chalky is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Stephen Davies
Member since: 2000-07-13 04:47:44
Last Login: N/A

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I have worked on various projects over the years, but mostly small hacks. Currently doing a 5 year course in Computer Science / Computer Systems Engineering at RMIT, Melbourne Australia. Only 1 year left!

I have been following Berlin for a while (since '97) but my contributions have been spotty, things like widgets, the python client api, bugfixes and optimizations. Have learnt a lot from it though.

Also contributing hugely to Synopsis, rewriting lots of stuff and implementing lots of missing features.


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I never knew releasing a program was so much work. Between checking all documentation, exporting CVS, uploading tarballs, filling in forms on a multitude of websites, sending email to various lists, argh!

Well, it's done now. Synopsis 0.2 is released. I can go and relax.

It's kind of fun parsing different languages at different levels -- the C++ parser represented the parse-tree as a singly-linked list with lispisms (Car, Cdr, Cons?), the Python parser I've just started uses tuples, and the HTML formatter only uses the Abstract Syntax Tree. For a while I was considering converting the C++ parse-tree into python lists but decided it would slow things down too much. Have you ever seen just how many lines, functions and classes gcc has to deal with just because your code includes an STL header? I'm thinking of implementing some kind of precompilation to speed this up, but I'll have to grep the web for useful papers on the subject before I dive in.

Decided my page looks a little bare without any diary entries or notes. Added some notes. Deleted. Wrote different notes.

Starting from scratch seems to be a common phenomenon in many walks of life; something not perfect? start again from scratch! Many "Open Source" projects start out that way, sometimes the biggest reason for their existance being that the author didn't understand an existing project at first glance.

Read an article on how the internet is shortening people's attention spans to 5 seconds or so recently. I have also read that TV does the same, so it must be a failing of our society. Some things like programs take a lot of effort to completely grasp, unless they are extremely well written and documented. How many well documented projects to you know of? Not many I bet, although the quality of documentation seems to be improving lately as people get their acts together. As for grasping (grokking?) a program - I often find myself forgetting parts of a program soon after I have worked on it, just because I have been busy with other parts. I like to understand the whole and fit it all into my head. I find coffee helps.


chalky certified others as follows:

  • chalky certified graydon as Master
  • chalky certified stefan as Master

Others have certified chalky as follows:

  • stefan certified chalky as Journeyer
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  • steveh certified chalky as Journeyer
  • maelstorm certified chalky as Journeyer
  • NickElm certified chalky as Journeyer

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