Thursday, January 15, 2009

Running In All Directions At Once

So, since I claimed I was interested in other things lately, what the heck am I going to put on this blog? Other stuff of course :-)

Here's one topic I'll be returning to again and again. I might finally stop saying "I'm not a programmer". I can't go back to school (unless somebody's willing to foot the bill) but I can try and figure this out on my own. Lots of people do it every day. I don't expect to get really good at it, but hey - who knows?

I'm starting for that old open-source traditional reason - I've got an itch to scratch.

I do know a smidgen of bash scripting and Perl. I even did a complete website from scratch using Perl and MySQL with a bit of help from a friend. The problem I find with Perl is the same thing pointed out in one of the Perl books I read. If you don't do Perl every day and really work at, it doesn't seem to 'stick' with you that well. When I go back and look at old work, I have to really stop and look at it to figure out what's going on. To boot, the whole 'object orientated programming' paradym didn't make all that much sense to me in Perl either.

My itch is actually to contribute some code to an existing project. It does a lot of what I want, but not all of it. I've even posted my ideas to their bug tracker, but it doesn't seem like anybody else is going to do the work for me, so maybe it's time I tried to do it myself. That project is written in Python, and Python should be a good thing to learn for lots of reasons.

Python has the reputation as being easy to learn, and very versatile. Lots of modules and add ons are already out there, and it runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. I've seen lots of interesting end user programs that are written in Python, and I might be able to get something that looks good as well as working well.

So, I need to learn Python. And revision control. And project management. And lots of other things too :-)

I'll post tidbits as I go along here, and I'll start tagging these blog entries better so my mythical audience can skip the parts they don't care about.

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