A Minimal Set of Computer Libraries

Posted: 2015-09-15. Modified: 2015-12-21. Tags: programming, Opinion.

I am aware that modern business programming is essentially stringing together chains of third-party libraries which you only vaguely understand till you get the result you think you want. Rather than understand everything that goes on at every step of the process, you instead choose to understand the bare minimum to get to the next step.

But hobby programming doesn't have to be like this. Wouldn't it be fun to understand a set of tools at a level that you almost never have to crawl the web looking for quick-help tips? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to repurpose a set of libraries to accomplish everything you want to do as a hobby programmer?

Well, I think this may be true, for my needs at least. I am working on learning a set of libraries which I think can cover everything I need to do as a hobbyist, will report back with any insights I may gain.

The set of tools I am starting with is:

  • C.
  • Lisp. (Common and Emacs)
    • various common lisp libraries. todo add
  • SDL – graphics, audio.
  • OpenGL – graphics
  • GSL – GNU Scientific library.
  • LAPACK/BLAS – linear algebra
  • POSIX – file-handling and system level stuff.

With this set of tools, I can system-related stuff, math-related stuff, and multimedia-related stuff. That's a start at least.