Thursday, December 23, 2010

Share your programming knowledge; don't retain it

A while back, I sought some information about writing emulators. I thought up a general idea of how an emulator would work just to get my brain thinking in that mode. Once I had a plan, I searched the web for forums, articles, and people to correspond with about emulators. (After all, part of the whole programmer/hacker ethic is not reinventing the wheel.)
Finally, I had found a forum. Good and bad came from that. The good was that the forum and discussion confirmed my general plan (I was happy that I had thought of emulating systems the same way that others do); the bad was that some user completely disregarded the let's-not-reinvent-the-wheel idea. Basically, he or she wrote that anyone that has to look up how to write an emulator is not smart enough - and will never be able to - write an emulator.
This bothered me for a multitude of reasons:
  1. His or her statement meant that he believed in reinventing the wheel. After all, if you cannot ask for help, you are your only resources and must, as a result, reinvent the wheel.
  2. He or she clearly either do not know how to write one themselves - otherwise, they would have at least posted something more helpful - or they are just ignorant, or both.
Quite frankly, I believe that information about programming should be spread. I do not mean just give away code for people to copy; I mean prompt them, have them learn on their own, but help them as soon as they hit a bump. There truly is no point to postpone their acquisition of knowledge. Think of postponing that acquisition as slowing down the general advancement of tech knowledge.

On a final - and unrelated - note: if anyone is interested in writing an emulator with me, comment and we could possibly set up some repository for the code. Nevertheless, I'll finish up my emulator, regardless of whether I have any takers.


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