I originally drafted a single, mammoth post reflecting on this whole year—but at more than 6,000 words, that seemed like a bit much. As such, I’ve broken it into a series of posts, to be published daily through the start of the new year. Hopefully they’re a bit more digestible that way!
- Introduction, or: a ridiculous year summarized
- Part 1: Running headfirst into a wall of pneumonia.
- Part 2: So. many. words. I had no idea how many words.
- Part 3: Podcasting: Winning Slowly, New Rustacean, and more!
- Part 4: Writing software for Olo and for open source. (this post)
- Part 5: Getting things done in 2016 and beyond.
- Part 6: Plans for 2017!
Speaking of numbers: GitHub reports that I contributed +29,463/−13,726 lines of code in our new mobile web ordering experience, which I helped build nearly from scratch this year. (That “negative” is stuff I rewrote or removed entirely by finding a better implementation.)
Finally, I actually did a little bit of open-source contributing this year. Not as much as I’d like, but a little. And I also count New Rustacean as a pretty substantial contribution to the Rust community. The fact that it isn’t code doesn’t diminish what it’s doing. If you’re feeling like code is the only thing that really counts, recognize that all the code in the world isn’t that useful without explanations of how to use it, helping people become interested in the first place, and so on. Speaking of non-code contributions, the open-source contribution I’m most proud of is certainly the Rust RFC I wrote and which was recently accepted and merged. It proposed (and it is now the official policy of the Rust project) that no new features may be added to the (stable version of the) language or the standard library without first being documented. This is a big deal for the language, and it was also a big deal for me, in that it was another place where—despite being far too busy to write a lot of Rust code this year—I could make a real difference in a community I’m passionate about. And one of my goals for next year is a direct follow-on from that: actually implementing the requirement!
The other big thing going on for me in the software world is that I started work on Lightning, a new static site generator in Rust. (There’s another such project, Cobalt, which is already usable.) I’ve been pushing up against the limits of Pelican, my current generator, for a while. And I’ve looked around time and again, and never found a CMS or SSG that does everything my peculiar publishing needs require (especially in a way that I like!). And my needs are indeed peculiar, though probably not wholly unique; for most people, any one of many other site generators would work just fine. So I’m doing what I’ve been thinking about doing for years, and building my own. My immediate goals are mostly just to have something that is super speedy and which checks off all my needs from a CMS/site generator. My longer-term goals include getting some good foundational knowledge I’ll need for my next project. I’m a thousand lines in, and have some pieces working. I hope very much to move off of Pelican and onto Lightning (and get a freshened theme for this site) in 2017!
Yes, Olo has been incredibly generous and hired me as a full-time employee at 30-hours-a-week with pro-rated salary. Like I said: amazing company.↩