Sunday, February 6, 2011

Who I Am and What I'm Doing

I decided that the first thing I should do is some clarification. I don't have an "audience" yet, and as such cannot make any assumptions about the average reader. (Other than they may be imaginary.) As such, I should ensure that certain facts are put out their and maybe certain definitions are made.

My current job title is Software Developer, and that is along the lines of my preferred vocation. For a living, and for fun, I write code or programs. At it's most basic a program is a list of instructions for the computer. However, computers don't understand English, and writing in what a computer understands is very difficult and error prone. So, how it's done today is a programmer writes a file in an English like syntax, and then that file is processed into something that a type of computer can understand.

Now, most PC's use one of two brands of CPU's that speak very similar languages, even more so now that Apple has moved the Macs to Intel processors. However, other computer devices, like smart phones, use different processors that speak different languages. The languages I am referring to here are how the processor commands are encoded. Like the Western European languages, the alphabet is the same, but the words are different. The same string of 1's and 0's on one processor may mean something completely different on another, or nothing at all.

So, basically, you need several things to create a program. First, you need a developer (that would be me in this case). You need a target platform (I target Windows machines at work, and I am trying my hand at HP Palm WebOS at home). You need a compiler (in the case of WebOS, you can use javascript that is interpreted at runtime). And you need some way to write the code (this is one of the sticky ones when it comes to trying to do it on ChromeOS).

In my next post I will describe the search for an internet based text editor.

And please feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the software development process or what I am trying to do or what any of these might mean.