Been AWOL all year

First post of the new year, and it feels like I have been gone for a year, but I am here still, I just… To sum things up, I got wrapped up, stressed out, and learned a lot. I was burned out, so I took the holidays off, completely off… I barely touched my computer.

Anyway. Gearing up for what is left to do for Popcorn.js 0.2.

I still need to create a 0.1 XML parser using the parser plugin structure, which will be a good test in the parser plugin structure, which hopefully will make things easier in the long run.

Things should now be more organic and dynamic internally, less hassle when it comes to maintenance, and usable by more people.

We addressed the first issue by making tools, tools that can be used by anyone to do what they want, vs what I think they might want.

Second issue, we no longer have the headaches of trying to please everyone, and maintain everyone, we let them do that, and we maintain the tools that allow this.

Final issue, drawing a line between developer and film maker. The developer tools are familiar (Jquery) and the film maker tools are a visual graphical web app called Butter (Final Cut Pro).

Something I have noticed about learning something new. You always produce less short term when you learn more, but in the long run, it is better. The things I have been learning involve Popcorn.js’s 0.2 release, and working with the people over at Bocoup. We have a new code base for popcorn.js, better described in my last post. I would like to call it a re write of the code, but really the old code is still there, it just exists in plugins. The old code was a parser, some fancy timing, and a bunch of “commands”, which all still exists, except it is now wrapped inside something elegant, something new (to me) and something familiar to people familiar with Jquery (a lot of people). The changes were, conceptually nothing difficult. The hard part was learning some new standards, to see faults before I fall into them, and fix them before they are a problem. Something that I notice I spent a lot of my previous time fixing, bugs that, given enough experience, would not of existed. This is OK to me, I am OK with fixing bugs I could of avoided, just so long as I make sure to avoid them the second time, which is something I am trying to improve on.

Working with Popcorn brought me from the standards of a student, where learning is safe, making it work is the ultimate goal, and a school assignment is never actually going to be used, or maintained, just rigidly criticized. To something real, something used by people doing this for a living, maintained, and used. Working in open source, and especially David Humphrey’s OSD class was a perfect middle ground for me, where I can experiment on something real, I had to consider the use cases, maintenance, users, to think, and draw from all my tools to solve an unknown problem, instead of drawing the tools from one chapter to solve the problem stated in that chapter. I guess the main difference in all that rambling is I am now working with people where my academic success is not in their best interest, people that are not getting paid because I am paying them to teach me. Ugh, OK, I had a point here, but I think I lost it within other points. Might be time for bed.

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One Response to “Been AWOL all year”

  1. Peter Liu Says:

    Hi, Scott.

    Yes, it’s a great contrast: safe learning vs making it work.
    Thanks for sharing this insight.

    Peter.

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