It has been a while since I have given no news. This is for a simple reason that, as I am among the youngest in this community, I still had to begin my *real* studies. Since my arrival back in 2008, I was only a power-user discovering Linux through Mandriva after Ubuntu. I probably was a sort of fan-boy as well, trolling in the forums from time to time. If my knowledge of Linux improved a little bit, I still could not program anything and could not imagine using the console to work.
Well, this time is coming to an end. I am coming back from a three week “pool” where 350+ students, including me, learn the basics of C programming. I had almost no life during these three weeks and am only starting now to reconnect with normal life. In the mean time, I have learned C by recoding most the system’s basic functions (putchar, putstr, printf, putnbr, getnbr, list_to_wordtab, programming a basic calculator, etc…) and also have learned the joy of Fluxbox and of the shell itself. I have spent hours readong the Man pages and info manuals (who are amazingly complicated yet useful and complete).
Learning these basics some hackers actually think they are easy to know actually takes time. Many hackers to not understand that several people new to Linux to not have the time nor the courage to ream man pages and spend time discovering by themselves. Explaining is more efficient when it comes to complicated stuff. You need patience with non-programmers. I learned all these basics because I wanted to and it took time. I managed to acquire the most basic knowledge on that side, but I would not really have done all this outside school. This is why I think there need to be some work to preserve tolerance towards new users, except when they refuse to read a clean and easy to read wiki or for similar cases. Many hackers seem to be quite intolerant towards new users, I want to work this out and avoid this issue personally. This would be a shame for an operating systems aiming at non-experienced or low-experienced users.
Basically, all this is really interesting and great. Yet to learn all the basics (as I had absolutely no competence in programming at all and just could not use that much the shell, bear in mind I got a literary baccalaureate) I had to work more or less about 15 hours per day during these three weeks with one -forced- pause day where we did not have the right to login to work and where the school paid us an entry to an Aquapark (other more real type of pool).
Basically, what we have learned during these three weeks at a very tense pace is what someone would have learned a french university or faculty student in two years.
Now the interesting thing is that I will continue to learn but might also start working in various departments and labs such as Lab’Free or the Security Lab as well, talking about Mageia. The surprising thing is that there are several people there working on Ubuntu and discovering that this distribution sucks more and more when it comes to developing, according to what I hear in the corridors.
I am following Mageia, trying to be up-to-date while the project is in the starting blocks. I have sent a message, attempting to get a backup copy of the Mandriva Wiki, I should get a positive answer anytime soon, according to the terms of the license. Yet… what should I expect from Mandriva? Not much, so I am waiting to see…