I am relieved to hear that I was under the incorrect impression that
this was the Alan Kotok who has contributed to the success of ebXML for
many years. Thankfully *that* Alan Kotok is alive and well and this sad
news is about a different distinguished colleague. Sorry for any
confusion this may have caused.
Farrukh Najmi wrote:
had the good fortune to know Alan Kotok will undoubtedly be saddened by
this news. This is also on top at the w3c page at:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Sad news: Alan Kotok
Resent-Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 12:57:14 +0000
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 08:56:34 -0400
From: Tim Berners-Lee <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, tag
It is with tremendous sorrow that we share the news that our great
friend, colleague, and mentor Alan Kotok has passed away. He died
peacefully in his sleep over the US Memorial Day weekend.
Alan's W3C involvement goes back before its formal inception, when he
was still employed at Digital Equipment Corporation. His early ideas
shaped W3C, and helped lead it to what it is today.
Long before Alan came to W3C, his experience established him as one
of the early wise men of computer science.
His interest in computing and his gifts were apparent in his
undergraduate days at MIT.
One of Alan's undergraduate creations was the first video game,
Spacewar, which he and several classmates created for the PDP-1 in
1962. Alan was also part of the team which invented the joystick, an
icon of many young computer gamers' experiences. As a member of the
MIT Tech Model Railroad Club, he proved to be highly adept at
understanding complex technical systems and making them do new things.
Alan wrote a number of important programs for early DEC and IBM
computers, including the well-known Kotok-McCarthy chess program at
MIT, which became his B.S. thesis.
Alan spent 34 years with Digital Equipment Corp. in numerous
leadership roles. He served as Technical Director for product
strategy and development groups in Telecommunications, Storage, and
He was chief architect of the PDP-10 family of computers, a logic
designer for the DEC PDP-6 computer and played a key role in the
development of the DECsystem-10 timesharing computer system. Alan
provided thought leadership as a member of the Corporate Strategy
Group which advocated early adoption and integration of Internet and
Alan held a wide range of roles at W3C. He carried the title of
Associate Chairman, but he also served as the MIT site manager,
managed the Systems Team, and worked closely with the Advisory Board.
His contributions to membership and financial issues were highly
True to the talents he showed in his undergraduate days, Alan shone
as a problem solver, especially in important and complex areas:
patent policy development, Patent Advisory Groups, whatever
processes, policies and procedures were needed to improve the W3C as
a standards body. His precision of thinking and language was a
welcome feature to many W3C meetings.
His dry wit and attention to detail on the outside did not hide the
kindness and generous heart within. His passion for trains, early
music, and pipe organs were well known; one recent AC meeting
included a special tour of the Tech Model Railroad Club, which ended
up being one of the most popular events W3C held.
Alan is survived by his three children and one grandchild. His wife,
Judie, passed away last year. Those who wish to contact Alan's family
may send email to Amy van der Hiel <email@example.com>.
We have opened a publicly archived mailing list, public-
firstname.lastname@example.org, http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Publi c/public-memoria/
to which remembrances and photographs are welcome to be sent.
The W3C Team and our organization was immeasurably better for his
presence. We will all miss him for who he was, and all that he
Tim and Steve
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