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July 22, 2013

So, it is currently 12:33am, Central Standard (I think) Time. We may be in Daylight Savings time, I don’t even know. I never really cared when that happened but I’ve always been curious about why it was created. Speaking of which…

I love programming. I’m not that good at it yet, but currently I’ve got an 8-day streak going on Codecademy, which I think is pretty good. I’m hoping to keep that going. Now, Python is quite prevalent in many real-life situations. When I first started learning Python and learning about Python 2 years ago, I didn’t really think it was much more than a hobby language. By that, I mean it didn’t seem like it had the potential that other languages like Java or C++ had/have. Looking back, boy was I wrong. Now, one very real application of Python is a Linux distro called “Fedora”, which can be found at The Fedora Project Homepage. I’ve used Fedora before, not very much, but I’ve used it. I’ve also used Ubuntu, and tried my hand (for about 5 minutes) with Arch Linux. Now, one thing that I’ve seen in common with most Linux distros (that I know about/have used) is that the root command in the terminal is “sudo”, which can be described as the rooting, over-riding command that allows one to “Run as Administrator”, to use a MS Windows metaphor. Sudo can be…”explained” through this XKCD comic: Now, one thing that strikes me about Fedora is that there isn’t a “sudo” command. The sudo equivalent is “yum”, which I believe sort of plays on the lingo of Linux gurus describing the different “flavors” of Linux. Yum. ;P

I am planning on installing Fedora 19, which just came out on July 2. I’ve always been curious, since I found out about Fedora and the “yum” command, why it is yum and not sudo. So, I trekked over to my favourite forum, Reddit, and went to the Fedora subreddit. There, on the front page, was a link to an article on a website called “The Daily Durham” about the hit-and-run murder of Seth Vidal, the creator of yum. (found here:

One thing that struck me about his life, was that he is only 36, which means he had to be pretty young when he initially developed this software. Turns out, as stated in the article, he made it while at Duke.

I feel bad, not knowing who he was, but then finding out the wrong way what he did. I wish I had investigated yum back when I first discovered it, instead of now. My condolences go out to family, friends, and fellow co-workers. It’s too bad he couldn’t use his mind and talent to continue helping with open-source. He will be missed.


I’m not even really that tired, I’m just sick of being awake.

So, now I’d like to take a moment to remember why/how I got into Python and Fedora and open-source and such.

Freshman year, I was referred, by the gifted counselor at my high school, to a certain Ian Weller. I’m sure you’ve heard of him before. If not, he helps out a lot in the Fedora Project community with web and such. He started me on the track to Python, and, every now and again, if I have a question about my code, I email it to him and he’ll offer help. Back then, I also downloaded Fedora 14, the first time I had ever set eyes on any sort of OS other than XP and iOS. It was intimidating, and I didn’t really know what to do about it. At this time, I had never needed to look through forums or wikis or anything of the sort to find help, so I just kind of gave up and left it alone. But these 2 years since, it’s stuck in my head. I should give Fedora another try. I’ve used Ubuntu for several months, and somewhat got the hang of that, but it couldn’t keep me interested as much as Fedora did.

So now I’m trying to get my programming up to par (or the standard that I set as “par”, I’ve heard that any contribution whatsoever to open-source is appreciated, no matter your skill level) so that I can actively help with such a great community project. Having gone through a book or two and some online tutorials of HTML, CSS and a little bit of JavaScript, I may start out in the web dev section, see how I can help there. Though, I’ve only made a couple websites and I wouldn’t say they’re good by any means.

But, that’s where I’m at now. I’d like to publicly thank Ian Weller for getting me started, and upon reading through 20ish pages of your blog tonight at midnight, I realized that I need to stick with it, because I love it and I want to contribute, like you do.

Now, sorry for the long post, but I think they’re going to stay about this long in the future. It’s only just over 800 words :P

Happy coding,
Luke “Stosswalkinator” Stoss

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