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In Memoriam - Philippe (Phil) Maquet

Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11777

Philippe (Phil) Maquet officially joined JavaRanch on June 2nd 2003, and almost immediately showed us his high intelligence, his enthusiasm, and his friendliness. It wasn't long before he was held in such high regard here that we invited him to become a bartender, which he became on March 2nd 2004. On April 6th he officially started moderating the Sun Certified Java Developer (SCJD) and Sun Certified Enterprise Architect (SCEA) forums.

With a family, a job as a senior instructor for a Java teaching and coaching company based in Brussels, Belgium, and his roles as a bartender for the highly active SCJD and SCEA forums, you would think that Phil would have had his hands full, but he always pushed himself further. He remained active in many other forums, including Sun Certified Business Component Developer, and Sun Certified Web Component Developer forums. He also started a new Aspect Oriented Programming project named J-LAF (Javaranch Lightweight Aspect-oriented Framework).

Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates noticed his technical excellence, and invited him to be one of the technical reviewers of the O'Reilly book Head First Servlets & JSP. When the review co-ordinator went on holidays, Phil took over the role, and developed new tools and procedures to help streamline the review process. Following this he also took on the role as joint review co-ordinator for the O'Reilly book Head First Design Patterns.

Phil went on holidays near Venice at the start of August this year. At the end of August Phil experienced symptoms that he attributed to a previous complaint, and he took a week off work to recover. However it transpired that this was a new problem - aortic insufficiency (a heart valve disease in which the aortic valve weakens or balloons) and the problem was considered so serious that he was scheduled to be operated on in the second week of October.

Very late on the 26th September, Phil was admitted to hospital after running abnormally out of breath and feeling a great deal of pain in the chest. On the 27th Phil met with his doctors and they agreed on doing the surgery on the 29th. Sadly, during this operation Phil died.

Phil was a ray of sunshine at JavaRanch, and will be sadly missed.

Our sympathies to Phil's girlfriend Virginie and his two boys: Nicolas (21) and Max (13).

The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
Bahadar Khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 19, 2003
Posts: 81
Its a really sad to hear Phil's death. I am sorry to hear this. Through this forum I condole with his girl friend and his kids and pray for his departed soul.
paul wheaton

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20971

I think the words "infected me with his enthusiasm and his energy" most accurately describes Phil.

When Phil became a bartender, he found some old post I wrote from years and years ago that asked people from outside the US to send postcards. So he sent me several post cards and a REALLY long letter telling me how excited he was to be part of JavaRanch. He emphatically invited my to Europe so he could take me to all sorts of fun places.

I'm having a really hard time accepting that this news is true. How can a guy bursting with life ....

Here is an e-mail that Phil sent me recently. I think it is an excellent demonstration of what Phil is like.


Hi Paul,

Let me start with your last point first:

> 5) I think that whenever a JR staffer gets a passion for trying
> something, I should do everything in my power to facilitates
> the realization of that passion. I think this is a
> cool project and look forward to the results.

Thank you so much for that "green light".
When I see a film, I never hesitate to push on the "Stop" button when the
film is bad.
When I published J-LAF's first build, I pushed on the "Pause" button,
deciding not to
work on the project more till I'd receive:
- your approval (or disapproval)
- the first *technical* feedbacks,
finding wise to let others decide if the film is good enough to make me push
on the
"Play" button again, or bad enough on the contrary, to decide to simply push
on "Stop".

In the meantime, you know the health issue I'm now facing. I still don't
know when I'll
be operated (it can be next week as next month, I see my cardiologist once
more tomorrow).
OOH it handicaps me (I *must* rest, no other choice), but OTOH it gives me
free time (and my fingers running on the keyboard a few hours per day don't
make my
heart work that much ).

I didn't receive any technical feedback yet, but your personal
encouragements above are
more than enough to make me push on "Play" again and work a little on build
01 from tomorrow
morning. Once more, *THANK YOU*!

> 1) AOP is very powerful and can do some amazing things. With
> AOP you can be sure that something is implemented correctly in
> every method. Performance issues are very interesting.

I have in my todo_list writing a small program whose only goal will be to
the performance overhead due to interception. Not only it will interesting
to have
it just to publish some "Here is the cost" information, but it will help me
in the
optimizing phase of the development.

> 2) One of the great strengths of java is the simplicity of the
> language. Anybody that knows some java can generally figure out
> what is going on in a method or class. AOP violates that. A guy
> new to a project can spend weeks trying to figure something out
> only to discover the AOP part: "The debugger must be broken
> because it keeps talking about code that isn't there!"

You're right. Now honestly, a pure OO Java application can be tricky (and
badly written)
enough to lead to the same results. Another argument could be that if AOP
better known (and that's one of the project's goals), the guy new to the
would think of some AOP working behind the scene after a few ... minutes
of weeks.

> 3) I think that most projects that have used AOP did it because
> AOP is cool, not because it was a best fit.

That's probable. Any new "fashioned" model or technology starts to be
overused. But a better education about AOP in Java should help in that area.
And better educating Java developers is our daily mission, right?

