BT et C

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The first 5 times this happened I didn't even notice. The next 5 times I was like, "dang. Oh well you live and learn". The next 5 times I was like "that's getting *annoying!" And it has happened again and I'm pist enough to blog about it.

Here's what happen(ed)(s): I decide to try something new, find a nice tutorial, and discover an error in the tutorial. Not 3 hours later; not after mastering the material and going back to review it. No, that'd be fine and all part of the learning experience. I can dig. This happen(ed)(s) generall in the first few minutes; one of the *very *first bits of example code fails to do what is promised. ("Hello World" works over 90% of the time).

I'm reading Programming Ruby, one of " the best two technical books I have read these past years" and it says ppl with some experience start w/Chapter 2, so I'm on page one of that.

"hello world" works as does "ruby --copyright". Even a script as complex as
ruby -n -e "print if /wombat/" *.txt
works. Wow. But the next one doesn't.
ruby -p -e "$_.downcase!" *.txt

Now I'm not the kind of guy that expects everyone to do all my work for me. I love doing work; but I'd like to feel as though the work is not futile; that progress is being made. I can't feel this way now, because I don't know if 1) The tutorial is wrong, and a) what else will it be wrong about or 2) My installation of ruby is wrong and thus b) are there going to be a bunch of other things that don't work because of my installation.

And again, I wouldn't even mind if this happened from time to time. Makes you get your hands dirty. But it seems like about 2/3 of the "introductory" material I find on any technology is afflicted by this problem.

End rant.


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