irldexter

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Longevity = Portability, Security, Mass acceptance?

OK, so I'm basically wondering why I am frustrated ( spiritually! )... one possible answer is I haven't *created* anything in a long time. I add value to projects and script now and again in relation to work, but most of what I do is related to 'Risk Management' and 'Information Security' from a process, network and application / system standpoint... thus it's mainly advice, recommendations and some design and architecture ( this bit does involve 'creating' usually... )

I haven't done any art, cartooning, flash, web pages, video etc in a long, long time ( last was probably http://indigo.ie/~nodecity )... I have sort of decided to go back to proramming [something I used to hate in University...http://www.cs.ucd.ie/ ] but am finding more uses for it these days... usually however, I 'script' with perl for some quick and dirty stuff.. e.g. text parsing + regexp and bolting together other apps and scanning scripts to automate real time network reports etc...

Firstly, what struck me was that if I was going to create something I should get the most 'bang for my buck', and it should be cross-platform, interoperable, open source/standards and have a great deal of flexibility ( from GUI development to low level access to memory etc [speed and efficiency must be taken in to account here also..). It should also be beautiful, concise, intuitive and easy to hack on - easy to prototype on... after reading Paul Graham's take from 'The Python Paradox' http://www.paulgraham.com/pypar.html and Eric S. Raymonds take in 'Why Python' http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3882 I decided to put some time and effort in to the Python language. I first had to do some bits and pieces on my new Mac Mini to get Python playing happy with an extra toolkit called Tkinter ( TK Interface ) to allow for some GUI programming...

Secondly, I started thinking about OS choice again... perhaps NetBSD or my beloved OpenBSD would make more sense? [Again depends on function || hardware and / or also desktop (FreeBSD) / server / intranet / internet / extranet / ] Maybe go back to Fedora Core? Try out Solaris 10 ?

Then perhaps standardise on a window manager like twm ( as it somes with X ), FVWM or go for something lightweight and extensible like Fluxbox, shell-wise sh / bash but what about rc anyone? ( Guess that breaks the 'lowest common denominator' thrust? ) .....
I guess when you come full circle you have to really look at the title of the post.... I am looking for longevity and a perceivable 'Return on Investment' on the time and energy I am going to invest both professionally and personally.. and subsequently many factors [ some external / market related ] come in to play...

Anyway for your and mine own viewing pleasure; some interesting links for posterity:

- Python http://www.python.org/
- DivX based Python video tutorials http://ourmedia.org/node/11134 and Dive Into Python http://diveintopython.org/ not forgetting O'Reilly's http://python.oreilly.com/
- Tkinter http://www.pythonware.com/library/tkinter/introduction/ and http://wiki.python.org/moin/TkInter
- DJB stuff.. http://cr.yp.to/ focus especially on his software... qmail, djbdns, daemontools and ucspi-tcp

Note: I also recently switched to Camino http://www.caminobrowser.org/ as my browser [on Mac OSX] as Firefox 1.0.4 kept crashing!

Note: Camino now seems to be grumpy with Blogger http://www.blogger.com/ :( , back to Safari http://www.apple.com/safari/ which is not fully supported by Blogger either? Double DOH! Anyone wanna' run three browsers?



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