I write a lot. There are the meanderings that appear on this site, the writing on the 318 TechJournal, more structured prose that goes into books (sometimes regrettably only slightly more structured), writing for clients, freelance writing, writing for other websites and even a bit of ghost writing here and there. Sometimes the writing is short, sometimes long, but there is a pretty consistent amount of it. The reason is because I enjoy it.
Most of my writing is technical in nature. And like many who maybe learn a thing or two on my site I end up sharing tips or tricks from places that I no longer remember where they came from. Others do the same thing, whether on web sites or in books or in a different fashion, such as in classes, on mailing lists or in forums. All vehicles are equally as helpful to those that need it. For the most part, my information comes from toiling away in my lab reproducing what knowledge I glean from other sites, from books and from man pages. Over the years afp548.com, xsanity.com, Apple kbase articles, forums, mailing lists and other places have helped me in ways that I cannot even begin to describe. As have books from O’Reilly, Peachpit Press, Apress and other publishers.
The things that I have learned how to do are almost all from things that others have written. This can be in the form of a book, a web site or even a man page. The code itself that comprises the technical topics is even written by someone else. This is true for any of us not writing new stuff in low level languages. A lot goes on inside of our systems. And wrapping your head around it all is a cumulative understanding, often not one gained in a single source.
I consistently do not name the sources where I learned how to do some of this stuff. This is not intentional; in many cases, I simply do not remember where I figured out how to do something 6 months or even 5 years ago. These omissions though do not mean that I do not know that I stand on the shoulders of a long line of giants. I say that without making any claim that I am one of those giants. Some day I hope to do something worthy, but I make no illusions that I have done anything to date worth more than passing mention, if that…
So a big thanks to all those who I have learned a thing or two (or 50) from. Your contributions are a debt I hope to some day repay to the communities you tirelessly helped to build. I only hope that we can do you the justice you deserve!