Aaron, you were a great person. May your death haunt all those officials who try to curb whistleblowing and get away with it.

Gigaom

The open web and freedom of information in general lost one of their most passionate proponents yesterday, with the death of early Reddit staffer and Demand Progress founder Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on Friday, according to a family member. He was facing federal charges for hacking into the JSTOR academic database and downloading millions of research papers, but had also reportedly suffered from depression. He was 26 years old.

As the news of his death spread throughout the web and social networks like Twitter, there was an outpouring of grief and sorrow from some of his friends and those he had worked with on a number of projects — including the early development of the RSS syndication standard, the web.py software framework, the Creative Commons movement and the W3C web standards committee.

We’ve collected some of those comments and responses here (there’s also a Reddit thread and…

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Have you visited the Past?

Often I tried to fathom – forward’s the only way
Where the Past’s breathed its last
And the clocks tick away
Into Oblivion’s Bay.
 
Where memories are alien,
And Hope’s the only friend.
Where toiling for ‘morrow the only way.
Aye! That was my dream,
– of a world sans echo
– of a world sans regret.
 
Alas! ’twas just a daze
How endearing is the past,
I wonder if we can throw it away.