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Advogato.org: The Thrill of OpenSource Programming

Jan 30, 2000, 16:22 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ali Abdin)

"This article was written by me a while back after I made the first release of my first OpenSource project ever, gLife. I wrote it right then so I could capture the essence and the emotions that I felt right after release my first every project to the OpenSource community. Also just prior to that project I had written my first ever patch for a program (bug-buddy), naturally it didn't get accepted. :)"

"I recently started work on my first ever open-source project. It is also my first ever Linux coding project, my first C application, my first Gtk+/GNOME program. I've only dabbled before in TurboPascal so this was a big thing for me. The project is called gLife, basically an Artificial Life simulation, but with a twist (tries to simulate a society). It's still in its very infant stages. I first started this project on Windows, using C++ for a research paper for high-school. I started work on this project around the beginning of December. I write this editorial because I was told by one person "I still don't understand why people code things and give them away for free". Another reason why I write this, is to remind people of the "fun" of programming. I want people to take a step back and remember their first significant/real programming project. I want people to remember what it feels like...to stay in touch with their roots and remember why they're doing all of this."

"Personally, I started out this project with one simple goal in mind: Educate myself. I wanted to learn something other than TurboPascal (the only language that I've been "taught" in high-school/university so far). I also wanted to learn how to program using GNOME and the Gtk+ widget toolkit (even though this was not one of my objectives, I also learned how to use libglade and glade). I also wanted to teach myself how to program in general. We all know those simple tic-tac-toe programs we're forced to do in every preparatory course for Computer Science. They teach you very little on how to work on a large project, or on how to utilize the various programming tools that are out there. While these projects are necessary to acquaint the beginner to Computer Science, they do not teach any real-world scenarios. They do not teach you how to use the bleeding edge technologies that are important for a programming career. The reason I wrote gLife initially was to learn what my university still hasn't taught me."

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