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An extract from Fred Brooks' (Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.) book, The Mythical Man-Month.

Why is programming fun? What delights may its practioner expect as his reward?

First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God's delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctness and newness of each leaf and each snowflake.

Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people. Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this respect the programming system is not essentially different from the child's first clay pencil holder "for Daddy's office."

Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.

Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the nonrepeating nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and sometimes both.

Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. (...)

Yet the program construct, unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.

Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.


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comment How do I tell Git for Windows where to find my private RSA key?
It worked for me.
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comment Log incoming requests on Ubuntu (ports 80, 443)
Thank you! I am going to upvote you when I have 15 reputation.
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comment Log incoming requests on Ubuntu (ports 80, 443)
Accepted for both reverse proxy and IP tables ideas.
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comment Log incoming requests on Ubuntu (ports 80, 443)
04/07/2013, 09:31, 123.456.789.321, myservice.com/mymethod?a=1&b=2
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comment Log incoming requests on Ubuntu (ports 80, 443)
I am trying to log the URLS and IP addresses of HTTP requests coming from the internet to our web service. Example:
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comment How to configure Tomcat to log requests before they are executed?
Thank you for the reverse proxy idea!
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asked How to configure Tomcat to log requests before they are executed?
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comment Log incoming requests on Ubuntu (ports 80, 443)
Why is the downvote?
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comment Log incoming requests on Ubuntu (ports 80, 443)
Ok, a third party tool would do as well. I am concerned about using Tomcat logging since it hangs and may not be able to log the details.
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