Talk:Patrick Volkerding

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need additional informations[edit]

someone, please add pat's date of birth, hometown, nationality and where he is living now. now it seems like an incomplete bio -rr

A picture of PV[edit]

A picture of PV can be found here:


Patrick has a daughter[edit]

I believe we should mention that pat daughter was born not long ago...

Yes, but what is the "Version 2.0" phrase a reference to? A geeky in-joke?
I think the section title "Daughter" should be replaced to "Personal" and perhaps also encompass the information about his illness too. I agree with Ori Livneh that the information on his daughter should be summarized and a link added pointing to the original post. -Etienne 22:24, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Uncitable Personal Health Info, Patrick Volkerding[edit]

I believe we should remove the mention to Patrick's illness. After all, such level of detail is probably irrelevant on the long run of an encyclopaedic article. Maybe a small note perhaps? Today it is roughly 50% of the entire article. In this same point, shouldn't all this progress report on his health be more relevant to a wikinews site? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Pat was on his way toward death <-- a major part of life. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I agree, cleaned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Equinoxe (talkcontribs)

Hi, I hope I didn't appear to be too snippy... but if you'll check the history you'll see that the Three Revert Rule has been disregarded so this does become a matter for Wikipedia arbitration. I hope to convince you away from your current stance by referring you to HIPAA and libel as well as pointing out the lack of a substantitive source on which to defend this content. The only source is a Slashdot message. This is not a verifiable source, nor is it a citation of a reliable source. Whereas health information is temporal and continually updated within the confines of doctor-patient confidentiality (if such a diagnosis ever existed the diagnosis may be updated, changed or reverted at any moment without press releases or public announcements with which to update the article). US Federal Law prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of private medical information. Whereas there is NO PUBLIC RECORD of new or old diagnoses the matter should be viewed as utter heresay, although any lawyer with a penchant for libel law would could easily make a strong case for libel -- such a case would stand quite firmly on the privacy tenets of HIPAA.

Whereas your re-addition lacked the scrutiny of a scan for current and verifiable sources as well as a misunderstanding of the legal prohibitions on this private information I respectfully request that you consider my points, the law and the ethical implications of such disclosure of private health information and stand-down on the matter rather than further escalate the issue to arbitration.

Thanks! Zosodada

Hi Zosodad. I appreciate your level-headedness. Your concern is certainly warranted, given the nature of the claims. However, Volkerding's posting about his illness is preserved on many websites. AFAIK, it was removed from the official Slackware site because its urgency and plea for help are no longer relevant. Here's the particular information about Volkerding's self-diagnosis, in his own words:

I googled for "yellow lung granule" and maybe the third hit mentioned something called Actinomycosis. There it was, a laundry list of the symptoms I'd been experiencing. Furthermore, the disease is caused by the same bacteria that normally lives in the mouth and in dental plaque. Infections are most common in the jaw, but sometimes occur in the lungs and spread elsewhere through the body. The hallmark of the disease is the finding of small granules of sulfur. Aha, I thought. Now that I know what this is, I should be able to get some treatment. via

The website is not an especially encyclopedic source, but the words are Volkerding's. He has not, to my knowledge, issued a retraction or disowned the post, which was (at one point) on the official Slackware FTP site. Unfortunately, neither WayBackMachine nor Google cache FTP sites, so the file is not possible to locate that way. However, if you google for PAT-NEEDS-YOUR-HELP.txt, you will find lots of references to the file as it existed on the official Slackware servers by many reputable sources.
I agree that "During 2004, Volkerding struggled with some health issues, possibly related to a bacterial infection caused by Actinobacteria", might be a problematic phrasing. How about: "During 2004, Volkerding struggled with some health issues, which he suspected to be related to a bacterial infection."?
Finally, I don't think Volkerding's announcement on the birth of his daughter merits his post being reproduced in full. I don't see what's problematic with my quick summary, "He has a daughter, Briah, born in 2005, with his wife, Andrea." What do you think?
--Ori Livneh (talk) 22:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I know this is old and doesn't really matter that much. However, Pat himself had made this (both his health issues and details about his wife and daughter) public record. I don't think this would be a HIPAA or legal issue as I don't think either he or his family would object to this being covered. Centerone (talk) 17:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Volkerding's Alleged "Illness" (follow-up)[edit]

