programming

All posts tagged programming

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell - cover

It was Aug 2009 when I wrote I've put in my 10,000 hours. Rather than updating that post, I'll save it for history and completely rewrite it.

A long time ago, Malcolm Gladwell was on The Hour, and he talked about his "10,000-Hour Rule" from his book Outliers. When I saw that interview, I realized I've put in my 10,000 hours on a couple of topics now.

However, when I now think back on it, I see a big difference between the "expertise" 10,000 hours of intuitive interest, versus 10,000 hours of practice with a learned skill.



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Hackers >

Source: usenet: utastro!nather, May 21, 1983.

A recent article devoted to the macho side of programming made the bald and unvarnished statement:

Real Programmers write in Fortran. [ see Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal ]

Maybe they do now, in this decadent era of Lite beer, hand calculators and "user-friendly" software but back in the Good Old Days, when the term "software" sounded funny and Real Computers were made out of drums and vacuum tubes, Real Programmers wrote in machine code. Not Fortran. Not RATFOR. Not, even, assembly language. Machine Code. Raw, unadorned, inscrutable hexadecimal numbers. Directly.

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One of the things that's been a real killer for me using most wikis has been the syntax.  None of them get it right.

MediaWiki has been bearable, and over time I've grown used to it.  The problem is that nobody agrees on a remotely similar syntax.  There were some early efforts to create a generally agreed-upon syntax, and it did fairly well.. but it's still not used everywhere.

I'm not just talking about wikis, but about markup languages in general.  Even something like Ruby's RDoc decided on its own syntax.

And they're all wrong.  Seriously, who thinks  that __this is italicized__ ?

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