Programming without right angles or How I learned to stop worrying and love the TMTOWTDI Jan 3

You should learn Perl, even just for the profound enlightenment experience once you get its philosophy. I know, this sounded way too Grahamasque, but it is true.

How I wound up learning Perl

I was already a moderate python programmer, when I took an interest in Ruby. After starting reading Sandy Matz's incredible book on practicle OO Programming I knew I had to learn Ruby. Whilst learning Ruby I became amazed at the fact that everything was an object.

Wait, python is also a heavily object oriented language

I know, but coming from strictly imperative languages such as Basic and C, I never looked at Python that way, before I got acquianted with Ruby. It broadened my horizon and the same thing happened with Perl.

On the endless struggle between scripting languages

IMHO every programming language is a movement.

Every programming language has it's own values, it's own 'view of the world'. And every one of them forces you to think in a different way.

I'm not an expert on programming languages, nor am I old enough to be able know the real motives of the language designers. So the lines below reflect my take on the case.

Perl grew out of frustration with bash. Bash simply wasn't powerful enough to express the ideas of the time. In the words of Larry Wall,

Shell programming is a 1950's jukebox.

People use high-level languages not because the same program couldn't be written in a lower level language, but because they couldn't bring themselves to write it in those low level languages. It is fun to code an interpreter in C, or code a synthesizer in Assembly. But if you only code in low level languages you can't see the forest, only the trees. And trees become boring after a while. Remember:

Boredom and drudgery are evil in the hacker world.

Python took a whole different approach: there is only one way to do it. The benevolent dictator for life forced people to write cleaner code. Restrictions in Python became suffocating after a time.

But if you learn to stop worrying and love the TMTOWTDI, you don't have to commit yourself to the Zen and can continue to have fun.

There is more than one way to do it.

Adventures in setting up a blog with middleman Dec 5

Currently I am staring at my newly setup middleman blog. There is no stylesheet defined. For the last 6-7 days, I have been reading the documentations of middleman and several css frameworks.

Why didn't I just use Wordpress

Just for the fun of it I guess. The jargon file defines geek as follows:

A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance. Geeks usually have a strong case of {neophilia}.

The fact that I have looked this definition up via netcat:

nc 2628
define jargon geek

And the fact that I am writing this blogpost in emacs with handcoded markdown prove that I'm not normal.

If I used Wordpress my blog would be up and running right now. Instead of that I chose the hard way. Now, I need to code my template. I will be using Purecss because I don't like bloated frameworks. There are people browsing on mobile phones that have a limited data plan -including me-.

Finally finished

This is not the final version of the design -I hope-. Nevertheless, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

It's late

Getting a blog up and running was harder than I thought. Originaly, I had planned to write more about my setup, but designing and coding it took all my time for now.