promises and deliverables

I was thinking about my earlier blog post about my ideas for the new packages site I’m still working on, and I realized that to a lot of people it must seem like I sure promise a lot of stuff, but then never get around to really completing it.  I wanted to address that a bit, since I imagine that at times I’m either confusing or frustrating some people.

First of all, I get a lot of ideas to do a lot of projects.  There’s lots of cool stuff I want to do, and I have a hard time saying to myself “I have enough projects already in the works to finish, better not start another one,” but I do anyway.  I tend to quickly overload myself sometimes that way, which can be bad for everything.  However, one thing I’m getting more strict on is only picking up projects that I’m sure I want to complete, that I’ll see through until the end.  I very rarely, if ever, completely drop a project that I’ve started.  I will tend to put them on hold for a while — sometimes years — but I’ll eventually revisit the idea (heck, the packages website is a perfect example of that).

I have a ton of projects I’m “working on,” though.  So many, that I’m honestly afraid to write them all down for fear of being totally overwhelmed by the responsibility I put on myself for them.  I do, however, plan on getting them all done, and they circle around in my head on a regular basis, and often times I think of ways to integrate two projects (for example, adding an option to search gentoo planet(s) from the packages site).  I get a lot of interesting ideas all the time, but I really have to be careful not to overextend myself.

One thing I’ve been trying to do recently (as in the past year) is slowly shutter off some of the support I’ve been providing for the Gentoo tree directly, and ebuilds / herds I’ve in the past taken close care of.  It occurred to me way back when that it’d be a more efficient use of my time if I built out some project websites (like the packages one) rather than trawling the tree looking for ebuilds to fix, bump and repair (for example).  Not that I mind doing that, mind you, in fact I find it rather relaxing at times, but what’s happened is that I’ve overextended my responsibilities again, and I’m trying to cut back.  Basically, my thought is that while I want to still work on Gentoo for a while, I don’t want to make a career out of it.

Oddly enough, though, part of the reason I’m doing these community projects is so that I can more efficiently do other ones.  For example, at times I like to go through the multimedia packages and just check them to make sure we aren’t missing version bumps, and go fix small bugs that I can take care of and just little stuff that isn’t really important (in a sense of package popularity) but still relevant to a few users.  Those are fun.  But it’d make my life easier if I could more quickly track what has been neglected, more easily see what available version bumps are available (I still wanna hook into GnomeFiles and track their changes, for example), and stuff like that.  A lot of the tree-fixing stuff in Gentoo development is just monotonous, which is why it’s hard to find volunteers to do it.  There’s a good chunk of it that is just boring work!  And I’d like to help streamline that a bit.  That’s one of my big goals.

With that goal in mind, a huge reason for doing the packages site was just so I can have a simple interface to get all the information I need, and finally a standardized set of data for categories, packages and versions.  That’s mostly done, or at least the framework is, so now I can get going on the *really* cool stuff.  What I’ve done so far is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, I didn’t wanna talk about just the packages site.  There’s lots of other stuff I have going on.  It’s interesting, even to me, to see which ones I’ll want to juggle at a time.  I switch between them on a regular basis.  Sometimes I’ll be working on the packages site, then my DVD ripper, then my scriptures stuff, then I’ll work on theology ebuilds, then sound ones, then I’ll look after ALSA, then mplayer, then I’ll go back to tweaking MythVideo a bit, and round and round and round it goes.  I’m always working on *some* project, that’s for sure.  It might do me some good to try and get a bit more organized, but I don’t even do a good job of keeping track of bugs in my own projects.  I just track them internally for the most part.

So, I apologize for the epic behind status that I’m always in.  I’m starting to recognize more and more how much I’m holding people up on some projects, so I’m doing my best to gracefully exit those areas so someone else can come in and take over.  I’m still fumbling a bit at the best way to do that, but at this point in my life I have at least recognized the few areas that I’m sure I’m not passionate about anymore, and shouldn’t be lazing around just pretending to commit once in a while — of which, there are actually really few.  In fact, I can only think of one off the top of my head.

One thing that might be cool that I just thought of — have a status indicator on my blog or something that displays the current project I’m working on.  That’d be fun. :)  Sounds like work, though.  I’m gonna go watch a movie.

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