On motivating a Ruby nubie

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Sy, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Sy

    Sy Guest

    Hey all. I wanted to dive into a topic that's been on my mind for
    years. I've been interested in programming for a very long time and
    yet somehow I've only ever dabbled.

    * I've never been forced to learn anything through school (a half-year
    of turing and another half of ms access 1.0 does NOT count). Frankly,
    I do not respect school for learning real programming skills and would
    never pay someone money to teach me something I could learn by myself
    for "free" (buying books, taking the time, searching for answers
    myself).

    * I've never used such skills at work (batch files don't count). I
    don't think I'll ever do anything programming-related until _after_ I
    learn the skills and choose to use it. Honestly, I have an
    opportunity to sneak in Ruby in my (small) business.. if it does the
    job. Ruby on OSX gives us extra motivation too.

    * I've never had motivation to program as a hobby (batch files and
    4dos scripting doesn't count, vague interest in c or asm/machine
    language doesn't count). I have no problems which I see solved by
    programming myself more than using someone else's tool. So instead of
    developing the programming skills, I have developed effective
    researching and troubleshooting skills.

    And yet where I see that my problems can be solved by other people's
    tools.. I feel as though I could make better tools myself. I
    especially want to be able to create scripts and software solutions
    for some of my stranger issues. I already know that I can be valuable
    to the community being who I am and having the skills I do, but I
    yearn to do more.. to solve problems MY way.

    ---

    And so after a lot of thought I ended up looking seriously at Ruby.
    Lots of time passed and I revisited the subject to learn that a
    community had self-organized, that issues with documentation and such
    were being solved, that entertaining tutorials were being written
    (props to wtls on that one).

    Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    problem of motivation?

    Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    tutorials, what news channels? I am not overwhelmed by the amount of
    choices.. but I am confused at what order to do things in and why.
    The biggest challenge to a complete nubie is the number of tools Ruby
    uses..

    I had a hand in resurrecting my local RUG. We had our seventh meeting
    this month and every time feels like a real success. I did all this
    knowing that I wasn't a "real programmer" and that.. I don't know
    Ruby! I look back and wonder where all the time went.

    I'm a smart guy, so I am making do.. I am learning what I can but I
    don't feel _effective_ or _motivated_. I don't want my hand held, I
    just need a guiding light.


    Has anyone thought about founding a "Ruby nubie" mailing list or
    creating nubie-sized short-tutorials, quizzes and challenges? I'd be
    very interested in participating.
     
    Sy, Apr 13, 2005
    #1
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  2. On Apr 13, 2005, at 9:57 AM, Sy wrote:

    > Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    > problem of motivation?


    That's a pretty personal issue and I doubt I have any helpful advice.

    When I was younger, I wanted to do all my programming projects with my
    friends, who were only lightly interested. We never really completed
    anything. One day, I just got tired of that and started working on
    things alone (when I couldn't get help) and getting things done. I
    don't know what changed; something just snapped internally. You have
    to have to find the motivation for yourself and just dive in!

    On the positive side, I do think it gets easier the more you do. When
    I build something and see how perfect it came out (yes, I have an ego
    problem), I feel like I can do anything and I want to, right now! I'm
    working on as many programming projects as I can possibly juggle while
    still leaving a little room for sleep and I have ideas for my next 604
    projects. You just have to get the ball rolling...

    > Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    > tutorials, what news channels?


    In my opinion, there is one true secret to learning to program. Ready?
    Here comes all my ancient wisdom in one rule:

    Write code.

    Yes, I read a lot of books and yes they really help. However, it's my
    opinion that there is simply no substitute for quality time spent
    talking to a compiler. For me, that's the key.

    (When you get more experienced the rule changes to "Read code.", but
    that's another topic...)

    > Has anyone thought about founding a "Ruby nubie" mailing list or
    > creating nubie-sized short-tutorials, quizzes and challenges?


    Not really an answer to your question, but I welcome beginner quiz
    material submissions to Ruby Quiz. Next week's quiz is a nice early
    project, I think. Everyone is welcome to send in more.

    Good luck and I hope you find what you're looking for!

    James Edward Gray II
     
    James Edward Gray II, Apr 13, 2005
    #2
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  3. Sy

    Dave Burt Guest

    "James Edward Gray II" <> answered:
    > On Apr 13, 2005, at 9:57 AM, Sy wrote:
    >
    >> Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    >> problem of motivation?

    >
    > That's a pretty personal issue and I doubt I have any helpful advice.
    >
    > When I was younger, ...


    I wrote games. Blackjack is good, because you can fairly easily get a
    computer dealer to challenge you at the game.

    >> Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    >> tutorials, what news channels?

    >
    > Write code.


    I agree.

    For books, I recommend Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, which is a hilarious
    romp through the Ruby language.

    >> Has anyone thought about founding a "Ruby nubie" mailing list or
    >> creating nubie-sized short-tutorials, quizzes and challenges?


    The Quiz provides a few ideas for places to start writing code, too.

    Instead of games and other people's quiz suggestions, you could also rewrite
    something you've already written (i.e. those batch files, or anything you've
    done in C) or, perhaps even better, build something you need. If you can
    identify a repetitive computer-based task you do a lot, if you can imagine
    that some of the repetition could be relieved, figure out how. Ask this list
    when you're stuck - we love to help with this kind of thing.

    And here's something you might not hear too much around here: not everyone
    is a programmer. Not everyone even ought to be a programmer. If there other
    skills that are more important to you practically or however else, work on
    those. Nevertheless, programming is a useful skill in a bunch of ways, and
    is quite easy (IMHO) to learn to the stage where it becomes useful.

    All the best,
    Dave
     
    Dave Burt, Apr 13, 2005
    #3
  4. Sy

    Rob . Guest

    James Edward Gray II wrote:
    > Sy wrote:
    > > Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    > > problem of motivation?

    > ...
    > > Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    > > tutorials, what news channels?

    >
    > In my opinion, there is one true secret to learning to program. Ready?
    > Here comes all my ancient wisdom in one rule:
    >
    > Write code.


    I agree: write code

    In the past to learn a new language or technology I've thought up a
    personal project to work on, which gave me motivation to achieve a
    certain goal.

    Contributing to or starting your own open source / free software
    project makes things more exciting as there is the potential others
    might start using your code. This can be a great motivational aid -
    careful though, it can become addictive!

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
    Rob ., Apr 13, 2005
    #4
  5. Sy

    Sy Guest

    On 4/13/05, <> wrote:

    > another peice of advice : share your work. it's suprising how motivating it
    > is knowing others will/might be reading/using your code and it also encourages
    > you to abstract your problem into a more general solution which, 98% of the
    > time, leads to a more elegant solution as well.


