Hello Again

30 Mar 2007

An explanation of why I have stopped writing my blog for a while and the new focus of my blog.

How does one start writing a blog again? By trying to write the first post I suppose.

I stopped writing my blog about a year ago. I think at that time I’d become a little tired of doing it. I’ve always just thought of a blog as a good way to document what I do, and make available a few bits of computer code and useful information. But perhaps the way Web culture is today, when you write a blog, you’re setting yourself up for encounters with a few people who are unprofessional, unreasonable, opinionated, rude, egotistic, or just downright weird. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. But when I replied, regardless of the quality of the message I received, I always tried to write back professionally and politely. Doing that for too long and too often had taken its toll.

In fairness many people wrote and showed their appreciation for my ports of Emacs and XEmacs and my work on automatic jazz accompaniment. I’m glad they enjoyed my posts and I’m grateful for their messages. I released Carbon XEmacs, my port of XEmacs to Mac OS X, in 2005. I documented the entire process of the port and posted my code because I thought some people may find that useful. Then the XEmacs “maintainers” tried to get themselves involved and I had an unpleasant experience with them. A few years before, Emacs developers also acted like bullies but at least some of them understood software licenses and were adequate programmers. I cannot say the same for the XEmacs “maintainers”. In any case that encounter did very little to help persuade me to stay on the Web.

I believe I can improve my experience as a blog writer by refocusing on why I write a blog. For instance, I enjoy designing and writing computer programs. I like keeping in touch with family and friends. I don’t like to interact with free software fanatics. Because of my background and experience, I’ve always felt it undignified to argue with them. I’ve given myself permission to ignore incoming messages that I don’t feel like responding to. That has made life a lot easier.

Anyway here I am writing a blog again. I’ve written a bit more about what will be on this blog on the “About This Website” page. But to summarize, one: I’m learning to play the guitar again and I’m designing and writing computer programs to help me do that. So I have a very interesting and focused topic to write about. Two: I like having a website on which I can post my photographs and news for family and friends.

If I confine myself to these two objectives, I think I should be OK.

Category: General