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GNOME Bug Linux

ALS Sufferer Used Legs To Contribute Last Patch 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-moment-of-silence dept.
krkhan writes "This is a little old, but seeing as it didn't make it onto Slashdot at the time, I think it deserves a headline now. Adrian Hands was suffering from ALS and had lost motor skills when he used his legs to type in Morse code and fix a 9-year-old bug in Gnome. The patch was submitted three days before he passed away."
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ALS Sufferer Used Legs To Contribute Last Patch

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  • ALS (Score:5, Informative)

    by mjwx (966435) on Sunday April 10, 2011 @10:21AM (#35773974)
    ALS is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis [wikipedia.org] It's a form of motor neurone disease, not a nice way to go.
  • Re:What is ALS!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dogsbreath (730413) on Sunday April 10, 2011 @10:40AM (#35774098)

    ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

    Quoting from Wikipedia

    "[ALS] is a form of motor neuron disease caused by the degeneration of neurons located in the ventral horn of the spinal cord and the cortical neurons that provide their afferent input. The condition is often called Lou Gehrig's disease in North America, after the famous New York Yankees baseball player who was diagnosed with the disease in 1939. The disorder is characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, spasticity, dysarthria, dysphagia, and respiratory compromise. Sensory function generally is spared, as is autonomic, and oculomotor activity. ALS is a progressive,[1] fatal, neurodegenerative disease with most affected patients dying of respiratory compromise and pneumonia after 2 to 3 years; although occasional individuals have a more indolent course and survive for many years."

    It isn't a computer techie nerd term, it is a medical term. ALS is in the news about as much as MS so I think most folk would reasonably conclude that anyone who crawls out of their personal rut now and then would have heard about it. Also, if you don't know what ALS is then the expansion probably would not help. At one time "Lou Gehrig's" would have been more common than ALS but I think it may be the other way around now.

    Google is just a mouse click away.

  • Re:Dedication (Score:2, Informative)

    by shentino (1139071) on Sunday April 10, 2011 @10:49AM (#35774156)

    Unfortunately it was in a version of gnome that is now EOL.

  • Re:What is ALS!? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2011 @12:03PM (#35774636)

    Google is just a mouse click away.

    Yes, but Google is also just a click or a shortcut away for the submitter/editor.

    There are many acronyms with different meanings. Anyway, as this here clearly refers to Medicine [wikipedia.org]:

    • Advanced life support, a level of medical training
    • Anterolateral system, part of the nervous system
    • Antibodies from Lymphocyte Secretions, an immunological assay

    ... well, you get the picture.

    For /. as a news aggregator site (albeit for nerds), it would be nice to explain acronyms which are not common for every nerd. That's one single step for a single submitter/editor—and saves lots of Google leaps by readers.

  • Re:What is ALS!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Americano (920576) on Sunday April 10, 2011 @01:14PM (#35775012)

    Yes, it's easy to Google this term. Yes, the reader could have done a search. But writing style standards generally suggest that the abbreviation should be spelled out, then included parenthetically after the full spelling, for abbreviations.

    If the editors could be bothered to, you know, edit things for clarity, they could have written:

    "[...] Adrian Hands was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS - also sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease) and had lost motor skills..."

    Look at it this way: if you're a writer, do you want people reading what you wrote, or do you want their focus taken away from your work when they start googling all the medical terms you use? If you don't care about the quality of the summaries, why don't we just turn Slashdot into a giant list of links, with helpful summaries such as "LOL COOL!"?

  • by Tokah (859694) on Sunday April 10, 2011 @08:11PM (#35777078)

    ALS is incurable. We have a drug that extends life by about three months, but it costs about $1000 a month and had terrible side effects. We have some symptomatic treatment: antispastics, bipaps/ventilators, feeding tubes, etc, but that's it.

    If you want anything beyond that, you need to try out unproven stuff. Some people go out of the country to take their chances with wild clinical trials or pure charlatans. It isn't the medical system's fault in this case - they have tried nearly everly legal drug in mice models. Nothing had budged anywhere.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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