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Monday, October 27, 2008

An afternoon off from Tapestry

One thing about being an open source developer is that the concept of "time off" becomes somewhat vague. Working on stupid bugs and documentation is "grunge work" ... so that counts as "work" whereas creating a super-nifty new component or plugin is fun, and so that's play time. Either can happen during the week, or on the weekend.

Likewise, when I was vacationing in Paris it was play time ... except for the two clients* I met there, which was work. Except it was fun talking with people about what they're doing in Tapestry, what they look forward to, etc.

So, it was purely fun Saturday to dust off my Mindstorms NXT kit, which was previously languishing underneath a bookshelf for nearly two years, and start actually using it. Merlyn has much more room at his house, so we put it all together there.

We had some fun building the basic robots and doing the simple visual programming, and I'm looking forward to doing quite a bit more. The point isn't that we accomplished anything amazing (we surely didn't), but that I was doing something besides Tapestry, which is healthy for me. Not a big deal for Merlyn, he's much better at separating his work-week coding from his weekend hacking.

*Clients here means users of Tapestry, not (yet) clients of Formos.


Bill Holloway said...

Very cool, Howard. I was a LabVIEW app engineer for several years. Got to work with the LabVIEW developers as they implemented their first web server and worked with the first mindstorm demos.

Howard said...

Merlyn and I are still dubious about whether you can really learn programming using the visual LabView interface; we'll probably both be happier with a structured language. One option I've seen is to have Ruby on the computer run the brick like a puppet.