Friday, 1 March 2013

The brain dump

Last night I was pretty exhausted - the neighbours had some bricks delivered around 7am which woke me too early after what was a pretty lousy night of sleep. I got up with the idea of turning off the watering system (starts at 7am) after it had done the pot plants and kind of forgot about that and ended up hacking for nearly 15 hours straight.

Ok so it was probably a bit obsessively intensive, but i'm pretty surprised I still get such a level of buzz out of hacking code after 25 years of doing it for fun. In terms of effort and intensity, it could have been any other xmas holiday from any of those previous years. On the other hand i'm writing more and better code than ever before because the platform is fuller than ever before. The only downside is that I can't keep up the intensity for as many consecutive weeks as I used to and end up with aches and pains from sitting still for so long.

But as I intended to take a bit of a break for a few days I thought i'd jot down some feature ideas, todo's and wishlists in my engineering notebook (a paper one) while the ideas were still hot.

As I wrote things down my memory started to vanish very rapidly - as if waking from a dream. I got the main feature points down fairly completely but I was pretty stumped at the todos. Although only minutes before I had a mind full of all those little refactoring, renaming, and tweaking ideas for improving the codebase, by the time I went to write them down I drew a near blank. I've experienced something similar before when I left the Evolution project; as I wrote all my knowledge down all the anxieties from keeping track of the 'known bugs' and 'future plans' in my head just melted away. But it wasn't quite so abrupt, although both instances were very cathartic. To be honest i'm still surprised I can keep so much in my head for weeks at a time - when I often forget where I put a screwdriver only a minute prior.

So it was a very good idea to write it down and let me get a good nights sleep. And although my brain is now bereft of most of the details I managed to write most of them down, and i'm sure the others are in the source as FIXMEs or will come back when I get into it again - if they were important.

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