No, really, I’m not.

While it is certainly true that I have spent most of my working life as some sort of web programmer I actually see myself as a server guy. I love tinkering with servers, networks and security.
On the other hand I really like programming. I guess you have to if you’ve learned all the following languages to a certain degree:

  • QBasic
  • Turbo Pascal
  • Assembler
  • Delphi
  • C
  • C++
  • C#
  • Java
  • Bash Script
  • PHP

Some of these languages I still use. I earn my money with PHP. But I develop an Android application in Java and there’s a ton of Bash Scripts in charge of building EasyLFS. And sometimes some code digging requires basic recollection of how to write C.

Programming for me often was a way to solve a problem. When facing a problem I decide which programming languages are suitable and pick one that I think will help me to get there in the best way.
In a previous job I have written a tool that takes a web servers log files, filters these and converts them using AWStats or something. There used to be a manual procedure on how all that could be done, and it took a long time. So I sat down and wrote a monster solution that is part PHP, part C# and part Bash Script.

But as said, programming for me usually comes through a problem. A challenge.
When I have write the same code day after day I get bored. That’s not the kind of programmer I am, that can just sit down and be happy with reproducing more or less the same code over and over again.
Sure, sometimes that is necessary, and I can do that, but just for so long. Then I need a challenge again. Something I can dig into, take apart and implement in a way that requires a 800 line array definition.

That is why I think my current job suits my style of programming a lot more than the previous ones. There I used to put together websites, all based on either a CMS I’ve written from scratch, on Joomla or on Drupal, but just repetitive creation of websites.
Now I am working on a massively complex system that is full of challenges.

But also other stuff can get boring, even EasyLFS. In order to motivate myself to get back into it some more I have taken 2 steps.
First I have automated a boring manual process that I used to go through in order to create install CDs from the live CDs, and then I have set myself a challenge. I have done this before. Previous challenges included:

  • Having a 64 Bit version of EasyLFS
    Originally EasyLFS was 32 Bit only.
  • Adding Ada support to GCC
    GNAT, the Ada compiler in the GCC is (at least partially) written in Ada. Thus you need GNAT to compile GNAT. Since I never bothered with this in the beginning EasyLFS had no GNAT.
  • Switching to systemd
    Originally EasyLFS used SysVInit, just like Linux from Scratch.

So, my latest challenge is adding support for EFI to EasyLFS. I think sooner or later we’ll all be booting with EFI, so EasyLFS should be able to do so.
I expect a lot or work to be done to get this working right, and I might end up having to abandon the Linux Live Scripts, but I’m sure it’s gonna be interesting.
And that’s what counts.

Thank you!
Dennis Wronka

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