Introducing Jean-Francois Roy
I was born in February 1984 in the little town of Quebec City in Canada. Well, not so little with its 400 000 or so inhabitants and the Quebec province parliament, but I take pleasure in knowing that it’s not an urban jungle either like LA. The demographics of Quebec City are amazingly homogeneous: most people here are white and speak French. Therefore it comes as no surprise that I match this profile. So why in the world is this blog in English instead of my mother tongue (French, if you hadn’t figured that out yet)? The answer is rather… technologic.
One month before I was born came the Mac
In January 1984, Apple Computer Inc. unleashed the Mac unto an unsuspecting crowd. At the time, computers were rather expensive and few people had one. Nonetheless, some years later my dad bought a brand new Mac Plus. Curious as I was (or maybe it was an elaborate scheme engineered by my parents), I started exploring this new bizarre object, not really knowing what to make of it. Like so many of my friends, I became a child of the personal computer — the first generation with this wonderful and powerful tool at its immediate disposal. In parallel to these events, my parents considered the mastery of English as an important part of our education and acted accordingly (English summer camps, schools with English classes, etc). Reflecting on those years, I am truly the product of my upbringing and can only be grateful for my parents’ insight.
My interest for computers grew along with me, and so did my need to communicate efficiently in English. I consequently began striving to improve my mastery of this foreign language to the point I now consider myself truly bilingual. Not only that, but I fell in love with English and readily prefer it to French when I am given the choice. Of course, French is still near and dear to my heart, which is why I will conclude this section with a little something in la langue de Molière.
Donc, si vous être un francophone, sachez que j’ai quand même l’intention d’écrire en français de temps à autre. Par exemple, l’indépendance du Québec m’est chère et il est tout à fait normal que j’en discute dans la langue native de la majorité des concernés (soit-dit en passant, l’indépendance du Québec sera faite par tous les québécois, pas seulement les francophones). Ainsi se conclue cette petite introduction in French.
I still don’t know what you like doing
Basically, my thing is Mac OS X software development. I am completely in love with Mac OS X as a junior software engineer and made it a point to know this operating system inside and out.
I’ve always used Macs in my life, but it wasn’t until Mac OS X that I started programming seriously. Classic may have been an excellent operating system for end users, but it was absolutely brutal for developers, forcing them to write an absurd amount of code for even the simplest of tasks, in part because of the antiquated application framework offered by Mac OS. With X (say “ten” please), Cocoa became once again mainstream and Mac developers gasped in awe at the productivity they could now achieve. Not only that, we now had a UNIX operating system and several dozen new APIs like Core Audio and Quartz which together make Mac OS X the best operating system out there (there, I said it).
Of course, I wouldn’t have chosen software engineering just because I think Mac OS X kicks ass. I deeply care about technology, science and the pursuit of knowledge in general. As such, I felt compelled to become an engineer because they are the ones who make the magic happen. Excellence, precision, ingenuity and creativity — these are the values high up in my sky, my guiding stars.
The kernel log device
So this blog will be about software development on Mac OS X at every level. We’ll talk about the kernel, networking, BSD, POSIX, Cocoa, algorithms, hacks, user interface design and many other topics related to software engineering and X. In addition, since I am I involved in a number of software projects including the popular Mac instant messaging application Proteus, /dev/klog will also be about them. Finally, I may sparkle the onslaught of technobabble with the occasional real-life entry (I bet you can see the “finals week” one coming already).
In short, lots of code, lots of Aqua goodness and a fair amount of fun. You better pipe that through you mind.