polemicist: a writer who argues in opposition to others
Sometimes I am asked about where to start if someone wants to understand how to write software. I usually say "it's all on-line". I'm often one to complain about the clueless masses - so today I'll so a little something about it.
Here is a list of Language Tutorials - go learn something:
- Ada - http://www.infres.enst.fr/~pautet/Ada95/a95list.htm
- Flash - http://www.adobe.com/support/flash/tutorial_index.html
- Groovy - http://groovy.codehaus.org/Beginners+Tutorial
- Haskel - http://haskell.org/haskellwiki/Introduction
- HTML - http://www.case.edu/help/introHTML/toc.html
- Java - http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/
- LSL (Linden Scripting Language - for Second Life) - http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LSL_Tutorial
- Lisp - http://www.apl.jhu.edu/~hall/lisp.html
- Perl - http://www.sthomas.net/roberts-perl-tutorial.htm
- PHP - http://us2.php.net/tut.php
- PL/SQL - http://w2.syronex.com/jmr/edu/db/introduction-to-plsql/
- Python - http://www.python.org/doc/tut/tut.html
- Scala - http://www.scala-lang.org/
The list is by no means anything like definitive. In fact it is the result of about 2 minutes worth of effort using Google and searching for "_____ tutorial". As much as people in the 90's wanted to mystify it, software development is not rocket science.
When I was in Spain last month I grabbed this picture while driving - not an easy feat with an iPhone.
You will notice in the foreground on the hill a medieval Moorish castle and just behind it to the left is a nuclear power plant. This is how I will always remember modern Spain.
I am in no hurry to have children. I see how all of my friends who have them have more or less hit the wall where their will has started to evaporate. I hear their children say things and do things that would have sent my own parents into fits of rage had I performed them about 30 years ago. My first instinct is to duck, then I look around & realize that I'm no longer in the line of fire - then I hear the voices in my head - and if I'm crazy this isn't the litmus test to prove/disprove it - the voices of my parents and what they would have had to say about so & so's child & a distinct lack of discipline, etc...
It irks me to think that I'm some kind of 'old fashioned' in that I wouldn't want my child to require a portable DVD player in order to behave properly in a restaurant or on a plane. The same goes for a PSP, Gameboy, etc... I had the games when I was a child - they were far more primitive than what we have today - and I wasn't allowed to bring them to the dinner table - even when I was home.
I see that there's this point of decision where the parent considers doing something about what's going on - and you can almost see the decision taking place - "Should I do something about this or is it just going to cut into my sitting-around time?"
Again - I don't have children - that I know about - yet. So who am I to judge anyone else until I've done a better job, right? But who is it that these small people will turn to in years to come when their parents have lost their respect and they need some kind of friendly authority figure to turn to? Suckers like me, that's who. Who stood by & watched it all happening while quietly and pointedly not taking part in the cycle of damage.
Of course, that only goes so far - like saying "NO" to an aggressive dog that belongs to someone else - you can only get away with it a few times before it becomes awkward.