Douglas Crockford at the "Browser Wars: Episode II Attack of the DOMs" event on 2007-02-28
|Alma mater||San Francisco State University|
Crockford purchased an Atari 8-bit computer in 1980 and wrote the game Galahad and the Holy Grail for the Atari Program Exchange (APX), which resulted in Chris Crawford hiring him at Atari, Inc.. While at Atari, Crockford wrote another game, Burgers!, for APX and a number of experimental audio/visual applications that were freely distributed.
After Warner Communications sold the company he joined National Semiconductor. In 1984 Crockford joined Lucasfilm, and later Paramount Pictures. He became known on video game oriented listservs in the early 1990s after he posted his memoir "The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion" to a videogaming bulletin board. The memoir documented his efforts to censor the computer game Maniac Mansion to Nintendo's satisfaction so that they could release it as a cartridge, and Crockford's mounting frustrations as Nintendo's demands became more obscure and confusing.
"Good, not Evil"
In 2002, in reference to President George Bush's war on "evildoers", Crockford added the requirement "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil" to the open source MIT License for his JSMin software. This clause was carried over to JSMin-PHP, a variation of JSMin by Ryan Grove. This software was hosted on Google Code until December 2009 when, due to the additional clause, Google determined that the license was not compliant with the definition of open source software, which does not permit any restriction on how software may be used. JSMin-PHP was forced to migrate to a new hosting provider.
Despite its humorous intent, the "evil" clause has continued to cause problems for some open source software developers when they inadvertently use code based on Crockford's version of the MIT License, and has inspired criticism of Crockford from affected open source developers as recently as January 2014. Crockford has refused to change the license terms despite numerous requests, with the notable exception of the permission to "IBM, its customers, partners, and minions, to use JSLint for evil."
- Bill Scott (May 12, 2012). "Welcome Crock!". Looks Good Works Well blog.
- Douglas Crockford speaker biography[dead link], New Paradigms for Using Computers conference, IBM Almaden Research Center, August 22, 1996
- Boosman, Frank (March 1987). "Designer Profile: Doug Crockford". Computer Gaming World (interview). p. 40.
- "Atari Program Exchange: Burgers!". atariarchives.org.
- The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion: A Memoir by Douglas Crockford
- JSON: The Fat-Free Alternative to XML, Douglas Crockford, December 6, 2006
- "The Open Source Definition | Open Source Initiative". Opensource.org. February 22, 1999. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "OSI FAQ entry on 'evil'". Opensource.org.
- Shankland, Stephen (December 28, 2009). "'Don't-be-evil' Google spurns no-evil software | Deep Tech - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- wonko.com (December 8, 2009). "JSMin isn't welcome on Google Code". wonko.com. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Douglas Crockford: The JSON Saga. YouTube (August 28, 2011). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
- directhex (November 9, 2012). "Archive » Evil, or why Douglas Crockford is harmful to Free Software". Apebox.Org. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "JSON.org License Literally Says it "shall be used for Good, not Evil" | Hacker News". News.ycombinator.com. January 30, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "Bug #63520 JSON extension includes a problematic license statement". bugs.php.net. January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "IBM and its minions...". February 13, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2014.