    I'm thinking along the lines of keeping a learning journal / snippets database.


    --

    On 4/13/05, James Edward Gray II <> wrote:

    > Yes, I read a lot of books and yes they really help. However, it's my
    > opinion that there is simply no substitute for quality time spent
    > talking to a compiler. For me, that's the key.


    Ok.. so a little bit of coding every day.. finding little snippets to
    learn and log.. keeping a bit of a database of my efforts so I don't
    have to revisit the wheel. Sounds good.

    > (When you get more experienced the rule changes to "Read code.", but
    > that's another topic...)


    That's still very necessary.. since people who are new and
    enthusiastic will commonly turn to code examples for sections to
    steal. Just take a look at everyone's experimentation with
    mod_rewrite.. I know the first thing I did was borrow someone's
    solution to jurryrig it to my own setup. It worked too.. but of
    course the real learning has to begin when I break my setup and the
    rewrite doesn't work.

    So in the short run, ruby code is excellent to learn stuff from.. and
    to borrow.. but as soon as my inventiveness kicks in and I shuffle a
    design around it'll break all my borrowed code.. forcing me to learn
    enough to rewrite those parts (and to learn proper coding practices,
    troubleshooting skills.. and all that good stuff).


    --

    On 4/13/05, Rob . <> wrote:

    > I agree: write code


    > Contributing to or starting your own open source / free software
    > project makes things more exciting as there is the potential others
    > might start using your code. This can be a great motivational aid -
    > careful though, it can become addictive!


    Starting a project, especially an open project, is way away from my
    current inspiration. I think maybe little embarrasing personal
    projects which are coded in the open air would do pretty well. I
    still have a kind of learning weblog thingy in mind.


    --

    On 4/13/05, Dave Burt <> wrote:

    > For books, I recommend Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, which is a hilarious
    > romp through the Ruby language.


    I noted that. I read through some of it.. I understand some of it.
    While it certainly cheers me up and gives a good introduction and
    such.. It's not motivating in the least. It got very horrible very
    fast and I've no intention to finish it until I can make better use of
    the early chapters.

    What I think I'm going to do is step back and begin to write my own
    tiny tutorial as my learning tool. I'll grab some code snippets and
    make them do stuff.. and write notes to myself as to how things work
    and why. With this, I should be able to dump in various learning
    examples and such. It should work out ok. I figure I can get away
    with this functionality on my existing wiki.

    Maybe (one day) my "big project" should be a simple ruby weblog? It's
    a fairly straightforward concept.. but with lots of curious
    intricacies that could keep me very occupied.

    > Instead of games and other people's quiz suggestions, you could also rewrite
    > something you've already written (i.e. those batch files, or anything you've
    > done in C) or, perhaps even better, build something you need. If you can
    > identify a repetitive computer-based task you do a lot, if you can imagine
    > that some of the repetition could be relieved, figure out how. Ask this list
    > when you're stuck - we love to help with this kind of thing.


    I'm wondering if I can rewrite some of the crap I had tinkered with in
    ruby. There isn't much point.. many of those tools are too specific
    to DOS.. and I don't really use any of that anymore.

    Maybe the most productive thing to think is that I would like to see
    Ruby as my problem-solver for my not comprehending bash and most shell
    tools.

    Much of it would be reinventing the wheel. But in doing so I would be
    learning ruby, solving my problems and .. well doing things in ruby
    for others to maybe learn from too.

    Some simple ideas:

    * Search through directories, looking for file 'x'

    * search through files in directories, looking through their contents for 'x'

    * file split/merge

    * simple backup solution

    * disk / directory / file reporting -- which directories have the most
    files.. which take the most space.. etc.

    * Appointment book / calender

    * clock / scheduler
     
    Sy, Apr 13, 2005
    #5
  6. On 4/13/05, Sy <> wrote:
    > On 4/13/05, <> wrote:
    >
    > > another peice of advice : share your work. it's suprising how motivating it
    > > is knowing others will/might be reading/using your code and it also encourages
    > > you to abstract your problem into a more general solution which, 98% of the
    > > time, leads to a more elegant solution as well.

    >
    > I'm thinking along the lines of keeping a learning journal / snippets database.
    >
    > --
    >
    > On 4/13/05, James Edward Gray II <> wrote:
    >
    > > Yes, I read a lot of books and yes they really help. However, it's my
    > > opinion that there is simply no substitute for quality time spent
    > > talking to a compiler. For me, that's the key.

    >
    > Ok.. so a little bit of coding every day.. finding little snippets to
    > learn and log.. keeping a bit of a database of my efforts so I don't
    > have to revisit the wheel. Sounds good.
    >
    > > (When you get more experienced the rule changes to "Read code.", but
    > > that's another topic...)

    >
    > That's still very necessary.. since people who are new and
    > enthusiastic will commonly turn to code examples for sections to
    > steal. Just take a look at everyone's experimentation with
    > mod_rewrite.. I know the first thing I did was borrow someone's
    > solution to jurryrig it to my own setup. It worked too.. but of
    > course the real learning has to begin when I break my setup and the
    > rewrite doesn't work.
    >
    > So in the short run, ruby code is excellent to learn stuff from.. and
    > to borrow.. but as soon as my inventiveness kicks in and I shuffle a
    > design around it'll break all my borrowed code.. forcing me to learn
    > enough to rewrite those parts (and to learn proper coding practices,
    > troubleshooting skills.. and all that good stuff).
    >
    > --
    >
    > On 4/13/05, Rob . <> wrote:
    >
    > > I agree: write code

    >
    > > Contributing to or starting your own open source / free software
    > > project makes things more exciting as there is the potential others
    > > might start using your code. This can be a great motivational aid -
    > > careful though, it can become addictive!

    >
    > Starting a project, especially an open project, is way away from my
    > current inspiration. I think maybe little embarrasing personal
    > projects which are coded in the open air would do pretty well. I
    > still have a kind of learning weblog thingy in mind.
    >
    > --
    >
    > On 4/13/05, Dave Burt <> wrote:
    >
    > > For books, I recommend Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, which is a hilarious
    > > romp through the Ruby language.

    >
    > I noted that. I read through some of it.. I understand some of it.
    > While it certainly cheers me up and gives a good introduction and
    > such.. It's not motivating in the least. It got very horrible very
    > fast and I've no intention to finish it until I can make better use of
    > the early chapters.
    >
    > What I think I'm going to do is step back and begin to write my own
    > tiny tutorial as my learning tool. I'll grab some code snippets and
    > make them do stuff.. and write notes to myself as to how things work
    > and why. With this, I should be able to dump in various learning
    > examples and such. It should work out ok. I figure I can get away
    > with this functionality on my existing wiki.
    >
    > Maybe (one day) my "big project" should be a simple ruby weblog? It's
    > a fairly straightforward concept.. but with lots of curious
    > intricacies that could keep me very occupied.
    >
    > > Instead of games and other people's quiz suggestions, you could also rewrite
    > > something you've already written (i.e. those batch files, or anything you've
    > > done in C) or, perhaps even better, build something you need. If you can
    > > identify a repetitive computer-based task you do a lot, if you can imagine
    > > that some of the repetition could be relieved, figure out how. Ask this list
    > > when you're stuck - we love to help with this kind of thing.

