Any reader who carefully examines this manual, the web site, or the component library will realize I have definite ideas about how to reduce software complexity. I'm greatly indebted to a fellow researcher, Jung Choi, for extensive discussions before I even began work on the shim. We had hoped to carry out research together, and though funding issues prevented it, I'd at least like to acknowledge here the importance of our free-ranging discussions on software engineering, programming languages, and free software.
The creation of free software has its own unique challenges, and my friends have been great encouragement while I grappled with them. As the first user, Russ Herrold has been such a good friend. In addition, outside of the workplace, Rich Burgan, Derek Yang, Satya Pattanaik, and Marc Flynn have been sympathetic listeners to my blow-by-blow accounts of the development process, showing much more interest than the topic probably deserved.
My family also has been unstinting in their encouragement, my sisters Tina, Sonny, and Tricia always there to listen, and my mother Paula Pippin steadfast and encouraging over a very long time, not just for the shim, but before that with my graduate school work also, which took much longer.
I have too many debts from grad school to mention here, and so for the most part I'll leave the acknowledgements in my dissertation  to carry that burden. A few, however, are so far-reaching that I'll repeat them here. A Buddhist teacher, Daisaku Ikeda, with his emphasis on the value of life-long learning, provided the encouragement that sent me back to school even after some time in industry, and my debt here is far, far beyond any explanation. My first advisor, Spiro Michaylov, and second advisor, Neelam Soundarajan, were each excellent teachers, and I owe much of my achievements in grad school to them.
Bill Pippin 2010-01-14