Name: Sean Leather
Member since: 2002-01-04 22:25:54
Last Login: 2009-03-11 20:37:48


Recent blog entries by spl

Sooooo... No luck attempting to work with Mono. I just don't have the time to read so many emails a week.

I did get Visual Studio.NET installed on my computer, however. So I might play with C# (1, 2) that way some. Who knows?

On a different topic, I still want to get involved in a non-academic, non-commercial development project. This has lead me to look more at doing stuff with WU|ACM. I am a member of our local student chapter of ACM and we have a good sized library of books in our lounge. And our webmaster thought it might be good to do a library management program with PHP on our website. Well, I know that nobody else is going to do it soon, and I still like working on ACM (even though I'm no longer pres), so now I'm thinking of doing something like this to replace my attempt at working on Mono.

There won't be nearly as much work just trying to read emails. And I can even meet with people and not just talk via email (which is always nice).

And it seems at least one other person is interested. He is, after all, the one who's talked about it the most. I previously thought of doing a whole website portal system to integrate message board, library management, email system, and other stuff. But now that seems like a lot of work. That may be a summer job.

We do have a good phpBB message board (finally). It's efficient, nice looking, and flexible. So I just came up with the idea of using the user database from that for our library system. And why can't we use that for an emailing system? Hell, we could take phpBB's MySQL database and run with it! Ahhhh, the excitement! :)

Stay tuned for more!

(P.S. You may find this funny. I know I do!)

8 Jan 2002 (updated 14 Jan 2002 at 03:18 UTC) »

Well, the plan to do something with Mono this weekend died...

On the other hand, I did download cygwin and set it up. Cygwin has a really nice "setup.exe". I think if every free software project had something like that, newbies would download more of it.


IMHO, a lot of the time, it's just the "getting started" part that quickly humbles entrepreneurial (sp?) hackers. I realize that often it's only a matter of changing a few lines in a text file, but who wants to go out of their way to find out which lines? Mr./Mrs. Newbie just wants to play with the software first, and then maybe he/she will consider looking at the code and interacting with the developers.

For example, so much software out there uses (or used to, before the onslaught of ".rpm", ".deb", and their ilk) a generic configure script and semi-generic makefile. Why has almost noone ever included an incredibly simple shell script to run those two in order?

./configure && make

This would work for most everyone new to this stuff. I know. I was there at one time. Of course, you could always tell them to RTFM, but why purposely prompt more questions when you can answer many by making things more obvious rather than cryptic?


Now back on topic...

Tonight, I downloaded the Mono source (mcs, gtp-sharp, mono). I tried to compile parts, but got nowhere for lack of certain libraries (libtool, glib). I'm working on those now, but I don't think I'll last much longer... *yawn*

Today was the first day of classes. I ought to be doing Russian right now... Oh well. Until the next time! Cheers!

This is the story of how I became involved in open source software development. Expect it to be very slow because I am a college student who spends too much time studying (or not studying as the case may be). Nevertheless, I plan (notice the emphasis) to record my daily or weekly activities here as a diary for myself and--hopefully--a guide for others. I don't promise to do everything right, but I tend to listen a lot before I act; so maybe this will be beneficial to you.

  1. First, I will share a little bit about myself.
    As I am starting this diary, it is 3 days before the beginning of the second semester of my junior year at Washington University in St. Louis. I am attempting a B.S. with a double major in Computer Engineering and Computer Science as well as undertaking a minor in Russian Language.

    I've been interested in Linux and free software since my early teens, either through working with it at an ISP, using it for research at school, or on my own time (the majority of it). I have followed a lot of open source development in the last several years; however, I have never been involved with any of it.

    Now is the time, I think. I've learned quite a bit at school, and I think I'm ready to use that knowledge for something non-school and non-work related. Of course, I realize it's going to take time. Like most people, I have plenty. It overflows my plate every now and then, too. Okay, so that was a bit sarcastic. You gotta watch out for that!

  2. Secondly, I will explain my motivation.
    I wanted to get involved in a meaningful project. To me, meaningful is something that will last and something that will have an effect on the world in general. The kernel is, of course, the most supreme of meaningful projects. I'm just a little intimidated by its presense and complexity, though. So after searching for quite a while (years), I think I've found something in which to get my hands dirty. The project is called Mono.

    Mono is meaningful to me because it is a beginning of something that could change a lot. No, I'm not an MS fan, but why not use their own (newly registered) international standards (1 and 2) to acheive cross-compatibility? And I don't think this is "going over to the dark side," either. I think this is similar to Wine and its kin, just better.

  3. Finally, I will introduce the beginnings of my story.
    Once I had done a little research on Mono, I decided to subscribe to their "announce" list. This is not something I take lightly, either. I don't subscribe to very many lists.

    Then I went on vacation...

    When I returned, I had received an update from Mr. de Icaza. At that point, I decided to check out the archives of the main list. I read through a part of December's, found it pretty interesting, and then subscribed.

    That's where I stand as of now. I'm back at school; my computer is here; and there are some options open for submitting. This weekend, I think I'll download some of the code and look it over.

Well, that's the beginning. Look forward to other installments about my entry into free software development.


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