    >
    > I'm wondering if I can rewrite some of the crap I had tinkered with in
    > ruby. There isn't much point.. many of those tools are too specific
    > to DOS.. and I don't really use any of that anymore.
    >
    > Maybe the most productive thing to think is that I would like to see
    > Ruby as my problem-solver for my not comprehending bash and most shell
    > tools.
    >
    > Much of it would be reinventing the wheel. But in doing so I would be
    > learning ruby, solving my problems and .. well doing things in ruby
    > for others to maybe learn from too.
    >
    > Some simple ideas:
    >
    > * Search through directories, looking for file 'x'
    >
    > * search through files in directories, looking through their contents for 'x'
    >
    > * file split/merge
    >
    > * simple backup solution
    >
    > * disk / directory / file reporting -- which directories have the most
    > files.. which take the most space.. etc.
    >
    > * Appointment book / calender
    >
    > * clock / scheduler
    >
    >


    Strangely enough, I often find that re-inventing the wheel is exactly
    what helps me learn the most. I pick something I find at least useful
    to me, then attempt to implement it myself, "fixing" anything I
    disliked about the original. This method helps me have a clear "end
    case" in mind, otherwise my projects tend to ramble on and never
    really get finished.
     
    Tanner Burson, Apr 13, 2005
    #6
  7. Sy

    Joe Van Dyk Guest

    On 4/13/05, Sy <> wrote:
    > Hey all. I wanted to dive into a topic that's been on my mind for
    > years. I've been interested in programming for a very long time and
    > yet somehow I've only ever dabbled.
    >

    <snip>
    > ---
    >
    > And so after a lot of thought I ended up looking seriously at Ruby.
    > Lots of time passed and I revisited the subject to learn that a
    > community had self-organized, that issues with documentation and such
    > were being solved, that entertaining tutorials were being written
    > (props to wtls on that one).
    >
    > Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    > problem of motivation?


    Why do you want to learn Ruby? Why do you want to learn to program?
     
    Joe Van Dyk, Apr 13, 2005
    #7
  8. Sy

    Glenn Parker Guest

    James Edward Gray II wrote:
    >
    > In my opinion, there is one true secret to learning to program. Ready?
    > Here comes all my ancient wisdom in one rule:
    >
    > Write code.


    Let's not forget: Read good existing code.

    Learning to write code is much like learning to write in "natural"
    languages. I'm not saying software is directly analagous to literature,
    but the learning processes are quite similar. You can't learn to write
    without writing, but you can't learn to write *well* without reading.

    As for motivation, it will not come from outside your own head. If
    there is something you really want to accomplish that requires learning
    to program, then you will find the necessary motivation. Find a
    pragmatic goal, and the rest will follow.

    --
    Glenn Parker | glenn.parker-AT-comcast.net | <http://www.tetrafoil.com/>
     
    Glenn Parker, Apr 13, 2005
    #8
  9. Sy

    Sy Guest

    Well.. I started a little project for this idea:

    http://sysy.homeip.net/mw/index.php/The_Ruby_Nuby




    On 4/13/05, Tanner Burson <> wrote:

    > Strangely enough, I often find that re-inventing the wheel is exactly
    > what helps me learn the most. I pick something I find at least useful
    > to me, then attempt to implement it myself, "fixing" anything I
    > disliked about the original. This method helps me have a clear "end
    > case" in mind, otherwise my projects tend to ramble on and never
    > really get finished.



    That's exactly what I was thinking myself. There's always some piece
    of me that thinks it's kindof dirty.. and possibly even insulting to
    the original author. But what else can be done? I don't want to be
    unhappy because of someone else's solution to a problem.

    Maybe one day I can implement 4DOS scripting with Ruby.. but I'll
    start with small problems and their simple tools.


    --

    On 4/13/05, Glenn Parker <> wrote:

    > Find a pragmatic goal, and the rest will follow.



    Excellent point.
     
    Sy, Apr 13, 2005
    #9
  10. Sy

    Chris Pine Guest

    > Has anyone thought about founding a "Ruby nubie" mailing list or
    > creating nubie-sized short-tutorials, quizzes and challenges?


    Well, I did create a tutorial especially for nubies (people who have
    never programmed in *any* language, I mean). You might want to check
    it out:

    http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/

    It starts very gently, and has lots and lots of examples. Also, the
    examples are all guaranteed correct: the code samples are run every
    time you request the webpage! (So you can reload the random number
    examples and see different outputs, for example.) In fact, the whole
    tutorial is actually being generated by a Ruby program. It seemed
    appropriate. :)

    As far as motivation is concerned, I must admit that I have the
    opposite problem: I'm notivated in for more directions that I have
    time to work on! I think that, for me, it's a matter of taking any
    tedious aspect in my life, and trying to see how programming could
    help do that for me. At first, perhaps it's harder to see what
    aspects of your life could be made easier by programming, but with
    practice you'll start to see things all over. Right now I am:

    - updating our website, all of the pages of which are generated by
    Ruby (why not just write the html? because the pages are
    automatically updated every time we add new pictures to our site,
    which we do daily, so writing it Ruby has already saved us countless
    hours of work (it generates thumbnail, too))
    - writing a program to turn vaguely-logo-like instructions into a nice
    truetype programmer's font (monospaced, no 0-O confusion, etc) and
    it's almost done! you'll never "courier new" again!
    - writing a music-organizing program so I can say things like "Play me
    some upbeat jazz and lounge, but only stuff I haven't listened to
    recently, but after two hours or so, tone it down to some mellow,
    instrumental lounge... with a sprinkling of Stereolab"
    - writing an interpreter for a language I have been playing with...
    certainly no Ruby competitor, but it's been an unparalleled learning
    experience
    - writing a book on Ruby

    So those last two aren't really saving me any time... they are more
    just for fun. I don't know what to tell you about those... hopefully,
    once you learn more Ruby and use it to save yourself time, and you
    have fun doing it, you might be motivated toward more "just for fun"
    projects.

