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Epiphanies and JavaScript

I don’t usually invest time in personal posts. I used to blog all the time on my now defunct LiveJournal about all my various personal problems and current bemoanings. I wanted to leave all that behind and have just essays and writings about the media and mediums in my life here. However, I have had this issue pressuring me lately and, having nowhere else to put it, decided I might as well post something.

That moment of insight, that moment of instant clarity always comes at the damnedest time. As I was sitting in my database class this afternoon, I realized a solution to a problem that has been on my mind for weeks. Should I stick with Computer Science or take a chance and switch over to English in the hopes that I might fair better there? Do you know what I came up with? Before I give you the answer, let me tell you what I found myself doing earlier to day.

Yesterday, I shared a story on Google Reader about Non-Free JavaScript programs.

There is a worry now about how to protect intellectual property that is always in plain view. In order for JavaScript to run it must be transmitted, in an open and clear format, to the client in order to run. At any point in the process that it may be intercepted and read by anyone.

The solution, of course, is to obscure or otherwise obfuscate the reading of it. This is the most common solution. The problem now comes in how to determine if the text your client (browser) is reading is Free or Non-Free. Basically, there is no easy way for the browser to tell or even care. This is a huge problem for people who want Open formats. How can I know if I am using a Free program or not? Maybe I’m using some bit of code that is illegal in my country written in JavaScript. How would I know it? The answer: I wouldn’t.

I spent my day thinking about that problem. Not the whole day, mind you, but a large part of it. Every time I would be doing something relatively mindless, I would let my mind drift. Inevitably, I would come back to this problem. How would I know the legal status of JavaScript code my browser is running?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the solution to my problem was right in front of me. I can’t escape Computer Science. I find myself, on some unconscious level, thinking about how to solve code problems. Even when I was listening to a writting podcast today, I was still thinking of privilege systems and runtime sandboxes. Sure, I could switch to an English major. Sure, I might even do well there. But I would still think code. I would still dwell on how to solve some problem. I can stop myself from writting code. Easy. But how do I stop myself from thinking about code? I can’t.

Now that I’ve figured that out, I need to decide if it is worth it to pursue an English minor. I would like to solidify my ability to write in the form of some sort of official recognition. A minor shows that someone, somewhere says that I can write worth a damn. And that, if nothing else, is definitely worth something to me. Even if it means another year of college.