Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production


Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Wishy-washy tool selection

Posted 6 November 2006 in Facebook, php, programming, ruby, software, and tool

Has anybody else noticed that I have several times talked about all of these ideas for software that I'm "going to write" but never actually write? I'm acutely aware that I have yet to produce that conversation I kept talking about, let alone an integrated custom software package to run my website on.

Frankly, I'm sick of talking about writing software without producing results. Sure, I sometimes sit down for a few days and crank out something interesting, but most of my projects tend to be fragile because they're doing something interesting with data that's not presented in a consistent manner. Thus, much of what I write doesn't get published.

Did you know that I wrote a program that would decode the email addresses in images on Facebook? No, of course not: I've never mentioned it. I wanted to export contact information from my friends' Facebook profiles and import it into my address book, but it was just too much of a hassle. Facebook changed their site once every day or two, so the program would break at least twice each week.

Part of my problem is that I haven't been using the right tools for the job. My biggest problem is that I keep trying to make PHP work for my web programming, but there are many frustrating things about the language that make it unpleasant to write software for. PHP is a great language for specific tasks, but in many ways it annoys me.

The point is that I'm getting excited about the prospect of a new software tool. Maybe one of these days I'll actually write some software using this new tool. You know. As opposed to talking about writing some software.