Volkerding's illness is noteworthy, since the success of the Slackware project depends on his well-being to a large extent. As such, its reprocussions extend beyond mere trabloid trivia. I don't see how it's a violation of any HPIAA regulations if he released this information to the internet himself. As an aside, I'm also cleaning up the "Version 2.0" geekery which is non-encyclopedic. --Ori Livneh (talk) 00:31, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I replaced the mention of Volkerding's illness.. personally I think it's worth mentioning, but that might deserve discussion. However, we are obviously not violating HIPAA by re-reporting statements which came from Volkerding himself as well as other sites such as Slashdot. HIPAA's privacy provisions apply only to health care organizations themselves. HIPAA doesn't prevent media outlets from reporting publicly available information. It would be better if the anonymous user did not resort to personal attacks and irrelevant arguments to support his claim that the illness should not be mentioned. Rhobite 15:48, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Did you check the dead links? The "source"? You have no source or citation statements from Volkerding himself. The only extant citation is a slashdot message with no citation or source. This is not to say that such statements weren't once made, I don't know, but there is no relaible source that I can find for this information at this time and none included in the text that keeps being inserted. The other user also had a point regarding HIPAA -- I refer you to HIPAA Privacy Rule. I'm going to back this up and am willing to take it to arbitration and beyond. User:Zosodada

Zosodada: If you read HIPAA#The_Privacy_Rule, you'll see that HIPAA only applies to "covered entities", which are defined as health care providers, insurance companies, etc. Nothing in HIPAA applies to media organizations. It would be a major first amendment violation if HIPAA restricted ways in which the media could report already-public health information. As for your point about unreliable sources, there is no requirement that Wikipedia should only use primary sources. Slashdot seems like a fine source for reporting about Volkerding's health issues, and it looks like Ori found some other sources for his announcement. As for your libel claim, it is clearly not libel if we're just re-reporting Volkerding's own words.
and the words were what? "I googled about a bacteria?" What some of you are reporting is not that he googled something, but that he was diagnosed with something -- which is UNSUPPORTABLE and UNVERIFIABLE. --z.
I think you're being much too aggressive with your threats of arbitration and legal pitfalls for Wikipedia. People will quickly lose interest in civil discussion if you continue to make these threats. Thanks. Rhobite 22:32, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll take it to arbitration as soon as the unsupported information is reposted. Please help me keep this page on-topic and deposit your ad-hominem critiques toward me on my talk page. --z.
Here's a mirror version of PAT-NEEDS-YOUR-HELP: [1]. It's a copy of what Volkerding posted to his changelog. I fail to see how this is unverifiable, since it's Volkerding's own writing. Please read about arbitration before threatening it. Your arbitration request would be rejected for two reasons: one, arbitration is not used in content disputes. And two, it is a last resort and you haven't attempted any other form of dispute resolution. Personally I wouldn't even classify this as a dispute, we're just having a discussion about what information should be mentioned in this article.
Also, please be careful editing this talk page - you removed several other comments from the page in your last edit. Thanks. Rhobite 23:45, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
My objection is not "content"; it regards potential LIBEL and a violation of FEDERAL LAW. -- z
I'm attempting that now.--z
Whereas you've disregarded the THREE REVERT RULE several times, it is a dispute.
That's what happens when I engage in two discussions at once, sorry. --z
I'd prefer if you didn't insert your own responses in my comments. Please see Help:Talk page for instructions on formatting your responses. I hope I've put to rest your concerns about libel and HIPAA violations. Both of these claims are without merit, and I don't feel they're worth further discussion. I think you should read about the elements of libel before accusing Wikipedia of it, specifically the falsehood requirement. I have not violated the 3 revert rule, please see WP:3RR. If you feel I've violated it, you should report me at WP:AN3. Rhobite 00:01, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
As I said above, while I realize this is an old issue and doesn't matter much (I still think it should be included in the article.) It is NOT libel because it is TRUE. Nothing TRUE can be considered libel. Pat himself made it public. It's not a HIPAA issue because we are not releasing private medical records or details, nor do we have any duties to not release data that is in the public and is verifiable. Centerone (talk) 17:28, 16 July 2014 (UTC)


