Saturday, December 22, 2007
The term hacking has an unfortunate reputation in the popular press, where it often refers to someone who breaks into systems or wreaks havoc with computers. Among enthusiasts, on the other hand, the term hack refers to a "quick-n-dirty" solution to a problem or a clever way to do something. The term hacker is very much a compliment, praising someone for being creative and having the technical chops to get things done. O'Reilly's Hacks series is an attempt to reclaim the word, document the ways people are hacking (in a good way), and pass the hacker ethic of creative participation on to a new generation of hackers. Seeing how others approach systems and problems is often the quickest way to learn about a new technology.