Tag: update

A note about programming

Programming is a strange activity in some ways. For starters, the majority of people don’t really understand what it entails, although there is probably some vague awareness in many that it involves ‘creating programs’. For those people who have dabbled in it, programming is a clearer concept but unless you’ve immersed yourself in the activity for a considerable amount of time it is unlikely that a real grasp of the complexity and depth involved in creating software is apparent.

I think programming is an activity that means different things to different people. All I know is what it means to me. Programming is a lot like any other creative endeavour, whether that be painting, writing, composing, sculpting, building, modelling or any number of similar activities besides. Anybody who engages in such creative arts, whether they realise it or not, becomes the ultimate controller of the little world in which they operate.

An author has free and complete reign over the destinies of their characters, imbibing life, death, adventure or misfortune upon these subjects at the whim of a few words. A sculptor or painter has a similar power, at least within the constraints of the material with which they are working. The same can be applied to artists, musicians and so forth.

In a similar vein, a programmer has many choices: which language to use, the nature of the computer for which they are creating the program and the algorithms they employ to produce the desired outputs when their program is run. In my opinion, programming differs from some other creative activities in that it is as much a science as it is an art, being a heady mix of well-trodden known best practices intermingled with the creative freedom to innovate and influence the behaviour of the program in order to make it do things that other programs don’t do, or perhaps to find a better way of doing something that’s been done a certain way for ages.

Much as I suspect is the case with other crafts, some programmers consider their activities coldly, merely churning out code to adhere to a set of specifications created by other people. Others engage with passion in what they are doing, as they have complete freedom over the design and implementation of the task at hand.

Having spent a significant amount of time implementing my vision of a system that does something interesting, and in the back of my head, working towards a goal that would mean I could make a living working on exactly this, it’s interesting to me how I fluctuate between intense concentration and flow, and fragmented, piecemeal sessions where nothing of importance seems to get done.

The former involves working hours at a time through a myriad of challenges and ideas in order to push the product further forward, and not even realising that the time has passed. The latter is frustrating but at least it’s time that can be spent doing little tweaks and tidy-ups in order to smooth out rough edges or oversights in previously written code. Either way it is mentally exhausting, if immensely enjoyable.

Later this year it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this process. There are some interesting developments afoot and the code is taking shape in ways that excite and encourage me. It’s sort of alive, in it’s own way even. Watch this space 🙂

 

Another day, another trench.

Spent a productive few hours in the front before it got dark today. Having nearly completed 2 walls, there is a third to do nearest the house but before I can do that I needed to remove the sandstone rock that was part of the original garden installation and dig the foundation trench where the rock was.

Willow helped by starting to empty a big bag of soil thats been on the drive for over a year now. She made a good start on it, and I was able to finish it after she’d gone to bed, so the drive is significantly clearer than it has been for ages. All good progress!

There was a lot of rock, but the the trench is now done. Spent all evening doing that, and also moving the rocks to storage for later. Tomorrow, I’ll pour the foundation and grade the top area of the garden such that it’s ready for landscaping fabric, though I won’t install that until Tuesday as the crushed slate is arriving then.

Pics will follow tomorrow.

Front garden continuance

As today was a nice day, and as working in the dark (although not so bad with the new floodlights) is fraught with challenges, I took the afternoon off at short notice with a view to getting the retaining walls underway.

After a very productive afternoon, the main wall is now complete, barring a little pointing (though it won’t be visible as it’s going to be coated in stone, I want to minimise the risk of water getting in, freezing and cracking things) and most of the secondary wall is done also.

I like the last picture, the smaller boot is Willow’s 🙂


Ju and Eddy’s goings on….

Hello 🙂

Well, it’s been a long time coming but finally we’ve gotten it together to put up a family blog/website/whatever to keep people informed of our progress with projects and general updates as to what we’re up to. As you may know, Ju has joined the ranks of the enlightened and is deleting her Facebook account (yay!) but it is true that Facebook has been useful to keep friends and family informed of what we’re up to so here is the official replacement for that.

Unlike Eddy’s wordpress blog, which sort of languished after setting it up, we will be updating this site regularly, as it is effectively a Facebook replacement, so watch this space. Anybody can submit comments to anything, if they feel the need (and we’ll welcome them!). You don’t need to log in to leave a comment, but to prevent spamming from dodgy err… well, spammers, we’re vetting comments prior to publishing them for the time being so don’t worry if your comments don’t appear immediately.

By the way, we will be tinkering and experimenting with various settings and stuff as this new site evolves, so please bear with us if any links are broken or things don’t appear to be working as they should. We’re on the case!