I design, implement, and maintain an automated production software build system, which uses hundreds of tools in a POSIX environment. This web log records some of my thoughts about the process of writing small tools, and their place in the system.
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When I went to college for computer engineering, we had to do the same thing: construct an adder with carries from logic gates, and implement it in the lab and in a VLSI designer.
I used it for my software tools blog because to me it represents the lowest levels of computer programming: assigning meaning to the bare result of controlled physical action. No-one thinks of it, because there are many layers of software sitting on top of it that provide a much better interface.