comment about the levels of certification. One of the issues
I have is that it assumes that anyone who is starting out in
open source coding doesn't know how to code, an assumption I
find fundamentally flawed. There's also an inherent
assumption that their time is unlimited. There isn't a good
way of certifying master coders who, like myself, contribute
here and there. Sometimes in bug reports, sometimes in
design, sometimes in code.
Some of us have been coding for a living longer than the
average Advogato user has been alive. While I may not be
famous as a coder in the open source space (mostly because
I've written custom apps which, while necessary, are not
especially glorious), as a coder I'm easily Master level and
have been for years. Furthermore, not all my contributions
have been in the Unix space -- I wrote open source software
for the MacOS at least five years before I heard the term
"open source." I have code that's been continuously
running for more than 20 years. Within this
community, I see myself as Journeyer mostly because I spend
time on community events at the expense of coding (which I
do all day, every day). But rating me as an apprentice is,
imho, insulting. I've contributed lots of little pieces to
lots of places, but never quite enough to "make a name" for
myself. I don't give a shit about the recognition, but I
find it amusing that some people have certified me who a)
don't know what I have done and b) don't know me very well.
Exercise: If you're in the US, open up the newspaper
the television listings section. There's more than a 50%
chance that the page you're looking at was generated by my
Saw a lot of people at SVLUG, including Joey Hess, many
of whom did double takes on Rick wearing a suit. Well, we
didn't have time to change. The double-takes he got were
really hilarious. Prior to that, we'd spent time with his
large, boisterous Norwegian family. Coming from a small
family myself, I felt a bit cramped. I couldn't believe how
much food they had. Too bad we don't have stasis generators
to keep piles of food from going bad. Everyone coming in had
an ice chest it seemed.
Apparently ESR hadn't heard of advogato, so we told him
about it last night. In sad news, his father died yesterday
morning. :( ESR said it wasn't unexpected.
We skipped the SVLUG meeting proper, hanging out with ESR
Self. After the meeting, we spent time with our new
neighbor, Reg Charney, and Karen Shaeffer. Karen really has
a wonderful head on her shoulders and it was great spending
time with her.
As almost all my day yesterday was spent in social
events, no code. Today, it's work, an appointment and home,
so probably no coding as I'm being a sysadmin today.
Open Source Culture
It's becoming increasingly clear that the Open Source
community is mind-bendingly complex -- not just in terms of
creating technology, but also in terms of social interaction
and community and all the other squishy stuff that goes
along with it.
Heck, go for a Ph.D. from The Union Institute. In fact,
this very area had fascinated me also. My undergrad studies
were strong on just about every social science except
 The concept of "code uptime" has really become
appealing to me over time as a measure of software quality.
By that measure, some of the so-called illuminaries of open
source would be ranked apprentice. I have spent a good chunk
of my career as a "reimplementer" -- when someone else
screws up and the code crashes, freezes, is outgrown or
whatever, I redesign and reimplement
from scratch. Thus, code quality is far more
important to me than the glory of being a "frontier"
programmer and getting my name in lights. To me, the craft
is about coding correctly. I'm not going to point
fingers, but there's an awful lot of atrocious design and
implementation out there, and if we ever GET the cloning
process perfected, I'm going to sic my clones on getting it