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Articles by Brian Jackson

The Perils of Multiple Projects

18 November 2013

It's difficult to say which of my hobby projects deserve to be online.

Obviously, things like Hilarious Webcomic Manager - but that's because people use it (albeit only a couple hundred, if I'm optimistic).

But what about BlameGear, which nobody uses yet? How many people can I reasonably expect to use it? Enough to maintain it as if many do? There are certainly more mature emulators, even on Linux.

What about Vector Thrust Gold, which is a reboot of a game maybe a dozen people played for five minutes each? The reboot is way, way better than the original, but it's still a game I wouldn't expect a lot of people to be interested in.

Or what about Sloz (my Qix clone), or my Go scoring app, or the three programming language interpreters I've made in my free time? Sure, they were fun to write, but what real value is there in releasing them now? Even the source is stale, novice work of no pedagogical value.

In a way, I'm saying goodbye to my past by closing down parts of the site and putting behind me all of the side projects that never made it onto the website. Instead, I have to focus on the new and exciting projects of the here and now - not because newer means better, but because resurrecting my half-finished projects is not worth giving up the time I could be using to perform at a much higher level (regardless of the sunk cost). And more importantly, I have to finish what I start.

And yet, if I am undisciplined in finishing out the hobby projects I'm working on right now, they will certainly become the next round of cautionary tales to tell in my first-year lectures.

So here's to BlameGear and Hilarious Webcomic Manager - the last, best "hobby projects" of my programming career. From here on out, I only work on projects.

The habits we form, even in our time off, make us.

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