    Best of luck, in any case,

    Chris
     
    Chris Pine, Apr 13, 2005
    #10
  11. Sy

    James Toomey Guest

    In my experience, the motivation comes from choosing something that you
    really think would be neat and want to accomplish, not just a pretend
    goal. If you just play the "what if" game and pretend that you're, say,
    designing a grocery store inventory system, you'll peter out rather
    quickly. You'll hit some difficult problem and say to yourself, "this
    is dumb--why am I bothering with this? I don't work for a grocery store
    and I find inventory rather mundane, plus there are thousands of great
    programs that could do this better." Also, making something you want to
    see, rather than following through tutorials, works better in my
    opinion because you seek out knowledge that you know you need; with
    tutorials, you're given knowledge and left to decide whether and when
    that knowledge will be helpful.
    Therefore, I've found that you should do one of two things:
    1) Create something that's very personal and enjoyable;
    2) Create something that helps you do a needed task.
    What I mean by #1 is to make something that you'd love to see,
    something like writing your own video game or making an interactive
    website. Making a website is perfect because you have a built-in
    audience of the entire world. When I was learning ASP programming years
    ago, I built a hiking website where you could choose the difficulty of
    the hike you wanted, and the site would then query a database to
    retrieve the results. Had I chosen to design a pretend-Ebay with
    auction bidding, or some other fake e-commerce site like you learn in
    so many tutorials, it would've taught me the same skills, but I
    wouldn't have been motivated enough to struggle through the hard parts
    to accomplish anything, and thus wouldn't have learned. It just
    wouldn't have meant enough to me to create a bidding site because
    auction-bidding doesn't interest me. However, hiking does interest me,
    so I struggled through those parts and learned. It's those dead-end
    points where you really learn, because that's when you web-search, and
    ask questions, and web-search some more, and drop by Barnes & Noble to
    browse the books, and stay late into the night taking "just one more
    crack at it," and eventually you get it right, it feels great, and
    you've learned a lot.
    The other neat thing about designing a website is the minimal cost. You
    can find a webhost who is Ruby-enabled and it probably wouldn't cost
    more than $10-$20 a month, plus $10 for a domain name, and that's it!
    You can make an interactive website on any topic you love, learn a lot
    of Ruby in the process, and millions of web surfers in the US, Italy,
    Russia, England, Argentina, etc. can see it. How cool is that?
    Now, regarding #2, I agree that many tasks can be done by existing
    tools if you search for them. For example, you could write a Ruby
    script to find/replace in text files, or you could find a freeware
    program like "fgrep" to do the same thing, so you probably feel like,
    "why should I bother writing code when I have a tool that can do
    this?". In my experience, there will eventually be some annoyance or
    wrinkle even with the tools that requires weird maneuverings on your
    part--like a tool that requires files to always be put in a certain
    folder, or doesn't search subfolders, or must be secondarily processed
    by a subsequent program after the first one. A good example is photo
    resizing. My 6 megapixel digital camera takes large photos which must
    be sized smaller to be emailable. Adobe Photoshop does do batch
    resizing, but it costs $700. There are freeware programs like
    ImageMagick to do this, but you need to memorize lots of confusing
    command-line switches. There are freeware GUIs built on top of the
    freeware resizer, but they're frequently as confusing as using the
    command-line. I faced this dilemma and finally wrote a Ruby GUI on top
    of ImageMagick that just includes the parts that I need, so it's simple
    to use and customized to exactly what I want. 3 weeks from now, when I
    want to do more image resizing, I don't need to relearn all the
    command-line switches, I can just use my nifty little program.
    Designing your own Ruby tool can be frustrating if you're starting from
    knowing nothing, because there are so many "gotchas" to get past and
    disparate things to learn; it's one of those situations where you
    "don't know what you don't know," so you're not even sure where to
    start. If this is the case, try looking for some text-based task that
    you do repeatedly and is somewhat cumbersome. Do you ever have a list
    of names that you need to sort and remove the duplicates from? Or do
    you ever have 2 lists of names and you want to find out the
    intersection of the lists (that is, which names are in common)? Or a
    list of numbers formatted as 3101234567 and should be formatted as
    310-123-4567? These are things that can certainly be done with
    Microsoft Word or Excel, but they can require an awful lot of manual
    steps like sorting, replacing, sorting again, etc. These are tasks that
    are great for learning Ruby because Ruby's arrays are powerful and easy
    to use (far easier than VB and other languages), and only require 3 or
    4 lines of code to do useful things. It can take longer the first time
    because you're learning how to write the code, but once you've written
    the code it will save you time everytime after that.


    Sy wrote:
    > Hey all. I wanted to dive into a topic that's been on my mind for
    > years. I've been interested in programming for a very long time and
    > yet somehow I've only ever dabbled.
    >
    > * I've never been forced to learn anything through school (a

    half-year
    > of turing and another half of ms access 1.0 does NOT count).

    Frankly,
    > I do not respect school for learning real programming skills and

    would
    > never pay someone money to teach me something I could learn by myself
    > for "free" (buying books, taking the time, searching for answers
    > myself).
    >
    > * I've never used such skills at work (batch files don't count). I
    > don't think I'll ever do anything programming-related until _after_ I
    > learn the skills and choose to use it. Honestly, I have an
    > opportunity to sneak in Ruby in my (small) business.. if it does the
    > job. Ruby on OSX gives us extra motivation too.
    >
    > * I've never had motivation to program as a hobby (batch files and
    > 4dos scripting doesn't count, vague interest in c or asm/machine
    > language doesn't count). I have no problems which I see solved by
    > programming myself more than using someone else's tool. So instead

    of
    > developing the programming skills, I have developed effective
    > researching and troubleshooting skills.
    >
    > And yet where I see that my problems can be solved by other people's
    > tools.. I feel as though I could make better tools myself. I
    > especially want to be able to create scripts and software solutions
    > for some of my stranger issues. I already know that I can be

    valuable
    > to the community being who I am and having the skills I do, but I
    > yearn to do more.. to solve problems MY way.
    >
    > ---
    >
    > And so after a lot of thought I ended up looking seriously at Ruby.
    > Lots of time passed and I revisited the subject to learn that a
    > community had self-organized, that issues with documentation and such
    > were being solved, that entertaining tutorials were being written
    > (props to wtls on that one).
    >
    > Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    > problem of motivation?
    >
    > Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    > tutorials, what news channels? I am not overwhelmed by the amount of
    > choices.. but I am confused at what order to do things in and why.
    > The biggest challenge to a complete nubie is the number of tools Ruby
    > uses..
    >
    > I had a hand in resurrecting my local RUG. We had our seventh

    meeting
    > this month and every time feels like a real success. I did all this
    > knowing that I wasn't a "real programmer" and that.. I don't know
    > Ruby! I look back and wonder where all the time went.
    >
    > I'm a smart guy, so I am making do.. I am learning what I can but I
    > don't feel _effective_ or _motivated_. I don't want my hand held, I
    > just need a guiding light.
    >
    >
    > Has anyone thought about founding a "Ruby nubie" mailing list or
    > creating nubie-sized short-tutorials, quizzes and challenges? I'd be
    > very interested in participating.
     
