I was shocked to discover today that French PHP programmer Bertrand Gugger passed away last week due to a heart attack. Bertrand was co-lead on the Net_Monitor project with me, and contributed many valuable additions to the project, including all the SMS messaging support and end-to-end testing of European SMS messaging providers.
Bertrand was a character, to say the least. He was passionate about PHP and often had very strong opinions about how to write code well. This, combined with an imperfect grasp of English, often got him into trouble on the Pear Developer lists. Still, in the end, Bertrand and I always got along really well and he contributed some very valuable code to the Net_Monitor project as well as many other Pear projects. Whatever he did, he wanted to do right, and this commitment to writing high quality code — as well as a voracious interest in contributing to PHP development — will have implications and benefits for other PHP programmers for a long time to come.
Reading the news a week late on the Pear website drove home how little I have been involved with a community that used to be such a big part of my life. After James’s death, I began to refocus my life (and this website) on one of my original loves: poetry. And, with the growth of the company and my development team at work, I rarely delve in to actual PHP code these days.
That said, just the other day a new programmer signed on to the Net_Monitor project, and I am happy to see this work continue. Coding for love instead of money, giving something back to such an amazing community of talented programmers who have made so much possible for me in my own career and life — is a kind of lineage I have been proud to take part in. Bertrand was an important part of that lineage, right up to the end. He is survived by wife and children, who have my deepest sympathies now.
Que vous reposez en paix, Bertrand. You will be missed.