4/7/2003 summary

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

It's threatening to snow outside. Normally this sort of thing doesn't occur so it's a bit bizarre. Not to mention the fact that it'd be nice if it was nice outside. On the flip side, since I'm at work all day and the only windows in my cube are the ones on my monitor, I'm not wholly sure I care.

I read a terrible article on Freshmeat about Open Source software. The dude says he's a software engineer and that he was "enlightened in 1997 by Free Software" (capital letters and verbiage are his) which is silliness. If he was "enlightened" and really understood the motivations of the hundreds of thousands of faceless developers out there silently (from a media perspective) working on open source software, he'd never have written this article. He'd have known about the synergy that occurs between projects who have some similar goals as they learn from each other--both mistakes and successes. He'd have known that most of us are decent developers looking to learn more about development--that many projects are done to learn--that the production is far far far more important for the developer in question than the product. He'd have known that most developers are not magic makers--that most of us specialize in a few aspects of software development and that a TEAM of people is responsible for a solid product that has solid design, solid goals, solid functionality, solid unit testing, solid documentation, and solid support. He'd have known that as a project matures and evolves as a function of its user base and its usage, it hits a point where the code becomes unwieldy and it needs refactoring. Sometimes it needs to be rewritten. This is good. He'd have known that there are a bunch of http software projects--with different missions and different characteristics. He'd have known the same about SMTP MTAs, database servers, and various other server components. He'd have known a lot of things. He's enlightened for incredibly loose usages of the word enlightened.

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