Wishful Coding

Didn't you ever wish your
computer understood you?

Say thanks to the man who makes your computer run

Today I was browsing HackerNews and reading up on the latest cool projects including at least 3 buzzword technologies, when I suddenly realized how strange it was to go "ooh" and "aah" for weekend projects written in fancy high-level languages while we are ignorant to the people who get their hand dirty to make it possible in the first place.

That is when I decided to find the authors of my sound card driver and thank them for their amazing work. I run Ubuntu now and then on my iMac, but the sound never worked for me, until recent versions of Ubuntu shipped the correct ALSA driver.

I encourage you to do the same.

  1. Go to a technology you use to write awesome applications or the solution to a problem you had.
  2. Look for the dependencies, and continue to drill down until you find a project that makes you blink your eyes ands say "wow, I didn't know this was involved."
  3. Thank the author. Really, I'm serious!

I had to find out which sound card I have, what the driver for that was, and finally who the authors are. It turns out It's the Intel HDA driver in the alsa-driver package. The source file contained their email addresses.

  • Did you know Node.js uses V8, which uses Scons, which uses Python, which uses readline, which uses ncurses, which are all compiled using GCC or LLVM?
  • Did you know you can use your package manager to see the dependencies of a project?
  • Did you realize your package manager installs hundreds of dependencies and dependencies of dependencies to run something like Python? 
  • Consider who is more awesome, the guy who writes a Twitter app in Node, the guy who made Node, or the guy who made Node possible.