Ok, let's wrap this up peacefully. I'll sum up the issues, and their resolution:

  1. Libel: Not an issue for a number of reasons. Primarily because we are referencing Volkerding's own statements.
  2. HIPAA Violation: Not an issue, since, as Rhobite points out, HIPAA only applies to "covered entities", which are defined as health care providers, insurance companies, etc.
  3. Volkerding's daughter: per my comments and Etienne's, the information about the birth of Volkerding's daughter should be summed up, rather than reproduced in whole.

Here is my proposed phrasing of the contentious health issue:

In 2004, Volkerding reported in his ChangeLog that he was struggling with some severe health issues, which he suspected to be related to Actinomycosis. On January 22, he wrote that he has not yet fully recovered, but chose not to release any further details.

Zosodada (or anyone else): if you wish to object to the first two items, please provide clear evidence of legal problems. I encourage you to read all relevant legal material carefully. The third is more a matter of opinion, but so far I have heard no objections. I will be applying the relevant changes later today if no further objections have been raised.

--Ori Livneh (talk) 20:48, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Please make the necessary changes. -Etienne 23:32, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
I can't find the Jan. 22nd reference anymore, regretably. There is this, but it is not authoritative enough to cite. I'll dig through the archives to see if I can find a proper citation. In the mean time, here is an alternate phrasing:

In 2004, Volkerding reported in his ChangeLog that he was struggling with some severe health issues, which he suspected to be related to actinomycosis.

Any objections? There is no suggestion that this was an official diagnosis. In the mean time, please consider creating an account and depressing your Caps lock. --Ori Livneh (talk) 01:26, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I replaced the full paragraph.. if Zosodada is going to continue to complain about libel after we have explained that libel isn't an issue, I don't see why we should remove verifiable information from the article. Zosodada please see Wikipedia:No legal threats. Rhobite 13:04, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Folks, let's move on and proceed to elevate the quality of this article in respect of neutrality, current accountability of sources & citations and verifiably factual content. I've added a few book titles, the authorship section did not exist until recently which is a significant oversight considering all the attention that has been given to this page. -- Robert
Is there any reason why this notable health info has been removed yet again? I think the last time it was included was 21 July 2006: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

citation available?[edit]

Re.: "Unfortunately, due to lack of adequate funding (due to the sale of Walnut Creek to WindRiver software) these people had to be let go." I think I've read this info but am tempted to remove this until the information can be cited. Is there a Slackware recap on these event? other source? Also needed for the "fundamentalist xn" claim since I believe he attracts derision from multiple factions. That can be surmised from the Usenet source, but I don't think it is necessairily verifiable, or is it? Perhaps I missed something. -- Robert —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I had come here, because I don't even know why this bit is in this article. I assume it might be because (And I'm guessing) the article on Pat himself _might_ have been spun off from the Slackware article. If this article is about Pat, and not about Slackware, then shouldn't it just be enough to say his is the chief maintainer/founder/developer and that he manages the contributions of others? The fact that other people have been employed at or worked with Pat on a part time and/or ongoing basis with Slackware is irrelevant to the question of "who is Pat Volkerding and what does he do?" This does of course belong in the Slackware article and I believe it is already in there. Centerone (talk) 17:35, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

What's it with the redirect "Lord Volkermort"?[edit]

I assume "Lord Volkermort" is just a nickname composed of the names Lord Voldemort and Volker. However, this should be explained, why he is compared to the Harry Potter character etc. The importance of this may seem rather funny, but it has a cynical notation, and it should be clearified here that this is not meant: Volkermort sounds like German "Völkermord", which means genocide. So, any German speaker who stumbles upon this redirect easily could come to the conclusion that this guy might be someone who thinks making jokes about Ausschwitz is funny. Just a coincidence, I guess, but maybe Volker doesn't want that.--JakobvS (talk) 17:09, 11 January 2015 (UTC)