    James Toomey, Apr 13, 2005
    #11
  12. Sy wrote:

    >On 4/13/05, Dave Burt <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>For books, I recommend Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, which is a hilarious
    >>romp through the Ruby language.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >I noted that. I read through some of it.. I understand some of it.
    >While it certainly cheers me up and gives a good introduction and
    >such.. It's not motivating in the least. It got very horrible very
    >fast and I've no intention to finish it until I can make better use of
    >the early chapters.
    >
    >

    Can you spell out any of your criticisms further? I've never written a
    book before and I'm sort of guessing as to what really works.
    Genuinely, I thought of recommending the book here (except that it's
    incomplete) since the motivation provided by my book is in the
    narrative. The story motivates learning because our right brain and
    left brain both become engaged.

    But I can't presume to know for sure. It's an experiment that I only
    hope will click.

    _why
     
    why the lucky stiff, Apr 13, 2005
    #12
  13. Sy

    Sy Guest

    On 4/13/05, why the lucky stiff <> wrote:
    > Sy wrote:
    > >I noted that. I read through some of it.. I understand some of it.
    > >While it certainly cheers me up and gives a good introduction and
    > >such.. It's not motivating in the least. It got very horrible very
    > >fast and I've no intention to finish it until I can make better use of
    > >the early chapters.
    > >

    > Can you spell out any of your criticisms further? I've never written a
    > book before and I'm sort of guessing as to what really works.
    > Genuinely, I thought of recommending the book here (except that it's
    > incomplete) since the motivation provided by my book is in the
    > narrative. The story motivates learning because our right brain and
    > left brain both become engaged.
    >
    > But I can't presume to know for sure. It's an experiment that I only
    > hope will click.


    The tone of the writing somehow changes. It's very difficult to put a
    finger on. Early on there is a kind of lighthearted exploration and
    comedy, but later on it really does feel like you're reaching. The
    volume of insanity increased for me as I progressed.

    There was a signal:noise ratio which at the beginning meant that I
    could be plesantly distracted by both relevant and irrelevant things
    inbetween the fairly serious bits. This was extremely valuable to me
    as the entire notion of sitting down and learning a programming
    language is intimidating.

    Basically, a regular person -- nomatter how enthusiastic -- has an
    attention problem. Their head gets full. They run up against big
    ideas they can't quite process. Some people are stubborn enough to
    think to themselves that they'll digest the ideas later and so they
    press on.. reading even more.

    In the traditional environment, that's suicide.. a person isn't
    building on a good foundation. That's like skipping out of math
    class.. there are concepts a person would miss out on which are
    assumed to be understood later. This is even more visible when
    learning programming. So the idea of introducing intentional "noise"
    with both relevant and irrelevant topics, side-notes, pictures, etc..
    really helps force the most enthusiastic person to pause from their
    thinking about the learning and gives them just enough time to have
    that all trickle in.

    Your notion about left/right brains is a good one.. I found myself
    thinking one way and then I was thinking another way.. while the other
    side of me healed from the brutality that is learning. ;)

    Now later on in the subject matter there is an increasing amount of
    complexity. You began building on the earlier-laid foundation.

    The unfortunate thing is that people like me figure we're smart and
    can continue to follow along without doing much ruby hacking on our
    own time. This is a serious overestimation of ability. I'm actually
    a complete idiot and I should have repeatedly taken additional breaks
    to think about things, experiment in my own time.. my brain needs time
    for the swelling to come down. =)

    Now I didn't read it all in one sitting.. I did take breaks.. and I
    did experiment. But I didn't quite have the set of tools I should
    have had to take full advantage of those breaks. This is the gap I'm
    trying to fill in here.

    Ok, the subject matter got more complex. This brings many problems.
    However, the lunacy-level also increased somewhat exponentially. The
    signal dropped from the complexity, and the noise was raised by the
    irrelevance of the distraction. I suppose my issue is that the
    "quality of noise" was reduced.. it was not topical enough.

    My basic problem with the complexity later on stems from my not
    building a good foundation earlier on.


    Frankly, that narration of yours is why I got into Ruby. Thanks.
     
    Sy, Apr 13, 2005
    #13
  14. Sy

    Sy Guest

    On 4/13/05, Joe Van Dyk <> wrote:

    > Why do you want to learn Ruby? Why do you want to learn to program?


    Why I want to learn Ruby is a pretty complecated topic. There are
    subtleties of philosophy which I appreciate more than the other
    things I've read through. The atmosphere of programming is something
    I could readily cite.

    Learning to program is a matter of finding myself increasingly
    frustrated at using the solutions made by others. There are things
    I'd like learn to do myself.. of note, I want to make a life manager
    -- a to do list, with requirements and such which also acts like a
    mind mapper, a wiki, etc.


    --

    On 4/13/05, James Toomey <> wrote:

    > In my experience, the motivation comes from choosing something that you
    > really think would be neat and want to accomplish, not just a pretend
    > goal.


    An excellent point, and I agree. The problem is when my ideas are a
    LOT bigger than I could possibly begin working on. Right now, my
    problem is with taking a huge and motivating idea and breaking it
    into sensible chunks.. so I can work on small things which pay off now
    while working towards something larger. I am having a hard time
    envisioning the process. I keep stumbling over ideas which are too
    intimidating to my skills or ideas not motivating for me to learn for
    or from.


    > Therefore, I've found that you should do one of two things:
    > 1) Create something that's very personal and enjoyable;
    > 2) Create something that helps you do a needed task.


    This seems to be the general concensus. I suppose what I need to define is:

    Which of my problems,

    * is small enough for me to understand a solution for
    * is personal to me enough that I desire a personal solution

    which has,

    * other peoples' solutions for which I can model my own solution after

    I'm not sure this thinking is complete..

    I don't think I need to bother to think in terms of if I can learn
    something valuable from a project like this.. it appears that
    learning is a byproduct of the effort and shouldn't be directly
    focused on. Heck, I should probably just have fun with the senseless
    butchering of code and produce something useful as a byproduct.


    > It's those dead-end
    > points where you really learn, because that's when you web-search, and
    > ask questions, and web-search some more, and drop by Barnes & Noble to
    > browse the books, and stay late into the night taking "just one more
    > crack at it," and eventually you get it right, it feels great, and
    > you've learned a lot.