> 4) AOP can be a fit for a project if a developer has the
> discipline to thoroughly document how the project strays from
> standard java. Therefore helping teammates and
> future developers from spending weeks discovering AOP.

I totally agree with you about the documentation requirements, but not on
"how the project strays from standard java" part of your sentence.
Java is a programming *language* while AOP is a programming *model*
to OOP) which can be implemented (for most of its features) in pure
*standard* Java.
Dynamic Proxies (that J-LAF uses for its interceptions) are in J2SE since
... 1.3.
Not only it's standard Java, but it's even not new. Just not known enough

Paul, your message made my day. And as my days are not very pleasant these
each day made is welcome. (*)

Thanks again,


(*) PS: I know my English is bad on average, but counting the number of days
that sentence (more than half a week ), I guess I beated my record with
that one...

permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1589
The acknowledgement on the inside of our most recent book speaks in part for us:

"We deeply appreciate the relentless effort and expertise (and cheerfulness) of Philippe Maquet. All three of the authors love him so much we want to marry him... but that would be weird."


Dear Phil, we love you and we'll miss you SO very much.

We wonder if your heart broke because it was just so BIG.

Wherever you are, they're lucky to have you now.

Your fans,
Kathy and Bert
Joyce Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2003
Posts: 1392
I was shocked and deeply upset to hear of Phil's passing. He was such a wonderful and helpful guy.

May his soul rest in peace.
Jim Yingst

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
I too am shocked and deeply saddened by this news. Phil's posts were always a delight, and he always had a lot of enthusiasm that tended to rub off on the rest of us. I wish I'd gotten to know him better. He's been a great help and positive influence here at the ranch, and will always be remembered. Thanks, Phil. We'll miss you...

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

Phil had a way of filling other people with enthusiasm for the things he was interested in. We'll all miss him.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
You the man, Phil... we'll miss you
[ September 29, 2004: Message edited by: Bert Bates ]

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
I was first shocked by the thread in SCEA forum, which was closed and moved to this forum... I was thinking that it was kinda rumors from some hackers in SCEA forum... Now I can see that it is real...

I still even remember the time when I read the official annoucement from the Ranch that Phil, Jeane and another one was promoted to bartender... We'll miss his words and help to ranchers...

Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
Johannes de Jong

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
It was only last week when I heard that Phil was taken up in hospital that I realized that he wasn�t a 24 year old "kid". The enthusiasm and energy he showed with every thing he did around here always made me think that he was a very bright young energetic kid.

Phil you were simply fantastic in everything you did over here. I personally will miss your advice, comments, energy, knowledge and intelligence.

Every time I start up the summarization program you wrote and post its results I will give you a thought.

Go well wherever you are now.
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
Unbelievable. With all that energy and determination, I was sure Phil would make it. Like many others, I didn't know Phil much but him leaving us still made a big hole in my world. I have nothing but good memories of Phil.

Rest in peace, Phil, wherever you are.

Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
I didn't participate in the forums Philippe was bartender of but I did bump into posts in other forums and the love and admiration of JavaRanchers for him was very apparent. Saddened for his family and our loss. May the force be with you, Philippe!

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Eric Freeman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 33
We're very saddened to hear this. The work Phil had done organizing the Head First Design Pattern review was just amazing.

Our hearts go out to his family and friends...

Eric and Elisabeth

Co-Author of Head First Design Patterns
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
This is terribly sad!!!

I haven't known Phil for long but long enough for realizing that I miss him already. His permanent enthusiasm would cheer me up everytime I was down, I just had to read some of his posts and everything was all nice and blue again... Life is really ungrateful!

My thoughts go to his girl-friend and two kids. Hold on tight! We will all remember Phil and make everything we can to honor him.

[Blog] [Blogroll] [My Reviews] My Linked In
Swamy Nathan
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 16, 2004
Posts: 187
I dont know much about him or how his health went bad.
But I would like to point out something thats been bothering me.
(I guess he is not a developer so this may not really be applicable to him.)
Developers seem to be putting in so much more effort chasding tighter deadlines especially in medium sized cos.
The only social life they can afford is the time they get in front of the water cooler.
I often wonder how they can ever find time-
to get married,
raise children properly,
spend time with their kids,
help them with their schoolwork,
also keep themselves technologically up to date,
amd participate in all sorts of extra work like forums, oss projects.
In some cos if you want to get married you wont get a leave for that. Get married in the lunch break and take an hour off. (Kidding here)
In the pursuit of profits companies must ensure that no one is putting in any overtime.
In fact developers should have more free time for themselves.
Time they could use for acaedemic pursuits, and getting a life.
Giju George
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2004
Posts: 333
This is really a shocking news. I have been following his topics, and remember that he was moderating the SCBCD forum when valentin was away.I got my HF servlets book last week and even saw his picture there. And this news .. was really shocking and sad. A big loss to the javaranch community also.

My heartful condolence to his family.

SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCEA
Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy

Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
May his soul rest in peace.
I was happy to serve with him as a bartender, we joined the team at the same time.
My sincere symphathies to his family members.

Spritle Software Blogs
daming wang

Joined: Jul 28, 2004
Posts: 27
sorry for heared that news!
phil had helped me,thank him.
wish him happy in heaven.

Steve Taiwan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 166
I am sorry to hear this bad news.
I appreciate for what he did for JavaRanch.

Steve Taiwan<br />SCJP 1.2, SCJD 1.4, SCWCD 1.3, SCBCD 1.3, OCP 8i DBA, SCEA
Andy Zhu
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 145
So sad to hear this news. At the first read of Andrew's anouncement at developer's forum, I thought this was a joke. But ....

Miss you, Phil.

--------<br />Andy Zhu<br />scjp 1.4<br />scjd 1.4<br />SAS Certified Programmer 9.0
Klaas van Gelder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2004
Posts: 111

This is really very sad news ! Phil was the first one to welcome me on the Developer forum about 3 months ago, and i very appreciated his reactions and enthusiasm.
Wish his family all the best...

Klaas van Gelder, Utrecht (Netherlands)

"What you don't know, can't help you"
SCJP (81%), SCWCD (81%), SCJD (354/400), SCBCD (85%)
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
My condolences

BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Terry Martinson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 18, 2003
Posts: 293
I feel very sad to hear this.
Phil will be greatly missed!

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.


Jessica Sant

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

I'm stunned.

Philippe was a great force here on the JavaRanch, I only wish I'd gotten to know him better.

My heart goes out to his girlfriend and his sons. Losing a family member is one of the hardest things to experience, but you will get through it. It gets easier, I promise.

I'll miss your enthusiasm, Philippe.
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Madhav Lakkapragada
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 03, 2000
Posts: 5040
I am not sure what to say.....while I haven't known Phil very well,
as part of the Javaranch family I do share the grief in this.
Its sad to see an energitic bartender depart from the world.
My condolenses to the family and friends.

- madhav
Hussein O'Baghdadi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 20, 2003
Posts: 40
God bless his soul and I am asking God to help his girlfriend and his tow boys.
good bye Phil.
Nicholas Cheung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
Phil, missing you so much. Wishing you to be rest in peace.

Dhiren Joshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 09, 2003
Posts: 463
You will be missed Phil.
My condolences and may your soul rest in peace.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33107

Despite knowing Phil less than a year, everyone could see the enthusiasm and energy he brought to the ranch. He made quite an impact in a short time and will be missed. Like Balaji, I am proud to have become a bartender with Phil. He set quite a standard to live up to.

Phil, we will all miss you and are thoughts are with your family.

[OCA 8 book] [Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Other Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Anil Vupputuri
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 31, 2000
Posts: 527
My deep condolences...wish your soul rest in peace.

SCJP 1.5, SCEA, ICED (287,484,486)
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
I'm not sure who I feel more badly for: the people who never got to know Phil, or the people who no longer have him in our lives. I literally have tears in my eyes as I write this.


Java Regular Expressions
Jason Menard

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Like others, I didn't really know Phil as much as I would have liked. I first had the pleasure of dealing with him in my former capacity as one of the book review coordinators here at the Ranch. Later I saw him in action in some of the pre-publication technical reviews we were both participating in. To say he was enthusiastic is almost an understatement. He seemed to have such drive and devotion for this community and was a force of nature in everything he did here. While we may not have all known him as much as we would have liked, his efforts and his being have touched a great many of us on some level.

Reading his biography fills me with sadness for the reminder of dreams unfulfilled. My sincerest condolences go out to his sons Max and Nic, his girlfriend, and all his loved ones. Thanks for choosing to include us in your life Phil.
[ September 30, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Rest in Peace Phil, you will be sorely missed.

Mark Fletcher -
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Francis Siu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 867
(Darby) Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall not exist any more, nor grief, nor cry, nor distress shall exist any more, for the former things have passed away.
Take a rest in peace & may GOD bless your family
JavaRanch's student

chung man
v giri
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 128
We will miss you Phil.

How many people help others selflessly?

Lots of us owe so much to you. You have been one of the reasons why Javaranch community is so vibrant.

May your soul rest in peace.

Mark Spritzler

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17276

I am sure right now, Phil is talking to god in heaven and has plans for some great software that can ease God's job, and make him so much more efficient. I look forward to his creations, and all the great new things that God will be able to do for us, now that Phil is helping him out.

God Bless Phil and his family.


Perfect World Programming, LLC - iOS Apps
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Anselm Paulinus
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 05, 2003
Posts: 390
My condolences
Eduardo Rodrigues
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 199
My condolences...

Eduardo Rodrigues<br />SCJP 1.4/5.0 SCWCD 1.3/1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCMAD, SCEA<br />IBM 484 & 486<br />Belo Horizonte<br />Minas Gerais<br />Brasil
Doyle Matt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 76
Let time stop for you Phil

SCJP 1.4
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: In Memoriam - Philippe (Phil) Maquet
It's not a secret anymore!