baked byBen Alman
You know, it’s a lot of work to prepare forty projects and a website for simultaneous release.
I’m not exactly sure how I got myself into this situation. Ok, I know exactly how I got myself into this situation. A few years ago, I was trying to maintain dozens of very similar little projects that were all developed in very similar ways. Not just very similar ways—the exact same ways.
And I was getting sick of maintaining that handful of cobbled-together scripts and tools and who knows what else that I had accumulated to do all that stuff. So I said to myself, “self, you should build a single thing to do all this stuff—because wouldn’t it be awesome if something out there did all that stuff, but absolutely nothing does, at least not the way you want it done—and it’s time to actually get some work done already etc etc etc.”
So I started to do that. And I kept on doing that. And after more than six months of experimentation, it was actually working wonderfully. But then I made the mistake of admitting my relative success to someone, who convinced me to release that then-current version to the general public. And I reluctantly said, “ok, I’ll release it, but only if we can call this version SUPER DUPER BETA because I have a ton more experimentation to do, and don’t want anyone to think that this is a finished product, or anything.”
So I released it. And people seemed to like it.
As soon as I released that version, I started right into the next version. It’s not like I was thinking about these versions as “versions” though, this was more of a “continuous evolution” through careful (and also, maybe, not-so-careful) experimentation. So I experimented and continuously evolved my ideas for nearly a year. And somewhere during that year I realized that I was no longer the “guy who wrote all those little projects,” but I had become the “guy who wrote that thing that does all that stuff.”
And I wasn’t doing it all by myself anymore, either. There were other people helping me. I mean, REALLY helping me. Writing documentation and code, answering users’ questions, submitting and closing issues, you name it. It was like a big open source community group hug, and I was in the middle. It was pretty cool. It still is pretty cool. I mean, hugs are awesome. AWESOME. That’s all I’m saying.
So yeah, there were more people. And just like the number of people involved had increased, the number of related projects had increased as well. There were dozens of related projects. And a wiki. And a website. It wasn’t just this thing that does all that stuff anymore, it was all these things that do all that stuff. And for this new version, everything had to be published at the same time. Home pages, plugin listings, documentation, the works. It all had to get done all at once.
So we worked pretty hard, and we got it all done. Well, we got most of it done. After a while, you learn that “done enough” means “done.” Well, either that or you go crazy.
But we released it. And people still seemed to like it.
It’s still evolving, we’re still experimenting, and we’re making progress. And all that stuff? It’s getting done.