    Strangely.. I've done this. I remember playing around with a mud
    client which used a restricted tcl scripting command set. That was
    fun, but I ran into many barriers for various reasons.


    > The other neat thing about designing a website is the minimal cost. You
    > can find a webhost who is Ruby-enabled and it probably wouldn't cost
    > more than $10-$20 a month, plus $10 for a domain name, and that's it!


    Free. Without a doubt, I'd host it all myself. That's another
    learning experience I'm beginning to appreciate. Yes, I'm looking at
    web-enabled applications too.. I used to think that maybe that was a
    big step for me, and yet I'm inspired by seeing things like Rails.


    ---

    On 4/13/05, Chris Pine <> wrote:
    >
    > Well, I did create a tutorial especially for nubies...


    You're already high on my reading list. =)


    > the code samples are run every time you request the webpage


    I *LOVED* this idea. That's just the kind of functionality I'd love
    to see in a ruby wiki.


    > I think that, for me, it's a matter of taking any
    > tedious aspect in my life, and trying to see how programming could
    > help do that for me.


    A few people have mentioned this. I can certainly see how this is a
    good motivator. I myself slaved for far too many hours on a 4dos
    script which learned the type of an archive and simply extracted it.
    Yes, with thousands of archives and back in the day when there were
    various kinds.. I wanted a tool which would do this simple task for
    me.

    Of course, the problem was that it got WAY out of hand.. and i started
    meddling with other archiving software and integrating new
    functionality. It was very neat.. but I passed the stage of solving
    my immediate problem.

    I think this is sortof how I learn though.. I go off onto random
    tangents. The most valuable thing I've done so far is to try to be
    as organized as possible so that when I go off on a tangent all of
    that effort is saved.. so that I can always refer back to it later if
    I wanted. Then I could just be a hummingbird trying stuff out.. and
    every so often I'd take another pass at some old but still
    interesting thing I worked on a while back.


    > - writing a music-organizing program so I can say things like "Play me
    > some upbeat jazz and lounge, but only stuff I haven't listened to
    > recently, but after two hours or so, tone it down to some mellow,
    > instrumental lounge... with a sprinkling of Stereolab"


    This one's on my list of stuff to do as well. A proper database
    relating all kinds of music based on mood, theme, preference etc..
    then it could be smart and play music which sounds good to my present
    mood, but it could shift the music mood slowly to something else.. so
    I could wind myself down very easily using music. =)


    Your time saving vs fun arguments are good. A lot of people speak on
    the same issues.
     
    Sy, Apr 13, 2005
    #14
  15. Sy wrote:
    > Hey all. I wanted to dive into a topic that's been on my mind for
    > years. I've been interested in programming for a very long time and
    > yet somehow I've only ever dabbled.


    Hey Syeed-- Welcome to the fray! ;-)

    <Snip!>

    > Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    > problem of motivation?
    >
    > Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    > tutorials, what news channels? I am not overwhelmed by the amount of
    > choices.. but I am confused at what order to do things in and why.
    > The biggest challenge to a complete nubie is the number of tools Ruby
    > uses..


    Find a (small) project to do on your own and begin to write the code.
    Make it simple to start. I began by rewriting the coWiki text parser in
    ruby.

    It's sort of like learning any language-- Put yourself in a position
    where you need it and you will learn it.

    The people here are very good at answering reasonable questions. *I*
    haven't gotten flamed yet! ;-)

    I started by using SciTE for it's ability to easily run the code I'm
    editing. But I think I'm going to spend some more effort on working
    doing the same with FreeRIDE, as it has more bells and whistles. ;-)
    jEdit is also a choice. I don't like how long it takes to start
    FreeRIDE and jEdit, SciTE is very quick and seems to understand about
    many languages-- It will run PHP scripts, if the computer is set up for it!

    Paul
     
    Paul Hanchett, Apr 13, 2005
    #15
  16. Sy

    Chris Pine Guest

    On 4/13/05, Sy <> wrote:
    > You're already high on my reading list. =)


    Oh, good!


    > The problem is when my ideas are a
    > LOT bigger than I could possibly begin working on. Right now, my
    > problem is with taking a huge and motivating idea and breaking it
    > into sensible chunks..


    This is *extremely* challenging. Actually, this is ending up being
    the hardest part of my book (which is, you know, about learning to
    program... I'm a one-trick pony, what can I say :).

    On the one hand, larger projects are more motivating and fun, but are
    way too hard.

    On the other hand, little toy programs are easy enough to be doable,
    but are not terribly motivating.

    On some other third mutant hand, breaking down a large program into
    smaller tasks leads to a bunch of *totally* unmotivating programs,
    like "convert this array of single-element hashes into arrays of
    2-element arrays" or something. Who wants to do that??

    UNLESS (I am fervently hoping) you happen to know that your weird
    conversion program is in fact an integral part of a webserver/blog
    program you have been told you are writing. You don't know which
    part, but you've been told that at some point near the end of the
    book, all of the pieces will come together and *poof*! A big, cool
    program.

    (My currently problem: being told to write the parts is one thing.
    Figuring out what parts need to be written is something else
    *entirely*. How do you teach this sort of design, or is this even in
    the scope of a beginner's book on programming?)

    Chris
     
    Chris Pine, Apr 13, 2005
    #16
  17. Sy wrote:
    > Hey all. I wanted to dive into a topic that's been on my mind for
    > years. I've been interested in programming for a very long time and
    > yet somehow I've only ever dabbled.
    >
    > * I've never been forced to learn anything through school (a half-year
    > of turing and another half of ms access 1.0 does NOT count). Frankly,
    > I do not respect school for learning real programming skills and would
    > never pay someone money to teach me something I could learn by myself
    > for "free" (buying books, taking the time, searching for answers
    > myself).
    >
    > * I've never used such skills at work (batch files don't count). I
    > don't think I'll ever do anything programming-related until _after_ I
    > learn the skills and choose to use it. Honestly, I have an
    > opportunity to sneak in Ruby in my (small) business.. if it does the
    > job. Ruby on OSX gives us extra motivation too.
    >
    > * I've never had motivation to program as a hobby (batch files and
    > 4dos scripting doesn't count, vague interest in c or asm/machine
    > language doesn't count). I have no problems which I see solved by
    > programming myself more than using someone else's tool. So instead of
    > developing the programming skills, I have developed effective
    > researching and troubleshooting skills.
    >
    > And yet where I see that my problems can be solved by other people's
    > tools.. I feel as though I could make better tools myself. I
    > especially want to be able to create scripts and software solutions
    > for some of my stranger issues. I already know that I can be valuable
    > to the community being who I am and having the skills I do, but I
    > yearn to do more.. to solve problems MY way.
    >
    > ---
    >
    > And so after a lot of thought I ended up looking seriously at Ruby.
    > Lots of time passed and I revisited the subject to learn that a
    > community had self-organized, that issues with documentation and such
    > were being solved, that entertaining tutorials were being written
    > (props to wtls on that one).
    >
    > Fine. I like Ruby. I want to learn Ruby. How do I work on the
    > problem of motivation?
    >
    > Hack a little every day? Read a little every day? What books, what
    > tutorials, what news channels? I am not overwhelmed by the amount of
    > choices.. but I am confused at what order to do things in and why.
    > The biggest challenge to a complete nubie is the number of tools Ruby
    > uses..
    >
    > I had a hand in resurrecting my local RUG. We had our seventh meeting
    > this month and every time feels like a real success. I did all this
    > knowing that I wasn't a "real programmer" and that.. I don't know
    > Ruby! I look back and wonder where all the time went.
    >
    > I'm a smart guy, so I am making do.. I am learning what I can but I
    > don't feel _effective_ or _motivated_. I don't want my hand held, I
    > just need a guiding light.
    >
    >
    > Has anyone thought about founding a "Ruby nubie" mailing list or
    > creating nubie-sized short-tutorials, quizzes and challenges? I'd be
    > very interested in participating.
    >
    >


