In 2008, as I was organizing the first WordCamp Portland event, I got an email.
I didn’t know Alex Mills (aka Viper007Bond) at the time, but I knew his work as he was one of the early developers making useful WordPress plugins. His Viper’s Video Quicktags plugin was a predecessor to the current oEmbed features in WordPress, and his Regenerate Thumbnails plugin was a great example of doing one thing and doing it well1.
I don’t know if I realized Alex was local to Portland, but he wanted to attend WordCamp while remaining a relatively private individual. He was wondering if we would allow him to register but not list his last name publicly on the list of attendees. Didn’t seem like a problem to me, so we agreed to list him as:
Alex (aka Viper007Bond)
The nature of the open source WordPress world was that you could contribute and still remain relatively anonymous, as Alex originally wished. As he gained a higher profile and was eventually hired by Automattic, his full name became more widely known, but to those who knew him he was Viper.
I was never close friends with Alex, but our paths crossed many times over the next several years in the WordPress world, at WordCamp and online. He was always friendly, supportive, and a prolific contributor to the WordPress ecosystem.
He deserved more time.
- I still use it to this day ↩