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Date:      Wed, 27 May 2020 20:22:04 -0500
From:      Valeri Galtsev <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD Cert
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <20200528022232.662100a3@archlinux>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <20200527203627.2c9faae5@archlinux> <> <> <20200528022232.662100a3@archlinux>

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On 5/27/20 7:22 PM, Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions wrote:
> My reply is intended as an explanation for the OP, not a reply
> addressed to Aryeh Friedman.
> On Wed, 27 May 2020 16:48:56 -0400, Aryeh Friedman wrote:
>> Will it?  Almost all the best IT/programmers I know started with just
>> as difficult of a challenge so if the OP wants to do something hard
>>from the get go let them.
> Many skilled coders never maintained an official port for a BSD or
> Linux distro. Lots of them try to avoid soname issues [1] by not linking
> against shared libs of BSD or Linux default installs and they try to
> workaround other pitfalls, too. Let alone that some very skilled coders
> even don't support BSD or Linux at all.

Ralf, I fully agree with your very instructive presentation. There is 
one single word you have used that upsets me. Nothing to do with your 
point, it is just the word itself: "coders". The moment they invented 
that name to replace the word "programmer" I felt like they purposefully 
threw away all high level brain work programmers do and downgraded what 
they do to something like just "writing computer code". Back then when 
they were teaching us (not training, which would be showing trivial 
repetitive skills, but teaching, which is developing the ability to 
create something new). Well, when they were teaching us programming they 
described the process you will go through creating program as consisting of:

1. Stating problem and deciding withing which restrictions you will make 

2. Choosing tools (including specific programming languages)

3. Making logical diagram (block diagram), and making sure that covers 

4. Writing pieces (modules, subroutines,...) and making sure each does 
what you need it to do

5. Putting modules together, ...

6. And there starts big testing, debugging,...

Of course, terminology changed, and my memory may not afford me the same 
way of putting it as my great teaches did... But now it probably is 
clear why use of the word "coder" is less than adequately describing 
what programmers actually do.

Unless it is just a bunch of "coders" who write code for some 
programmer, or project manager... whatever. Just code, no use of brain, 
task akin writing trivial speech for politician.

Just my 2 cents.


> One of the best, if not the best professional EQ is from fab filters.
> "We're not planning support for Linux any time soon. It's a significant
> amount of work, and testing is harder than on Windows or Mac because
> there are various major Linux distributions, all with subtle
> differences. And of course the market is very small."
> It's more or less the same for FreeBSD. "Maintaining" even a binary
> blob that doesn't link against shared libraries is still time
> consuming.
> While unskilled but giftet people might learn better when starting
> programming a more challenging software, than when programming
> something trivial, maintaining a port that needs to fulfil
> the policy of an operating system gains not that much, than first
> learning the basics without taking care about port guidelines.
> The porters handbook and similar guidelines of other operating systems
> don't help a novice to become familiar with computers and/or a
> particular operating system. Trying to become familiar with computers
> and FreeBSD by maintaining a port is like hanging wallpaper to
> alongside learn how to lay bricks, too. You could do that, but
> especially to learn use of computers, it's way better to start
> a little bit structured. IOW first lay bricks, than hang the wallpaper.
> Starting with the wallpaper is a poorly structured strategy.
> [1]
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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