A lump of clay

I had been struggling for months to get something working within a very popular and well written package of open source software. And I wasn’t getting anywhere.

It’s not that there was anything wrong with the software package. It’s more that it was more of a mismatch o goals: The package was built for chopping logs, and I was trying to perform delicate surgery.

Finally, a few days ago, I gave up trying to work within somebody else’s framework, and I just implemented everything I needed from the ground up.

Generally you are told that you are not supposed to do this, to “reinvent the wheel”, as it were.

Except that in this case the results were spectacularly successful. My stripped down implementation works incredibly well. And because I wrote it, I actually understand it. Which means that I know how to customize it in any way that might be needed.

It was as though I had opted to walk away from a sophisticated machine shop, and instead had chosen to work with a simple lump of clay.

It’s true that there are many things you can create with a high powered machine shop that you can’t make out of a lump of clay.

On the other hand, it’s also true that there are many things you can create with a simple lump of clay that cannot be fashioned with even the fanciest of machines.

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