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The Buckblog

assorted ramblings by Jamis Buck

Project Overload

14 May 2004 — 3-minute read

I think I have a few too many projects going simultaneously. My first clue was the heartburn I started to feel whenever I got an email from someone asking me how such-and-such a project was coming along.

The problem is, I don’t want to abandon any of the projects I’m currently working on. At least, not yet. They are either “glamorous” (meaning I’ll recieve lots of recognition for them) or “useful” (meaning I want to use the product myself when I’m done).

The first project on my plate (and I’ve mentioned this one before) is Chump Change. This is my personal financial package that I’m writing in Ruby, and it falls into the “useful” category. Tarasine and I have talked about enforcing a budget on our spending for at least a year now, and I keep saying that I’m going to write a program to allow us to do it. Well, Chump Change is still pretty early in its development, but Adam keeps encouraging me to work on it (he’s got a PFM of his own that he’s working on).

Then there’s Vade Mecum. I had actually decided that I was going to abandon Vade Mecum, primarly because it requires that I work on it in Windows (and not just from VMWare—I actually have to physically boot my machine into Windows, and I dislike doing that). However, Bryce Yancey (of YanCEyWare) recently started looking at VM for ideas for a new version of his reader, and he’s kind of sucked me into it. It’s got me excited about the project again, and I’ve actually (re)written a few lines of C code as an attempt to jum back into parsing and rendering Plucker files. There is a fair bit of pressure involved with this project, but it falls into the “glamorous” category. {:D}

Another project is one that I’ve toyed with off and on and have recently begun to reconsider (again). With the change in licenses for MovableType, I’m thinking I’d like to write up a list of the requirements that I have for a decent blogging system, and then write it in Ruby. This appeals to me on two fronts: one, I’d get to write my own blogging system, to my own specifications, and two, it’d be a chance to write a large system in Ruby. Of course, Chump Change already offers that opportunity…

In addition to the above, there are always my D&D generator utilities which are in dire need of dusting and updating. Those have been around for about 3 years now, and I still get email and donations for them. Those definately fall into the “glamorous” category, though, since I no longer have time to so much as play D&D anymore.

Then there are other side projects, which are, if not complete, then at least stable enough to not worry about right now. These include SQLite/Ruby and Copland, to name two.

And to make matters even more complicated: I’m on something of a gaming kick right now… (Look for another blog entry soonish about the various games I’ve found for Linux that are really quite fun.) Instead of doing anything productive, I waste a little time each evening (no more than an hour, really) playing any of several different computer games. That certainly doesn’t help move any of my projects along, but sometimes I just don’t want to work on any of them!

Then there are all the other distractions I suffer from: reading (I just finished reading “Shadow Puppets” and “New Spring: The Novel”, and I’m currently reading “The Final Prophecy”), Star Trek :Voyager (which we are now collecting on DVD), and any of the various news sites and weblogs that I like to peruse on a daily basis.

Too much to do, and far too little time…