A Tribute to Edgar D’Souza

Edgar, whose zest for life and sharp skills as a tech editor played a key role in shaping LINUX For You (now Open Source For You), is no more.  

Edgar Boniface D’Souza, an ardent open source loyalist, left an indelible impression on many people. The man who exuded a zest for life and who played a key role in shaping LINUX For You (now Open Source For You or OSFY) as a tech editor, is no more. On the night of June 3, 2014, the open source fraternity lost one of its most devoted evangelists. Edgar passed away in his hometown at Moira in north Goa – he was only 41.

Born on May 13, 1973, Edgar did his primary and secondary schooling at St Britto High School, Mapusa, Goa. He joined St Xavier’s College, Mapusa, for higher studies, but didn’t take to the constraints of rigid academia; so he opted to study at home.

In 1996, Edgar joined Online Productivity Solutions Pvt Ltd, Goa, where he rose to become a senior programmer. Blessed with a sharp, incisive mind, he was quick to grasp the dynamics of the software industry and soon began resolving software-related problems with great efficiency. Edgar then discovered that his forte was technical writing and editing; so he joined the EFY Group. Not many know that Edgar was a founder member of the Goa Linux Users Group and a couple of local mailing lists.

People who knew him, speak about his warmth and razor-sharp wit. Janani Gopalakrishnan Vikram, a freelance writer for the EFY Group, says, “Edgar was a fantastic person – he had that rare combination of wit, innocence, friendliness, a non-judgmental attitude and helpfulness. If you were in a spot, you could be sure Ed would help you out or share some good advice that would bail you out of the situation. If you ever doubted your own capability to accomplish some task, you could be sure Ed would encourage you to try it out. If you needed something done, Ed would definitely help out if he could. His English was impeccable, and his understanding of open source was so great that while he copy edited for OSFY, he never stopped with correcting just the language. He could also spot errors in the technical content, which he would promptly inform us about. And if things were happening in the eleventh hour as they often do in the media world, he would help out by fixing the errors. I will always value his words of sincere, childish admiration every time he read a good article. Our bereavement is so deep that nobody will believe most of us at EFY have not met him personally. Rest in peace, Edgar D’Souza. Hope God has better things in store for you.” Rahul Chopra, managing editor of the EFY Group, fondly reminisces, “I have known Edgar since the early days of LINUX For You. I never met him but we exchanged many emails. We got connected when he expressed an interest to write for LINUX For You. It was always a pleasure to go through his articles since he had mastered the art of putting technical content in an easy-
to-understand form. Thus, when the opportunity arose to have Edgar on board to help us edit our content, we grabbed it with both hands.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Edgar played an important role in shaping LFY (now OSFY) into what it is today. He’ll surely be missed. Not only by the OSFY team but its readers too. May his soul rest in peace,” he says.

For Tony de Sa, current tech editor of OSFY and a good friend of Edgar’s father, Edgar was a person who could light up a dull party with his warmth. He says, “Edgar was the one who introduced me to Linux. One fine day he came to me and asked me to shun Windows and start using Linux. From then onwards, I became an avid open source fan. Though he was my friend’s son, we shared a very good rapport and he could talk at length on any topic. He was someone who could bring life to a dreary conversation. His loss is incalculable.”

Till his untimely end, Edgar remained completely committed to his passion — open source technology. He will be missed by all who worked with him.

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