Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New White Paper: "Learning to Program"

I have written a number of white papers. As the Wikipedia link explains, a white paper  is "an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem". The ones I have written are usually prepared for people I am working with to build some kind of product or service. They are often written quickly casually being under some kind of deadline. Nevertheless they have tended to have some content interesting to me and, I hope, to others. Therefore I've decided to start cleaning some of the papers up and make them readily available on the web.

The first white paper I offer is called "Learning to Program". This paper shows you how to use the Internet to learn about the Internet and then using this knowledge explains how you can be  not only be a passenger on the Internet and but also one of the drivers.


1 comment:

  1. @Robert Woodrow

    >> I don’t see a heading in your paper that addresses protection of the software we write.
    >> Who would go to the trouble of creating something good if I just helped myself to their efforts

    All the software that I write is released with a license that allows you to copy it and and do whatever you want with it. Virtually all significant software is built that way these days. The operating system used in super computers and on the server sending out this post is all free, open, source software (FOSS). The programming languages used to write the operating systems are FOSS. And so is the software I am using to write this post. All of the authors of all of the above tools make money.

    Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and a few others choose not to follow this route and and became billionaires. So it goes. I hope they become historical oddities.

    I would prefer to follow the example of the legal profession. Virtually every text used in the legal domain is a chopped, mashed up, edited version of a previous effort. The legal profession is based on freely re-appropriating intellectual property. As far as I know there are few practicing lawyers that are billionaires, but on the whole the legal profession seems to do quite well monetarily despite its rampant piracy, copying, plagiarism or whatever it is lawyers do with all their texts.

    >> Never once in childhood did I shoplift from a convenience store.
    >> If I find a wallet tomorrow with a hundred bucks and a business card in it, I’ll call the owner to come and get his money.
    >> Yet I bit-torrent movies all day because I don’t perceive it as a variation of the same principle.

    Interesting self-observation - and not at all unusual. I wonder if the differing outcomes are manifestations of the "Knobe Effect"?