Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lament for Open Source Work

I miss those heady days of working on open source code 90-100% of the time. In those days I could talk about work as much as I wanted, with no ramifications. In fact, discussing my work on Kowari was a good thing.

I initially started blogging about my work simply so others in my team could find out what I was doing. If they didn't have time, then they didn't have to read it, but if they were interested then it was all there for them to read. I quickly found that organizing (there's that American spelling again) my thoughts sufficiently to write about them helped me to keep track of what I was doing, and to plan for up coming work.

Somewhat surprisingly (for me), it didn't take long before people I didn't know started to read my blog as well. This was an interesting experience, and led to some interesting conversations and contacts. Ultimately it helped me get my current job!

Unfortunately, my work now is almost exclusively commercial. That means I can't write about it in public. I've also found that I like blogging too much to write about it privately (even in the local Wiki at my company).

I can still write about Mulgara outside of working hours, but then I run into a new problem. Back in the day, I was able to work on Kowari (now Mulgara) during the day, and blog about it at night. These days I work on "other things" during the day, and at night I can either blog, or I can work on Mulgara. It's hard to find the time to do both. It's a little frustrating.

Actually, most of the technical things I've been writing about have been in the Mulgara Wiki, and not in this blog at all. So at least I've written something, but it's disappointing to think that I've lost most of my audience (small as it was). The emails and comments I received were often insightful, very useful, and quite gratifying.

With all that audience missing, who am I writing for today? Well, mostly myself... just like it was in the beginning. I suppose I'll also be read by those people who forgot I was in their RSS feeds (hello to both of you!). :-)

Recently I've noticed that I miss the process of writing. I guess I'll have a flurry of activity in this blog for a little while, until I get overwhelmed with other things again. Hopefully it will be fun while it lasts!

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