    Just my personal 2 cents:

    As a non programmer I decided to learn Ruby and in the past a bit of c
    php and tried lots of langs. What has been the drive? I had a simple but
    repetitive task or a desire to organize stuff or wanted a
    simple-to-not-so-simple personalized app/script/utility.

    Things are personal while learning on your own. Personally I like to
    learn just for the sake of it,but that's me, maybe applies to You maybe
    not. But one thing I can assure You; if You have a need an Ruby can
    solve it, the way to go is: coding, experimenting with code ,testing
    snips of code, but above all: coding!.

    Find little needs that You have, even if silly(hey!! it has worked for
    me). i.e. "Damn I got this lot of files containing lyrics and I would
    like to ensure that the filename is *always* "Artist - The Name of the
    Song.lyr", well make a lil' util, done!, mmmh now I would like that
    those would get organized in a base directory c:\stuff\lyrics with
    subdirs a,b,c,d,e,f...z and have subdir a containing the lyrics of
    artists whose name start with 'a',done!...well what about having a local
    website! or those lyrics in a db or ...keep wishing, keep wanting , keep
    coding, remember to congratulate yourself everytime you succed, and try
    harder when not(but take a rest,get away to gain a better perspective,
    heck ask for help here).

    *start small*, You'll get more and more ambitious about your "needs" and
    better at designing how the code would be.

    *when feeling stuck* Every time You have doubts how to "do x" don't
    overthink,plan,etc. instead type code and experiment, todays lame
    experiments migth be tomorrows clever solutions.

    *code and achieve* nothing motivates *me*(and maybe others) like getting
    something done, the feeling of "Damn I'm good" and "whoaa I solved it
    myself". Since You're solving small problems that *YOU* have, motivation
    shouldn't be a problem, keep getting ambitious and You'll keep on coding
    and (hopefully)getting better at it.

    now back to porting that eruby app to Rails...(experimenting phase ;-))
    Greetings
    Adartse.
     
    Osuka Adartse, Apr 14, 2005
    #17
  18. Sy

    Dave Burt Guest

    "Sy" <> wrote:
    >
    > Learning to program is a matter of finding myself increasingly
    > frustrated at using the solutions made by others. There are things
    > I'd like learn to do myself.. of note, I want to make a life manager
    > -- a to do list, with requirements and such which also acts like a
    > mind mapper, a wiki, etc.


    Pimki?
    http://pimki.rubyforge.org/

    If you're set on making your own, it may well be worth looking into the guts
    of this to see how it runs and/or hacking features you want on top of it.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
    Dave Burt, Apr 14, 2005
    #18
  19. Sy

    Assaph Mehr Guest

    Dave Burt wrote:
    > "Sy" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > Learning to program is a matter of finding myself increasingly
    > > frustrated at using the solutions made by others. There are

    things
    > > I'd like learn to do myself.. of note, I want to make a life

    manager
    > > -- a to do list, with requirements and such which also acts like a
    > > mind mapper, a wiki, etc.

    >
    > Pimki?
    > http://pimki.rubyforge.org/
    >
    > If you're set on making your own, it may well be worth looking into

    the guts
    > of this to see how it runs and/or hacking features you want on top of

    it.

    Plus, I have it on good authority the author is amenable to patches ;-)

    If you're interested in the guts, Pimki is an Instiki-Wiki base plus
    general PIM features. It's currently being updated to the new Instiki
    (modern rails based), and will hopefully be released soon -- with more
    features -- as Pimki2.

    Maybe not the greatest source of clean software in its current state,
    but I'll be happy to answer any question you may have, and add to the
    features list (developed in open source time - i.e. two hours past
    midnight per day :)

    Cheers,
    Assaph
     
    Assaph Mehr, Apr 14, 2005
    #19
  20. Sy

    Sy Guest

    On 4/14/05, Chris Pine <> wrote:
    >
    > UNLESS (I am fervently hoping) you happen to know that your weird
    > conversion program is in fact an integral part of a webserver/blog
    > program you have been told you are writing. You don't know which
    > part, but you've been told that at some point near the end of the
    > book, all of the pieces will come together and *poof*! A big, cool
    > program.


    Faith isn't so good with someone who's just starting out. Everyone
    knows that eventually it'll all come together.. and yet nobody trusts
    that.

    The best thing to do in life is to approach big issues one step at a
    time. Sure there is the occasional pecking at a topic from
    different angles, and there is some charging in and tackling huge
    things.. but the best overall skill to learn in my opinion is
    encapsulating
    problems and approaching one at a time without being overwhelmed. I'm
    just not quite sure yet how I should apply this to learning ruby. =)

    What popped into my mind with your description is the idea of painting
    by numbers. I think this should be applied in a tutorial sense.
    Painting by numbers is approaching specific problems with specific
    solutions while overall keeping in mind the end-goal. Each small
    problem,
    each lesson, each bite-sized chunk is one perfectly coloured area in
    the whole picture. The *real* trick for the person designing that
    structure is to be able to communicate to the painter the whole picture.

    So you would need to take your completed project, and work it
    backwards.. breaking it up into pieces and arranging them in order of
    complexity and relatedness and all that easily-said but
    horrifically-difficult stuff. Somehow it would have to be arranged in
    order of
    "shade".. related colours.. so that the student is provided things in
    a more-or-less linear fashion.. they are building skills on top of
    skills.. or building complexity into their earlier and simpler code.

