2 Jul 2006 prla   » (Apprentice)

Catch Up

It’s been a while (again) since my last post so I guess some catching up is in order.

First and foremost, these increasingly longer absences keep me thinking about closing down this place. I had a rationale posted on the first day for why I wanted to have such a blog and for a time it worked out. Right now, despite a lot of things going on in my life, I hardly have anything important to share with my meager audience. I’ve always believed that a non-existent blog is a better thing in the so-called “cyberspace” than one where its author has nothing important to say, so don’t be surprised (not that you would, right?) if this one ceases to exist shortly. Not much entropy getting lost, I guess.

Anyway, the web app I’ve been somewhat talking about for the past few months is still under development. Needless to say, not nearly enough time has been spent on it, at least not as much as I would have liked to give to it and definitely not as much as it needs. Still, it’s usable, it’s real, it already has the potential of making people’s lives (a bit) easier. That’s more than many can claim.

However, we still need to take than final step, which is obviously pushing it out the door, for the world at large to pick it up at will. That’s what we’ve been reluctantly focusing on lately. We started using 37Signals excellent project management web app Basecamp. To quote Jim Coudal during his keynote talk on the latest SXSW, Basecamp (and the other 37signals) take the bullshit out of communication. We’ve been experiencing this first-hand, as Basecamp truly takes a uniquely simplified view of project management and developer collaboration. Everything revolves around three simple concepts: messages, TODOs and milestones. Everything else is just treading water, really, so forget about functional specifications, Gantt charts and all that mess. My chances of becoming a 37signals Getting Real evangelist have just increased tenfold.

We’ve also been using Campfire for real-time chat and that’s been working out too. It’s going to become important from this week on as we will be physically distant for a good three months and the project cannot stop now, of all times. Coupled with Writeboard, Campfire has everything we need to communicate effectively during project development.

So where do we stand right now? As I said before, we’re pushing for public release soon. We’ve set a July 21st deadline ourselves within Basecamp and I wonder how realistic that can be. We’ll try but considering how novice we both are, I seriously doubt it. We already cut a lot of features we’d like to have up front, but there’s a need to realise that “release early, release often” must leap from theory into practice. It was true for open source apps but I believe it’s more true than ever when it comes to web apps nowadays.

Personally, after a long and crappy semester at university, there’s no need or reason to deny that I’m very tired, kind of burnt out actually, and in need of something completely different from what I’ve been doing for the past few months/years. Hopefully next year will be my last academic year (well, it must, as I’ve been doing this for far too long) and then I can look forward to the rest of my life from a very different angle. I don’t want to make these last five or six years sound like crap, because they weren’t, but I guess it’s finally taking its toll. I’ve never been an easily likable person, I’ve always hated going with the flow and making peace both with God and Devil at the same time. But lately it’s been a downward spiral of small, mundane, average, day-to-day conflicts with people that probably don’t deserve it and, most of all, conflicts inside my head. I’m just dog tired of it all and for every place where my guilt is written, here’s an apology.

Well, I guess this is just the net result of these past few months of controlled insanity, of constant restarts. That’s it. Tired of constantly restarting every damned day.

There’s two exams to go and then I can forget about school for a while, hopefully (and that’s a long shot, for a thousand other reasons I could get into but won’t) recharging my batteries for the last decisive year.


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