Code dreams

Ahab had his whale.
Quixote had his windmills.
I have a content management system.
But I will finish mine. 

A year ago, this was a quixotic task; something to be talked about in the realm of what-if with Jeff on a trip to Birmingham.  A movie—one or another—after all, we see many.

"What if," he said, after listening to me go on for quite some time, "you wrote something yourself?  Have you given that any thought?"

Clenched between my kneecaps was a notebook full of just that—code dreams.  In pen, in scribble, with question marks and doodles on the side.  Scribbles that, in the right slant of light, might look like the beginnings of a schema.  Dreams, translated through the medium of ink to the permanence of a printed page that no one but me would ever read.

"A little.  Every now and then."  If you translate 'every now and then' to mean 'you should see the pages upon pages I've got written out about this' … that is.

I spent a good portion of today beating on a section of code that seemed to be right, but just didn't work properly.  It took me several hours to painstakingly trace the problem to an improperly scoped variable.  I was calling it inside a function, and expecting to get the global version, but only got the local version (which had no value).

That fixed, the newest feature worked.  Of course, it wasn't a minor feature—it was the first step in implementing seamless support for multiple sites in one Quarto install.  Rather important, in the grand scheme of things.

Since then, I've gone on to give Kat some rudimentary knitting tutoring, and—oh yeah—spliced in code so that it's easy to import users across site lines.  Once that code was completed and tested, I retired to the kitchen to fix myself a small celebratory drink.

I can do this.  I keep telling myself this.  I am never going to be the world's most proficient or elegant coder, but this project has long since ceased to be just an attempt to craft a piece of software.  It's become my attempt to prove to myself what everyone else already seems to take for granted—that I'm capable of producing something like this.

Tomorrow I've really got to tackle the database backup page (ah, hello, nemesis!) and see about finishing up the rest of the manage-entries page.  After that, the next logical step is probably to work on resolving the thorny issues of time zones.

Back to the notebook, yeah.
Mostly because I'm starting to run out of things that need doing on the admin interface.
Partly because I'm afraid I've forgotten something.
I'm sure I've forgotten something.

I'm to the point now that I really don't care if the world ever sees this software.  Perhaps this is something best savored in private, with the friends who understand what effort it took to create.  I am not doing this for the money; I'm doing it for the flexibility, the proof, the tangible result of effort given.

The goal:  have a working, albeit unfinished, system by the end of August.  Preferably a week before, so that I'm squared away before dragon*con.

A girl can dream.
It's gotten me this far.

A side note.  If you're interested in helping me crash-test, drop me an email.  I'm likely to consider your offer a bit more seriously if I either know you, or have corresponded with you before, but don't let that terrify you.  Beta-testers don't get anything cool, unless you think making someone else's code go 'boom!' is your idea of cool.  I make no guarantees that I'll ever release Quarto publicly at all, so you'd better be in it for the curiosity and humor value.


Heh, a few months ago, you could have said "jowilson has his college degree. . ."