November 22, 2003

On Delaying Gratification

Late in June of 2002, I began work on Notebook, my personal notebook application. I was using it daily by the second of July, but it continued to grow and evolve, and by the twelfth of August it had begun to get unmanageable--or, at least, annoyingly complex. Now, the second or third time I run into a software problem I like to find a way for the computer to solve it for me. I needed help structuring my code, and the result was Snit, an object framework for the Tcl language.

My goal, of course, was to implement Snit, and then update Notebook to use it, and then begin to clean-up and extend Notebook. Instead, Snit took most of my attention for the next month--and then in mid-August I went to the 9th annual Tcl conference, where I made a short impromptu presentation about Snit at an open "Works in Progress" session. There was a certain amount of interest, and a host of suggestions, and what with one thing and another Snit occupied my time for quite some time thereafter. Every time I thought I was done with the darn thing, someone would make another suggestion, or point out another problem to be solved. And that's continued off and on right up until the present.

During the past year I'd managed to work on bits and pieces of Notebook, and even managed to release a new version some while back...but not until this morning did I manage to convert the largest and most complex piece of code, Notebook's beating heart, into Snit--over fifteen months after the first line of Snit was written.

And they say men can't commit.

But seriously, this is where the fun starts. I've got a long list of changes and features I'd like to do, and almost every one them involves changes to that largest and most complex piece of code--and now that that piece of code is implemented using a clean framework I can start refactoring its design and setting its house in order. All the old cruft is cleaned out of the way, and there are clear skies ahead.

Seriously, this is very cool.

(Have you looked at Notebook yet? It's very cool too....and it's constantly getting cooller.)

Posted by Will Duquette at November 22, 2003 05:34 PM