Remembering a friend: Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams (left) interviews Ryan Jarvinen (right)

Matthew Williams (left) interviews Ryan Jarvinen (right)

One of the things about working in open source software communities is that you are always moving forward. It’s hard not to get a sense of momentum and progress when it seems you are constantly striving to improve and build on the work you and others have done before.

But sometimes you have to pause to reflect, because sometimes there is loss.

Remembering Matthew Williams

It is with heavy hearts that the Fedora Project community learned yesterday of the passing of one of its prominent members, Matthew Williams, who lost his three-year battle with cancer Wednesday morning. Matthew, also known as “Lord Drachenblut,” was an Indiana native and a passionate member of the Fedora community.

Matthew’s passion to constantly improve the software and hardware with which he worked created a tireless advocate for the Fedora Project, and his presence was felt at conferences across the nation: SCaLE, Ohio LinuxFest, and the former Indiana LinuxFest, an Indianapolis-based event that he helped found.

Matthew also devoted time to interviewing and archiving notable figures in the free and open source software communities to learn what drove people to work on their projects. He was also very driven to share what he knew, launching the Open FOSS training site in 2015 to help new Linux users with getting involved with any Linux distribution. While he was active in the Fedora community, Matthew was also very involved with Ubuntu as well.

A great deal of what Matthew did for Fedora centered on getting more people involved and knowledgeable about the project. To that end, he was the owner of the Fedora G+ page, a responsibility he took very seriously. Under his management, the page has over 25,000 members and is one of the Fedora Project’s strongest outreach channels.

All of this work and achievement does not really portray what Matthew was like as a person: a kind and thoughtful soul with an unwavering dedication to the things in which he believed. For those who worked with and knew Lord Drachenblut, it is your personal thoughts we invite you to reflect upon today. For the rest, know that the Fedora Project and the open source software community at large is a little more poorer today with the passing of our colleague.

The building will continue, but we will miss our friend Matthew.

Categories: Ambassadors, Fedora Project Community

5 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry, the real hackers don’t go, your code stills with us.

  2. Thanks for this Brian. I’m lucky to have known him. Having him officiate my wedding was one of the most fun things we ever did together. But to be honest, he did a lot more of the planning and put more effort into it. If there was ever a wedding that was loosely planned, and pulled off by a couple of men and nerds. Mine was it. And it kind of showed. I think my wife was humored by it, as she and I had just planned getting hitched at the Justice of the Peace. Matt, suggested us doing it at OLF. There were more guests then I expected. And a lot of them, I’d never met before. Its friends like him that make the Foss world go around.

  3. Well said, Brian. Lord Drachenblut was a fun guy, a good friend, and it’s been a painful past three years.

  4. I’m glad to see that he was doing something he loved with his life. I met him back in the late 90s when I was a cast member at the Indianapolis Rocky Horror. He was, and still is, the only person I let call me “Nikki”, without punching them in the face. 😉 We did shows, we hung out, and we spent New Years of 2000 together (and we were both disappointed that Y2K didn’t happen). He was much nicer to me than I deserved. We talked by phone and messenger in recent years, but the last time I saw him in person was around 2006-2007, and technology was something he loved and was very passionate about. I’m glad he got a chance to be active in an industry that he enjoyed and I’m glad so many people got to meet him and enjoy his company.

  5. I talked to Matthew every morning in the car via Telegram. He has been my council, my geek buddy, my friend and he will be dearly missed. In his words : F*ck Cancer 🙁

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