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Using linux without the CLI (Newsforge)

Nice ar­ti­cle by Robin Miller at News­forge.

I agree with most of it, ex­cept for one thing.

The au­thor says "I al­ways con­sid­ered the "scratch your own itch" hack­er ethos an es­sen­tial­ly mas­tur­ba­to­ry thing. It would be like me writ­ing ar­ti­cles I want to read in­stead of ar­ti­cles I think you want to read­."

Well, Robin, ar­ti­cles and code are ex­treme­ly dif­fer­ent things. For one thing, ar­ti­cles are 100% use­les for the au­thor, un­less some­one else reads them, whicle code can be 100% use­ful for the au­thor even if noone else has tried it.

I would say it´s like com­par­ing ap­ples and or­anges, ex­cep­t... well, both are fruits and we com­pare them when­ev­er we choose what fruit to buy. This is a less com­pa­ra­ble pair.

For ex­am­ple, I am prob­a­bly the on­ly us­er of KRsN in the world. But it is use­ful for me. It saves me al­most an hour a day, so I wrote it.

On the oth­er hand, I will con­tra­dict my­self: ar­ti­cles al­most noone reads (like this one ;-) are use­ful for shap­ing one´s mind, al­though that´s not a fre­quent goal.

On the grip­ping hand[1], mas­tur­ba­tion is good, dude. Don´t slam it un­less you have nev­er done it. And if you have nev­er done it, don´t slam what you don´t know ;-)

In fac­t, pro­gram­ming be­cause it itch­es is... well, it´s like scratch­ing. It may even be bad for you, but don´t tell me it does­n´t feel good.

[1] One geek cred­it to the one who catch­es the ref­er­ence.

Jim Richardson / 2006-04-03 05:25:

Duh. No credits for that one, Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven's "the Gripping hand" sequel to "the Mote in God's eye."

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-03 05:26:

Hey,you have the credit.Just tell me where to mail it ;-)

Jim Richardson / 2006-04-03 05:26:

Best put it on my account :)

Capz / 2006-04-03 05:38:

Why are you giving away credits for a top ten result of "gg:gripping hand", doesn't require a lot of geek qualities to perform that query.

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