Status Update August 2021

Published on: August 30, 2021 | Reading Time: 5 min | Last Modified: August 30, 2021


Status update August 2021. Let's Go!

Ruby: A simple language made with humans in mind.

People who know me know that I like programming languages and operating systems. This month I really pulled up my sleeves and got into Ruby. I learned the syntax while contributing to ruby packages in Debian and learned more advanced stuff this month for work. I played out with a couple of simple algorithms at the beginning and then started building simple stuff with it. The language is a far departure from C - on of my favorite language of all time. C demands more from me as a developer and in return it let's me write some very performant and sometimes not so safe programs. It sort of communicates well with the minimalist in me and for me at least there is almost never any ambiguity with things when it comes to C. It also has a spec which means there are multiple competing compilers which creates good competition which is gets everyone better compilers year after year. But Ruby on the other hand is not that at all. For instance, when using Ruby I feel like the conductor of an orchestra with every single musical instrument under the sun ready to go off at flick of my hand. I'm not going to lie, I was one of those people who failed to see Ruby for what is was the first time I encountered it. At first glance it looks and feels like Python. It was only when I started seriously looking into the language that I sort of started seeing the uniqueness of Ruby. Ruby is built for humans. Ruby's syntax does not try to be 'clever' or pretentious, the language is well thought out and simple taking into consideration that it is to be used by a human being while packing some handy features that one can use to build some very complex systems. Python is a language that people agree to be simple enough that even someone who has never been exposed to programming can make some sense of it. Well let me tell you Ruby is better than python in that regard and I feel that Ruby would make a great first programming language for people who are looking to learn programming. Also sometimes when I write code I reach a point where I need to perform a function that's so basic that I start to question why the specific functionality wasn't part of the language's standard library. While learning Ruby I ported some of my old scripts and fun projects I had written in other languages to Ruby. Apart from cringing at the code quality of the old code, on multiple occasions I found that those functions/methods that I wished were part of the standard libraries of the respective languages was already here in Ruby. Quality of life!

It makes sense why it is so easy to make things in Ruby. Ruby is one of the most readable programming language out there and the developers of the programming language care about adding features and functionalities to the language that definitely reduces the number of 'smashed keyboard' and 'hair pulling' incidents among developers while using the language. It isn't perfect but it's definitely nice. I feel like I might really enjoy my time with Ruby.

Debian India: Bullseye release, Debconf 2021 and Growing Debian India

Moving on, Debian Bullseye was released this month! I helped organize Debian India's release party during which I gave a technical overview of the new release. All of you should give it a go. Yes, even those of you who use something like Ubuntu which is built on top of Debian. This month we had Debconf 2021, it was from the 24th to the 28th. On 25th I was part of a BoF about "Growing the Debian Community in India", which was a very interesting conversation. Those of us in the Debian India community is currently focusing on making Debian India more accessible to the wider developer community. As a part of this initiative I started working on the Debian India website recently. Right now it is very basic but I hope to be able to add features to it and build and maintain other infrastructure that we may need. I do tend to put my hands in a lot of pies and get burned out which is something I'm worried about but hopefully I won't. If anyone reading this interested in contributing feel free to ping me.

I don't like building things for the sake of building them

Other than that I've been looking into Rails and React. Both are fun to be honest, at least for now. I followed some tutorials and build the stuff that they built in those tutorials but my knowledge honestly feels incomplete. I want to try and build something serious to properly use both frameworks but I have no idea what. I mean there are tons of generic projects out there but they don't excite me. For me to write code either it has to be useful or it has to exciting. I don't like building stuff for the sake of building stuff. If anyone here has any suggestions regarding that feel free to know let me know.

And that's it for now. See ya next month.