Jan

Technobabble

Algol-60 was the first programming language I learned. We didn’t have fullscreen editors back then. Instead we used punch cards and paper terminals to write our code. It were the late seventies.

It is forty years later now. My mobile phone has more computing power than the huge university mainframe computer of those years.
In the meantime I used a lot of programming languages: Algol-60, Pascal, APL, Lisp, Prolog, Basic, Cobol, Forth, Assembler, C, C++, C#, F#, Javascript, Haskell.

I communicated with other programmers on Fidonet and BBS-systems. Later on, the introduction of Compuserve opened the entire world.
Today we simply google every question we have. We copy-paste a lot of source code from GitHub, CodeProject, SourceForge, CodeGuru and all that kind of web sites. At least, I do. I am a big fan of all code that can be found online. I love open source. It enables me to use code that others have written, and I can improve it, if I want. Or the other way round, people can use and improve the code that I published.

My first real open source project is JanBan. You can find more details about it on this web site.

Languages

I am so happy that I am living after Genesis 11. The world had only one language. How boring is that! The punishment from God because of the Tower of Babel is a blessing to me.

Whether it is about a programming language or a human language, you can find me reading programming manuals, dictionaries or grammar books for hours. I think the above photo of my language books proves me being a language nerd.

That is why I am publishing this web site in three languages. Because I can. In English, in order to reach a lot of people. In Dutch, because it’s my mother language. And in Esperanto, because I like that language. It was really a nice try of constructing a universal language.

Papa Smurf

A while ago, my colleagues called me Papa Smurf. Since then I am using the Papa Smurf avatar. He is always with me on my desk, and I use the name on the internet wherever possible. That explains the web site name.