HowRelatedProjectsFindEachOther

From PICA, a story by LionKimbro arguing that it’s more efficient to start working on a project after looking around a little than it is to exhaustively look for similar efforts.


IntComm:SubPathetaEdit? was an effort to make a super-cheesy SubEthaEdit clone. The idea was to make some primitive Subethaedit clone, and explore the problem space with it. Then we would be able to make a SubEthaEdit clone.

The first thing we did was look for existing efforts. We searched the web, talked about it with people for a few days, but nothing showed up. So we started.

…and we finished! SubPathetaEdit? exists, and, sure enough: True to it’s name, it Edits, and, it’s Pathetic! Rah!

About one month into this, we discovered two other efforts. What’s more, the two other efforts did not know about each other!

We quickly worked to notify the other efforts of each other and ourselves, and to ask if they knew of any others.

The result of this was to produce a focus of efforts that knew of each other. The artifact at the end of this is a page called SubPathetaEditLinks?.

This page is interesting, because it has becomes something of a hub of Subethaedit-replacing energy. I keep meeting people who say, “I’m interested in replacing Subethaedit, and I found that page.

Cristopher Schmidt contacted me because of that page, and started work on a clone, using the wisdom and contacts from the other. BrianTempleton? had taught me about a technique that was inspired by Xanadu, (talk about old school and deep magick,) for naming characters and bringing them together, and later, I learned through the Aaron Schwartz crowd (by conduit of Christopher Schmidt) about a formalized description of the Xanadu-ish method called Palimpsest. This became the model of our focus, and thecrypto is currently carrying the torch in the form of CoEd?. Which, incidentally, is a technology I’d like to see standardized by PICA. I think that TheCrypto? will like the idea.

Outside of these efforts, I do not know any.

I believe that the network is more important than research. This is a perspective that I need to articulate in another page, but basically:

Further, I believe that “the requirement of research” is a perfectionism demon, much of the time. Making sure everything is absolutely right before you go forward. Worst that happens, if something existed before, is that you write an adaptor between the old system, and the new system. Or, you just drop one system all-together.

But generally, you don’t lose more than 6 months to something: 6 months is generally enough time for related efforts to find each other. We shouldn’t not implement anything, or spend 6 months researching before accepting to implement anything, rather than search for, say, a month, and then start implementing. If you find something sympathetic 3 months in working on it, would you have been able to find it with 3 months research? No! Interesting but true! Research is quiet. Work is noisy. You start working, and if someone knows, “Hey! That’s like this other thing! I should tell those people!” That is a form of research! If you’re just quietly looking on your own for 6 months, there’s no way that person can know to inform you! So, work is research.

Now, granted, you want to spend some time up front, looking around. But in my experience, most people allow themselves to be crippled for fear something already exists. In fact, more than that: Most people are crippled for VARIOUS reasons. There isn’t a whole lot of, “People are implementing stuff, and there’s a lot of stuff out there already that fits their need perfectly.” (Despite what LISP cranks have to say: They are usually ignoring particular pragmatic needs. No, XML is not LISP. Cranks can, in this kind of decision, be safely ignored after consideration.) There is a lot of “Gee, … I really wish I knew how to get my stuff together so I can implement something. But what if..? But what if..?” You see? The problem isn’t a lack of thought. There is somewhat a lack of communication. But there is definitely a lack of implemtation and capability to act. (ThinkTalkAct.) I know this, because I talk with people, and they say, “I wish I knew how to act.” (It is astonishing to me that this is primarily an issue of education. And it gives me a lot of hope, too. It’s just a matter of fitting keys to locks.)


Define external redirect: BrianTempleton SubPathetaEdit CoEd TheCrypto SubPathetaEditLinks

Languages: