freely available, as X11 would require more resources than we had available at MIT. This was one of the seminal moments in free and open source software, though few know of it.”
Alan Coopersmith, who worked with Hideki at Sun, noted that “Hideki’s contributions to the X Window System and leadership in forums such as openi18n.org will leave a lasting legacy on the millions of users who are able to use their native languages to interact with computers and portable devices running the Unix and Linux families of operating system.”