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Free & Easy

by barndoor (Pilgrim)
on Aug 14, 2000 at 18:56 UTC ( #27751=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

18 months ago, I was almost completely ignorant of the open source movement.

Having worked in a strict IT environment where software was laughed at unless it cost a small country's GNP, I was using big name RDBMS software on big name UNIX OS's with M$ development tools, running on PC's with M$ OS's.
Then we started using the GNU c++ compilers. There was shock all round when they worked, and worked well.

Since that time I've been on a voyage of discovery which has changed how I go about my job. I now use Linux/Perl/Apache/MySQL and GNU compilers.

The support I get from the community just makes me wonder why I was hanging on phone support queuing systems for what seemed like years, and then when the problem was a real bug, had to wait another lifetime for a fix.

I'm about to start a new job designing the backends for websites. I'll be working with well supported tools where help is always available (wait til I start posting all my mod-perl questions :-) ), and where I'll be more productive than I've ever been before.

I'd like your views on how much open source tools have changed your productivity and your enjoyment of your job. (I know I find getting help from the Monks far more fun that listening to 'Please Release Me' while waiting for support on an ODBC driver bug.)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Free & Easy
by bliz (Acolyte) on Aug 14, 2000 at 19:31 UTC
    I have been quite lucky with my work experiences thus far. From the very start I was an open-source nut.. without even knowing it.. I was started out using open source compilers on linux systems at my university, and as I learned more about the movement, I enjoyed myself, and went to a level where I actually frown on a job where I have to work with something else. Thus far my only employment opportunity that involved something other than Linux/Apache/ Perl/GNU Compilers was a crappy experience with a closed shop doing support work for their HP/UX servers... sucked quite severely. I was asked to use NT, but I ended up slipping a copy of VMWare pass the sign-off boys over in purchasing, and running linux with the permission of the head systems management guy, and was very happy there for a while, since I could just write all my stuff on my linux box, and run it from there, connecting to the remote machines to handle tasks as needed. This went fine until the plant manager found out I was using Linux to be "so damned productive", and he frowned on it.. I didn't care.. I kept using it until I resigned from my position there shortly thereafter (unrelated). It amazed me that the same guy that prasied my productivity as compared to the rest of the staff with similar positions to mine, frowned when he discovered the tools used for this productivity was <hick>that thar hacker crap</hick> -- god bless those microsoft PR guys.. :)
RE: Free & Easy
by gumpu (Friar) on Aug 14, 2000 at 21:34 UTC
    Not only is it nice that it is free as in free speech, but it is also nice that is it free as in free beer. Where I work we have been waiting for weeks for a proposal for the financing of some commercial development tools to be processed. This takes ages cause money is involved. Meanwhile we downloaded Perl got it to work on a VMS, wrote a couple of nice tools and we are up and running now :) Have fun, Gumpu.
RE: Free & Easy
by BigJoe (Curate) on Aug 14, 2000 at 19:03 UTC
    I am still trying to get my office to move to Linux/Apache etc.

    But from my personal use there are many specialized tools out there and some that you may have to tweak to get what you need out of them. The good thing is you can actaully modify them. Many of the better tools have patches or fixes on a scheduled basis.

    Look at vroom, this site is a very good open tool and it gets updates/fixes and additions on almost a daily basis.


    Learn patience, you must.
    Young PerlMonk, craves Not these things.
RE: Free & Easy
by target (Beadle) on Aug 14, 2000 at 19:27 UTC
    All things work together toward good for those that love GNU ;)
RE: Free & Easy
by Jonathan (Curate) on Aug 23, 2000 at 16:39 UTC
    Preaching to the converted..
    Sadly I know Barndoor well. He neglected to tell you all that Perl has also made him a better human being.
    No more clubbing of baby Seals on Canadian Holidays. The wings of Flies stay where nature intended them. He walks tall in the sunlight instead of hiding in the shadows.
    Unfortunately small children still burst into tears when he approaches but you can't have everything.

    Good luck in your new job
      Sorry for an OT post. But the seal thing bothers me.

      The much-maligned seal hunt had actually been going on in that area with those methods for several hundred years. (There was a *brief* period with more advanced techniques, but those aren't the infamous pictures with clubs.) Archeological evidence indicates that before the Irish settled Newfoundland, the Innuit had carried on the hunt, and they arrived along with the climate that made the ice floes convenient for seals.

      Since the hunt was stopped the seal population rather unsurprisingly shot through the roof. A few years later the Grand Banks fishery collapsed. One of the main culprits? Those cute seals were eating as much fish as the combined fisheries had been taking! Not the only cause of the disaster, but a rather significant factor.

      The moral is to be sure you have your facts straight before casually insulting entire countries...

      (As someone who is genuinely interested in the environment, I have often found that "hot button" environmental initiatives are simply wrong.)-:

        Oh Tilly lighten up! I am not insulting Canada (but will if you want me too) or Canadians (of which I have relatives) I was only making a joke. No need for the PC police.

        Thank you for sharing your knowledge of this cute but deadly predator. And to think I always thought it was the Trawlers raping the Oceans - thanks to you I now know its Sammy the Seal! (Luckily for us the Innuit's came along just in time to save Grand Banks Fish for us)

        BTW Barndoor also enjoys Badger baiting, Cock Fighting, Hare Coursing and Whale Spearing. In fact he's so busy that it is only the Tiger testicle Chinese Medicine that lets him sleep easily.

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