On starting an unoriginal project



  • I've been wanting to get a project of my own out there since forever. The problem is I'm terrible at getting ideas that haven't been done better elsewhere. Mostly it's just as a way to get my name on something, and as a learning experience, so there's really not much of a point on getting hung up about it, but it still haunts me whenever I sit down to write code for something like that.

    The project I'm currently toying with involves making a generic configurable card game engine, but it already exists in Cockatrice, a fairly popular piece of software.

    Should I just go for it? Is duplicating the effort worth it? I know the answer is probably yes for both, but I'm terrified of just doing a terrible job and being absolutely embarrassed in comparison.


  • SockDev

    If what you want already exists, then why not use it? Save the creative energy for something else 😉



  • Look at it from the bright side. If you screw up, you can always change your name, move to a different country and start life anew as a toothbrush salesman.



  • @dstopia said:

    Should I just go for it? Is duplicating the effort worth it? I know the answer is probably yes for both, but I'm terrified of just doing a terrible job and being absolutely embarrassed in comparison.

    What don't you like about the original? If you can do better, go for it!

    There's also value in starting an unoriginal project if you just want to learn or work on something.


  • SockDev

    @dstopia said:

    I've been wanting to get a project of my own out there since forever.

    so have I, if you checkout my github there's quite a few projects i started and then they died.

    @dstopia said:

    he problem is I'm terrible at getting ideas that haven't been done better elsewhere.

    That was mostly my problem. until i started @SockBot as an FU to Jeff's assertion that one couldn't write a bot for discourse because it was "all javascript"

    to which i said "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! and i'll one up you and do it in javascript!"

    i'm still floored that the project is still going and has spun off into SockSite and SockDrawer.

    @dstopia said:

    Mostly it's just as a way to get my name on something

    That's a great resume builder, but i find as an interviewer i don't care whether you are creator or contributor. i care about your activity. so starting to contribute to an existing project may be an option.

    @dstopia said:

    and as a learning experience,

    Every project is a learning experience! what kind of experience specifically are you looking for? do you want to learn about project management? a new technology or language? maybe about how one integrates one project into external dependencies?

    @dstopia said:

    it still haunts me whenever I sit down to write code for something like that.

    me too, and that's after almost fifteen years of programming, seven of which are professional; but you need to write so you get better!

    @dstopia said:

    The project I'm currently toying with involves making a generic configurable card game engine, but it already exists in Cockatrice, a fairly popular piece of software.

    are you looking at a ground up rewrite or an addition? would it be better to fork the project and move the existing code in the direction you want?

    @dstopia said:

    Should I just go for it?

    YES! Either as a new project or contributing to an existing project it's valuable and worth your time!

    @dstopia said:

    Is duplicating the effort worth it?

    if the reason for the duplication is valid for you, yes. i suspect it is or you wouldn't be considering it

    @dstopia said:

    I'm terrified of just doing a terrible job and being absolutely embarrassed in comparison.

    Every coder has a million lines of bad code in them. the only way to write good code is to write all that bad code first. so get started!

    and when you write that terrible code then you can learn how to take that terrible code and make it better! and then how to take that less bad code and make it even better! (repeat ad infinitum)

    so get out there and start writing! just don't forget to ask questions if you get stuck. I'd be happy to help!



  • @accalia has summoned me, and so I appear.

    <!-- Posted by SockBot 0.16 "Hazardous Hera" on Mon, 20 Apr 2015 14:16:25 GMT-->

  • SockDev

    ... crap. forgot you were turned back on after being off for the weekend...


  • SockDev

    At least this time she didn't summon me 😄



  • @mott555 said:

    There's also value in starting an unoriginal project if you just want to learn or work on something.

    QFT
    i learnt a lot writing a flight simulator. it was crap, but served me.

    also

    i have around a million projects, the only ones that got to something usable where the ones i had a need for.
    at least for me, doing something for the sake of doing it gets boring fast


  • BINNED

    @Jarry said:

    Whats_Your_Problem.php

    You answered it in the title itself. Well done.


    Filed under: obligatory PHP joke



  • @Jarry said:

    https://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch02_Whats_Your_Problem.php

    The problem is that I have no problems that existing software doesn't solve. Is there an app for that?



  • a coworker asked me why i laughed so loud. have a 🍪



  • Make a strongly-typed Excel.



  • Or a GUI version of AWK, with live-preview.


  • kills Dumbledore

    Or a CLI trash bin



  • sure, it's called "candy crush"

    Filed under: no disconotification. a new bug?



  • Or a timeline-based video editor that can output streaming video in real-time... there's a challenge.



  • @accalia said:

    SockDrawer

    Laughing at that name!

    So, a tool for previewing knitting patterns? 😉


  • SockDev

    @ijij said:

    Laughing at that name!

    it's the name of the github organization @onyx, @raceproUK, @Yamikuronue and I created yesterday to host the various sock projects, and simplify managing permissions for colaborators.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @ijij said:

    a tool for previewing knitting patterns?

    OMG can we talk for a minute about embroidery machine design apps?

    Actually no, I'm going to wait until I'm home and can grab screenshots, this shit is bananas.

    Someone remind me tho. In like.... checks clock 6 discohours.


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