Highlights of Free Software Documentation #1

When someone undertakes something for fun, or out of passion or deep commitment, the end result is often, I think, more reflective of them personally.

This is generally true of Free Software, and in the Free Software universe, I think this is sometimes even more true of documentation–you’re not obligated to write it, no one’s paying you, few people enjoy writing docs, so if you’re doing it at all, it’s because you believe.

So the writers’ personalities and convictions show through just a little bit more, Like this bit from Dave Rolsky with whom I am slightly acquainted. Contained within Moose::Cookbook::Basics::Recipe10 I ran across this gem:

Our Human class uses operator overloading to allow us to “add” two humans together and produce a child. Our implementation does require that the two objects be of opposite genders. Remember, we’re talking about biological reproduction, not marriage.

Brilliant.

It’s hardly coincidence…

that as my grandfather was dying, I was probably talking about him–my dad had mentioned that he stopped eating at the beginning of the week, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know it would be soon.

Still, for class yesterday, I had had a notion to talk about something else, and gotten it all planned out in my head, and when I sat down that all pretty much went out the window, and I really ended up talking about my relationship with my grandfather.

Well, not directly, because that would have been boring as shit for everyone in the room–but as I talked about the way that we each have the opportunity to form the narrative of our own lives, I was thinking about all the choices I’ve made, and I’ve seen how a lot of the ones I’ve made recently–the more conscious, considered ones–have been made out of a desire to be warmer and more open and more fluid, none of which are what are attributes immediately called to mind when I think of my grandfather.

Which is not to suggest that I don’t love him, but I was always intimidated by his presence when I was younger, and by the time I was old enough that I could have gotten past that, well, it was too late.

I do envy my sister’s kids a little, though–they are all having a great opportunity to have close, long-standing relationships with their grandparents, and I think they will value that immensely as they grow older.