30 November 2008

Failure of imagination

I really wish I knew what to do.

For the last week, I really wanted to code something up, something new and fresh, and I couldn't figure out what. I periodically feel like this, and I'm reminded that there's tons of things (started and never finished) which would need attention... and even finished ones, like kdelicious, really need some maintenance. But these are boring things; since coding for me is just a hobby, I should really spend it on something fun, right?

Eventually, I decided to install dbxml, something I had postponed for a long time. Following Zeth's excellent guide, I avoided the horrendous pitfalls (typos in testing code? Left there for months?) and managed to set it up properly, even though checkinstall failed to debianize it. (BTW, why don't we have a .deb somewhere? It was originally released in 2003, one would expect that in 5 years somebody would have come forward...)

The good thing about Oracle products is that they come with plenty of documentation; it can be terse, but it's there. (b)dbxml is no exception, so I went through the (excellent) introductory tutorial in a few minutes. Fine. Then I thought "this seems cool, I wonder how could I use it for, maybe some webservice or something"... and the thought died there. My mind had a complete (and utter) failure of imagination. So now I have a very cool xml storage engine with good python bindings, and I don't know what to do with it.

I ended up playing MAME for much of the day.

Bring on Christmas, I need a reboot.

2 comments:

gpiancastelli said...

I really wish I knew what to do.

Add another one to the club.

But these are boring things; since coding for me is just a hobby, I should really spend it on something fun, right?

Perhaps the problem is how much that fun is supposed to last. For example, I believe you scratched your itch with KDelicious, so now the project is no more appealing; also, maybe, users and members of the community do not inject enough energy and interest to have you continue the development, even if it is becoming less and less "fun".

For me it goes like this: I like to think that in a couple of days, with the release of Python 3.0, I will pick the language up again and write some way less occasional stuff with it. But it's just a thought, and will probably die the same death of yours. Even new technologies (such as git), that at the beginning seemed to be a incentive to start again working on some old code, I now consider some kind of barrier to a more straight flow of development.

So now I have a very cool xml storage engine with good python bindings, and I don't know what to do with it.

Didn't you have a lot of comic-related ideas that never saw the light of day? I should definitely suggest something that twitches your intellect, or something that you really would like to use day in and day out. These should be primary causes for long-term fun and duration for your project. (That is, discard the usual, boring things you typically starts an XML storage with, such as aggregators, CMS, and the like.)

I ended up playing MAME for much of the day.

Add another one to the club, even if on different emulator (mostly Nintendo stuff) and of course different games. What did you play?

GiacomoL said...

Yeah, I should revisit those ideas about comics, I guess. I've scraped Freakangels, maybe I could use that stuff to prototype how to make things work. At the moment I'm really into personal-financial stuff, but it's not the sort of thing you want to share :) and I don't really think I have requirements that packages like KMyMoney don't satisfy already.

On MAME: NBA Jam (only Chicago left to defeat!), Gals Panic S and S2 (really tough!), occasionally Bubble Bobble and Wonderboy II. I also got a couple of Amiga emulators (UAE and E-UAE), which made me very happy a couple of years ago.