Judith is currently certified at Apprentice level.

Name: Judith Samson
Member since: 2000-07-17 19:35:28
Last Login: N/A

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I joined the GNOME Documentation Project two months ago, after writing a book on GNOME. I got way turned on to the idea of free software, and decided to contribute in any way I could. I'm currently working on a user manual for a log monitoring utility in GNOME called logview. Just got back from Linux Tag, where RMS kissed my hand! Does that make me a saint apprentice? I'm also learning C over the summer, because I don't want to be a tech writer for the rest of my life. At 31, I'm starting school over again to go for a Master's in math/computer science. I'm starting at the beginning, taking the undergraduate prerequisites, but it's not as bad as having to do a new BA degree all over again. As I learn more, I'll continue doing documentation, because it's needed, but will hopefully also do some hacking, because it's more fun! I learned about Advogato at Linux Tag from Telsa, to whom I am very grateful.

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I finally made it to a local LUG meeting, which is kind of pathetic, meaning pathetic that it took me so long. I just realized that all my friends are all over the world, but I don't know anybody in my home town. Sheesh! So I walk into the room and I'm the only girl out of maybe fifty people. Not only that, but almost everybody was over forty. That was particularly weird, because at 31 I'm used to being an old lady of Linux. I wonder if it's regional, or national (does living in the Midwest of the U.S. have anything to do with it, I wonder)? Not that it makes the slightest bit of difference how old you are, or what your reproductive function is, but I wonder if most of the people who use Linux are older in Ann Arbor, Michigan, or is it just that most of the people who are involved in that particular LUG are older?

Anyway, everybody there was way cool, of course, and I've pledged to get more involved locally than I have been.

On the ed front, I'm perplexed as to whether I should go for a Master's degree in math or computer science. I'm particularly interested in AI, and it seems that in order to come up with really new ideas, one should study mathematics, and then create completely new applications to the mathematics. On the other hand, lots of people a lot smarter than me have been doing CS in the AI world for a number of years now, and I should learn what they're up to. Maybe I'll just do both, dammit.

I think happiness is like mathematics. Everything is in equilibrium, not too much of one thing or too little of the other. Taken at a distance, the entire universe is happy, because it is in equilibrium. We think. Actually, we don't know. We like to imagine that there is a sense of everything somewhere, and we could find it, if we only knew where to look.

Maybe it's not that way at all. Maybe the entire universe is in conflict, factions of atoms and molecules hell-bent on the total annihilation of other atoms and molecules. Maybe we, as in everything there is, have been at war since time began. Maybe conflict and war fuel the entire universe Bah humbug. Think I'll go make some popcorn.

AAAAAARRGGGHHH! I'm trying to write an itty bitty utility document.

The text took two days. The docbook is taking weeks. Why can't I learn this docbook thing?

Is it just me? I'm finding my C assignments about twenty times easier than applying the right tags to the right places. Am finding The docbook guide no help. Wish someone would write an easy-peasy docbook tutorial. If I ever figure this out, guess I'll do it.

Was feeling very conflicted over the whole Free Documentation issue until I read Tim O'Reilly's views.


I write copyrighted, non-free books and articles on free software for a living. The paradox bothers me. On the other hand, I also contribute to free documentation. On the other hand, I spend a lot more time on the non-free documentation than I do on the free documentation. Still, I have a son to feed, and so far free documentation doesn't pay for the groceries. (Neither does the non-free stuff, for that matter).

I made a contact with an O'Reilly editor, who assured me that they are willing to publish under the Open Content license. That's a start--now all I need is a proposal. Grrr.

Will go study my C book. I always feel better after I've studied my C book.


Judith certified others as follows:

  • Judith certified martin as Master
  • Judith certified bagfors as Apprentice
  • Judith certified alan as Master
  • Judith certified hgayosso as Journeyer
  • Judith certified Telsa as Journeyer
  • Judith certified dcm as Master
  • Judith certified miguel as Master
  • Judith certified federico as Master

Others have certified Judith as follows:

  • Blacky certified Judith as Apprentice
  • sad certified Judith as Apprentice
  • pemdas certified Judith as Apprentice
  • mathieu certified Judith as Apprentice
  • nixnut certified Judith as Apprentice
  • jae certified Judith as Apprentice
  • manu certified Judith as Apprentice
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