POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.general : Just saying hi : Just saying hi Server Time
23 Jun 2024 14:50:32 EDT (-0400)
  Just saying hi  
From: clipka
Date: 25 May 2021 08:01:30
Message: <60ace71a$1@news.povray.org>
It's been a while, I guess.

One of you folks tried to contact me earlier this month, and having just 
gotten around to reading their message, I'd like to take the opportunity 
to say hi, and drop a few lines about my absence. I guess they're okay 
with me quoting part of their message, but as I haven't yet contacted 
them to verify, I'll do so without disclosing their name:

 > You know many people in the community would have their spirits lifted
 > up if you just dropped by with a casual hello there one day. Unless
 > someone there did you wrong / harm in any way ? Or maybe we
 > disappointed your expectations as a community ? If we are too slow to
 > get up to them, know that even if we never catch up, we will always
 > try. If on the contrary, too much was expected from you, we can take
 > it easier. Many souls there are very sensitive.  We all miss you! even
 > if you came by without adding any code ! :-)

I trust that their words - not the least the last sentence - reflect the 
sentiment of most of the community. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to 
muster the courage to "walk across that burning bridge", as Michelle 
Shocked phrased it in her song "Anchorage".

It's a bridge I myself had set on fire single-handedly. None of you had 
any part in it. I want to repeat that: None of you. Not even the very 
few I have, on some occasions, gotten into heated arguments with.

Then again, maybe that bridge never was on fire in the first place. I 
just crossed it one day, and never found the courage to turn around and 
walk back, too afraid to find the bridge ablaze. I couldn't have blamed 
you. After all, I just up and left without so much as a word, leaving 
behind half-finished work I had promised - to you, and also to myself - 
to keep working on.

Some of you may have picked up hints in 2017 that I lost a person dear 
to me. I'm not sure I ever dropped any hints that only a few months 
later I lost another person equally dear. If you put two and two 
together to surmise that these two loved ones were my parents, you would 
be right. I won't say any more about this here despite its importance to 
me, because it is something I consider very private, and I'm sure it 
doesn't need much explanation how it could be relevant to my falling silent.

Coincidently, I had just found the perfect job earlier in the year, 
which helped prop me up a bit; but in 2018, and through no fault of my 
own whatsoever, I lost that, too, which didn't help either, as you can 
probably guess. Neither did all the crazy stuff that had been happening 
out there in the wide world.

I had a difficult time coping with the situation - I still have - and my 
contributions to POV-Ray and its community are but one thing that has 
suffered - though arguably it might be the thing that has suffered the 
most dramatically. For quite some time, it was pretty much the only 
remaining thing I put any energy into whatsoever. When I could muster 
the energy, I would dig my head deep into the source code. When I 
couldn't, I would browse the newsgroups and see if there were any 
questions I could answer, or topics I could at least throw my $0.02 at. 
And then one day, I just never picked up where I left off the day before.

Ever since, I haven't had a single look at the POV-Ray source code, or 
even a single message on these newsgroups. I have no idea what you folks 
are currently discussing, what works of art you're currently producing 
with POV-Ray, which features you are currently finding unexpected uses 
for, whether William Pokorny is still boldly ploughing through 
floating-point precision issues, whether someone else has picked up my 
work and maybe dragged it into a totally different direction that might 
irritate me if I saw it but that I'd have no right to get infuriated 
about, or whether anyone has picked up the task of building new 
versions, if only to fix the occasional bug. Pretty much all I know at 
this point is that one of you managed to get through to me, with words 
encouraging enough for me to say hi.

The job I mentioned earlier might warrant further mention at this point. 
Pretty much all my adult life I had been convinced that software 
development was the perfect career for me. I love the challenge. I love 
the inherent logic. I love how it captivates me. I also love the pay.

This one job, however, was not in software development, but rather in 
education: I trained noobs and semi-noobs to use computers in general 
and office software in particular. And contrary to all my fears, I found 
that I loved it. And thrived in it. It's a totally different occupation, 
and it's a totally different brand of people to work with.

Most of all though, there's one thing this line of work does _not_ do: 
It does not _captivate_ me. And I found out that's actually not a bad 
thing. Not for my well-being anyway. While I did still find myself "in 
it" while teaching, at the end of the day I could easily set it aside. I 
can't remember ever having done that as a software developer. Not unless 
I had just happened to have cracked a particularly tough nut at the end 
of a day.

With that lesson learned, I have decided for my own sake to never go 
back into software development as a career. And I've also become wary of 
picking it up as a hobby again.

For now, I just want to say "hi". Let you know that I'm alive, and 
reasonably well. Try to explain a bit why I left so abruptly without a word.

I think in the near future I'd like to once again pick up communication 
with you folks. Chime in here and there in the newsgroups. Maybe answer 
a few questions now and then, maybe even give a few thoughts about the 
programming side of things.

Whether I'll get back into active POV-Ray development I really cannot 
say at this point. What I can say is that it hurts not to.

I might get back into administrative-ish stuff like looking after the 
GitHub repo, but even in that regard I can't make any promises at this 

So, there it is. And without any further ado:

Hi everyone.

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