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I need to rant about life decisions, and choosing a dev career probably too early. Not extremely development related, but it's the life of a developer.
TL;DR: I tried a new thing and that thing is now my thing. The new thing is way more work than my old thing but way more rewarding & exciting. Try new things.
I taught myself to program when I was a kid (11 or 12 years old), and since then I have always been absolutely sure that I wanted to be a games programmer. I took classes in high school and college with that aim, and chose a games programming degree. Everything was so simple, nail the degree, get a job programming something, and take the first games job that I could and go from there.
I have always had random side hobbies that I liked to teach myself, just like programming. And in uni I decided that I wanted to learn another language (natural, not programming) because growing up in England meant that I only learned English and was rarely exposed to anything else. The idea of knowing another fascinated me.
So I dabbled in a few different languages, tried to find a culture that seemed to fit my style and attitude to life and others, and eventually found myself learning Korean. That quickly became something I was doing every single day, and I decided I needed to go to Korea and see what life there could be like.
I found out that my university offered a free summer school program for a couple of weeks, all I had to pay for was the flights. So a few months later I was there and it was literally the best thing I'd done in my life to that point. I'd found two things that made me feel even better than the idea of becoming the games programmer I'd always wanted to be. Travelling and using my other language to communicate with people that I couldn't in English. At that point I was still just a beginner, but even the simple conversations with people who couldn't speak English felt awesome.
So when I returned home, I found that that trip had completely thrown a spanner into my life plan. All I could think about after that was improving my language skills and going back there for as long as possible. Who knows what to do.
I did exactly that. I studied harder than I'd ever studied for anything and left the next year to go and study in Korea, now with intermediate language skills, everyday conversations no longer being a problem at all.
Now I live here, I will be here for the next year and I have to return to England for one year to finish my degree. Then instead of having my simple plan of becoming a developer, I can think of nothing I want to do less than just stay in England doing the same job every day, nothing to do with language. I need to be at least travelling to Korea, and using my language skills in at least some way.
The current WIP plan is to take intensive language classes here (from next week, every single weekday), build awesome dev side projects and contribute to open source stuff. Then try to build a life of freelance translation/interpreting/language teaching and software development (maybe here, maybe Korea).
So the point of this rant is that before, I had a solid plan. Now I am sat in my bed in Korea writing this, thinking about how I have almost no idea how I'm going to build the life that I want. And yet somehow, the uncertainty makes this so much more exciting and fulfilling. There's a lot more worrying, planning and deciding to do. But I think the fact that I completely changed my life goals just through a small decision one day to satisfy a curiosity is a huge life lesson for me. And maybe reading this will help other people decide to just try doing something different for once, and see if your life plan holds up.
If it does, never stop trying new things. If it doesn't (like mine), then you now know that you've found something that you love as much as or even more that your plan before. Something that you might have lived your whole life never finding.
I don't expect many people to read this all, but writing it here has been very cathartic for me, and it's still a rant because now I have so much more work and planning to do. But it's the good kind of work.
Things aren't so simple now, but they're way more worth it.3
Avoid ACPICA if at all possible. It's one garbage tier cluster fuck of bad design, horrible documentation and downright misleading and wrong code
It's meant to consist of an ASL compiler, disassembler, debugger, dumper, various user space utitilies and a kernel resident OSPM implementation *if* you can figure out what belongs to what. Even just compiling this pile of trash is a mystery in itself. Think you need the source files in source/common? EEEEH, wrong. Well, at least partially since most of them seem to be for the user space stuff..? Other ones *are* needed on the other hand. At least the disassembler and/or debugger and/or dumper components seem to reference them. Not that I could figure out how to compile those anyways. The real path to your goal seems to be to ignore a seemingly arbitrary subset of source and header files until your linker stops complaining
There's also a bunch of configuration defines, some of which *you* define, some defined *for* you, based on again others. Of course most of them do stupid shit. Enabling the debugger automatically enables debug logging. Enabling the disassembler force enables debug allocation tracking... What?
The code itself isn't of much help either. Looking in "os_specific/service_layers" you find what looks to be reference implementations of acpica functions in certain os' like windows and unix. Of course I had a look because AcpiOsReadMemory is supposed to read physical memory and I don't know how I would even implement that. But hey, osunixxf.c (xf for interface... of course) should tell me. I'll let you see for yourself in the attached image. Apparently it does fuck all and just returns AE_OK. No error, no logging, no nothing. Just ok. As you can imagine, AcpiOsWriteMemory doesn't do much more either.
...okay so maybe physical memory accesses aren't actually used and these functions are some sort of relic from past times? Nope! They are absolutely necessary for doing low level device interaction. WTF. So finally I went to the linux source and checked how *they* implemented them, and just as I thought, these functions are anything but no-ops...
...So for what fucking reason do these stupid interface implementations even exist but to purposefully mislead you?? They aren't used for fucking anything! As far as I know Windows doesn't even *use* ACPICA and Linux have their own fork with working implementations... They just sit there, just to tell you how to NOT do it
So that's some of my thoughts about ACPICA. Note that I haven't even used it as a library yet, I just got it to compile and link and it already fucked with me this much.
There's also so much more I didn't mention like that you *have* to modify the acpica source in order to get your own platform header working (else #error) eventhough the docs explicitely instruct you not too but you get the point
Don't use ACPICA if you don't have to. Save your sanity for something that's worth it