I like Visual Studio a lot. Terminal is a “6px font,” which in VS 2008 is sharp and small. It’s legible and lets me see a ton of code at a glance. Breakpoint debugging is pretty much my bread and butter.
A decade ago, I was indoctrinated by free software. Proprietary justifications behind solutions were a mystery to me. In some ways, it remains so. All these concepts given function to be of use to others layered behind monetization and marketing. And those same people using resources available online, contributed freely, for their own gain, would seem like roosting vultures.
Maybe that same vague, intangible faith in free software – even so the willingness to remain befuddled by the motivation of market forces – has kept me locked in a certain mindset, keeping me from grasping greater layered abstractions. For me, everything ought to be small and composed, just so, but in reality large, complex systems necessarily are reinvented out of haste rather than craft. (Or, I do not believe any meaningful project could come out of exercising others’ APIs.)
It is one thing to claim humility by crediting past laborers giants if you are the inventor of the calculus, I guess, and another to sit and think, “How can I properly contribute to all the amazing work that’s already been done, in a manner that produces a useful output, without feeling like I must focus on fundamentals?” Because I would very much like to embrace Java and C# and Windows internals and learning random StackOverflow questions.
Somehow, I’ve convinced myself that the only path to C is through old books, that UNIX is the last stop of our computing architecture, and nothing is more important than the commandline. This atop a society progressing toward mobile UIs, portable security and ubiquitous networks.
As a youth, I should be rebelling against the old. Intuition demands otherwise. Sometimes I think it was easier when I only cared about games, novels and myths: it was pure oblivion and not so torturous. Without them, I crash headlong into a lifetime of technical upkeep and constant (corporate) validation.
I wonder if I would have taken up programming at all if I had known love of it wasn’t enough.