    The student's perspective is that they are given one problem at a
    time, they are learning one thing at a time.. and as they progress
    they are
    slowly beginning to realise the interrelatedness of one problem to the
    next to the next. At one point a good student should be able to
    predict the use of the tools they are being shown.

    All throughout all of this mess, somehow the student needs to have a
    greater picture reinforced. When working on a puzzle, or a
    paint-by-numbers picture, the person has a kind of reference always
    available, assuring them that yes they've completed a part of the
    whole,
    and that part goes there.. and they are now working on the next part
    over here.. etc. This is the motivation necessary for a truly
    engaging
    tutorial.


    > (My currently problem: being told to write the parts is one thing.
    > Figuring out what parts need to be written is something else
    > *entirely*. How do you teach this sort of design, or is this even in
    > the scope of a beginner's book on programming?)


    There are a few schools of thought as far as the process of learning
    goes. There are more than this list, but I'll just point out some
    stuff
    I found obvious just now when thinking about it.

    * A teacher knows all and the student should model themselves after
    the teacher's abilities.
    * A student should learn from the mistakes of others.
    * A student should explore on their own whenever inspired to do so.

    The middle ground is to get a good introduction to concepts like best
    practices, common problems, simple examples and form a basic set of
    tools to work with. This should be the student's first priority and
    should be addressed a good intro to programming.

    All of the philosophies and strangeness just does not apply to someone
    who is new to programming. Telling them that there is really no such
    thing as a best practice will scare the hell out of them. Still, it's
    good to say things like "we're going to approach this problem with a
    simple common solution.. there are always different ways to solve one
    problem, but let's keep it simple"

    Ok, so the good perspective is that the student should have their
    goals structured and still understand the greater, or more whole value
    of
    the skills. They should be given specific problems to solve a
    specific way but they also need to learn to be creative. So they also
    need to
    be provided a workbook of things to do their own way.

    We've all seen this with existing tutorials. I think that the
    "workbook" side of things needs to be expanded a little.. enforced
    some more.
    I have found more value in my experimenting with the tools I've been
    shown than with any other learning resource. I think most would agree
    that skill is fueled internally.. anyone who is good at anything is
    that way because of a fire they stoke themselves.


    --

    On 4/14/05, Paul Hanchett <> wrote:
    > Sy wrote:
    >
    > Hey Syeed-- Welcome to the fray! ;-)


    Dammit, I've been found out! ;)


    > Find a (small) project to do on your own and begin to write the code.
    > Make it simple to start. I began by rewriting the coWiki text parser in
    > ruby.


    Holy crap man.. I didn't know you were a rubyist. And on this mailing
    list. And working on stuff like that. Small world.


    For the audience: Paul recently took the maintainer role for coWiki, a
    wiki which I have a fairly long and strong love/hate relationship
    with.. which had I the skills, I would have written myself, but
    "better" (using my opinions, solving my problems), and in Ruby. =)


    > I started by using SciTE for it's ability to easily run the code I'm
    > editing. But I think I'm going to spend some more effort on working
    > doing the same with FreeRIDE, as it has more bells and whistles. ;-)
    > jEdit is also a choice. I don't like how long it takes to start
    > FreeRIDE and jEdit, SciTE is very quick and seems to understand about
    > many languages-- It will run PHP scripts, if the computer is set up for it!


    Thanks for jogging my memory.. I need to go through some
    tools/environment-related options.


    --

    On 4/14/05, Osuka Adartse <> wrote:

    > ...keep wishing, keep wanting , keep
    > coding, remember to congratulate yourself everytime you succed, and try
    > harder when not(but take a rest,get away to gain a better perspective,
    > heck ask for help here).


    Definitely there is concensus on the spark of inspiration which a
    person finds within themselves, and on working on problems close to
    onesself. Starting small is another good point.

    On the note of achieving.. I think also that a more public database is
    an incentive for me.. because sharing is a motivator.


    --

    On 4/14/05, Dave Burt <> wrote:
    > "Sy" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > of note, I want to make a life manager
    > > -- a to do list, with requirements and such which also acts like a
    > > mind mapper, a wiki, etc.

    >
    > Pimki?
    > http://pimki.rubyforge.org/
    >
    > If you're set on making your own, it may well be worth looking into the guts
    > of this to see how it runs and/or hacking features you want on top of it.


    I saw pimki but haven't tried it yet. I'm pretty sure that I would
    end up needing to make my own solution, but definitely peeking inside
    the
    code of other projects with end up on my list. I don't think I'll
    tackle this type of project anytime soon, but the first thing I'd do
    before beginning a big thing is to research other approaches (even via
    other tools) to learn how other people's UIs work, and learn of the
    various other opinions on things.


    --

    On 4/14/05, Assaph Mehr <> wrote:
    >
    > If you're interested in the guts, Pimki is an Instiki-Wiki base plus
    > general PIM features. It's currently being updated to the new Instiki
    > (modern rails based), and will hopefully be released soon -- with more
    > features -- as Pimki2.
    >
    > Maybe not the greatest source of clean software in its current state,
    > but I'll be happy to answer any question you may have, and add to the
    > features list (developed in open source time - i.e. two hours past
    > midnight per day :)


    Here's what I know about myself so far:

    * I have a bad memory

    * I am organized (necessary due to my bad memory)

    * I learn easily

    * I like to experiment.

    * I forget easily (if unused, my skills evapourate.. leaving ineffable
    "portable skills")

    * The only thing truly saving my learning and experimenting efforts is
    my organization.

    * I work well with others (willing to listen, wanting to learn,
    appreciating opinion)

    * I write "too much". I like to discuss angles, get opinions and
    understand a larger picture. This makes threads go off into wild
    tangents
    and all kinds of fun stuff. I'm getting much better by not repeating
    the same argument over and over.. heh.

    * I don't colour in the lines (I go into tangents easily)

    * I am strangely opinionated and desire to see my problems solved.


    So this means that I am an excellent team member, but motivated
    towards my own goals. I am an unherdable cat. I would desire to help
    with
    project but would only be motivated while the project direction meets
    my needs. I would go off into tangents because my opinion would have
    me work on problems of interest as opposed to team goals. I would
    always be driven to do things myself, and yet I wouldn't want to
    manage a
    project.

    So looking at someone else's code would always have me want to do it
    all myself.. and patching, while a good idea, would always be
    secondary
    to my redoing the entire project myself. Actually.. I think I'd be
    more interested in forking someone else's work and fixing it up myself
    than helping fix that project. I tend to see things in terms of "tool
    x works, but feature y doesn't work how I'd do it, or feature z is
    missing. This is probably a bad wrinkle of a habit which I'll have to
    iron out. I should prefer to patch rather than fork.
     
    Sy, Apr 14, 2005
    #20
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