Together with the next version of the Eye of GNOME, the oldest open bug to date (coming from 2002) will be finally fixed. This bug, about adding a copy action to the Edit menu, somehow got unattended and slipped between all the other features that we and the previous maintainers of eog have been working on during the last 9 years.
This, until the last days of 2010. Then, out of the blue, we received in bugzilla a patch coming from Adrian Hands, implementing this feature. Felix had a look at it, the usual way, and seeing that it was almost there he pushed it to the master branch and resolved the bug fixed. We were happy to see this long requested feature finally added, but the full story would not unveil itself until a few weeks ago, when Ian Hands, son of Adrian, dropped by in bugzilla to let us know that his father had passed away. He had ALS and one of the last things he did, by means of a Morse-code mouse and when he was almost unable to control the computer anymore, was to write the aforementioned patch and to attach it in bugzilla. And about two months later, he would pass away.
If you want, you can read Ian's message, which is very touching to say the least. I talked to him privately and he was open to share this story with the GNOME community, for which I am grateful, so here you have it. I believe that there are many things to learn out of this, not only for each one of us at a personal level, but also at the community level. In the rush of the industry we've chosen to work on, sometimes we forget that there are people behind the patches, emails, and lines of chat that we exchange every day, and that behind each one of us there are different stories, motivations, and feelings that make us to actually be here, right now, doing this. How can we, as a community, make sure that we don't forget that the main reason why we're here in the end is to deliver something for people? That we are here because of people? I don't have the answer but, for certain, knowing what Adrian did for eog brings me back to earth from my bubble, at least for a while, and makes me feel proud to be part of a world where, if we don't forget about it, people like Adrian, you, or me, can make a difference.
Thank you, Adrian, for this wonderful gift.