the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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A 365 Project for Code?


While Twittering in jest over the frequency of Requests' releases, Jeff Forcier inspired me to wonder if you could do the software equivalent of the photography 365 projects that seem to be all the rage this year. I started probing around at the edges of the idea, and it seemed like it could actually be an interesting challenge.

The closest thing I could find (which Jeff pointed me to) is Calendar About Nothing, which tracks your public GitHub commits and gives you a lovely red X for each day you push up something that's available to the public. That's really cool, but it's also pretty easy to just be a weasel and rack up an epic streak by twiddling one's dotfiles back and forth every day. You could script it.

So what would a "code 365" look like? Extrapolating from photography, I would say that it's basically:

  1. Write something unique every day -- as humble or as wild and involved as you like, but something new every day. You wouldn't just publish small tweaks to a photo to get extra days of a photography 365, so once your daily code is released, it's done. And while you might be inspired to emulate great photographers or programmers who came before you--and that's okay--it's not okay to just grab somebody else's FOSS and claim it as your own. The challenge is for you to produce something new. (I'm willing to make an exception for "Hello World" entries, especially if they're on day 1, because it's the sort of thing I would do.)

  2. Any language you want -- just as a photographic 365 invites you to try different tools, techniques, and subjects, if you're brave enough to do a code 365, why not experiment with different languages, programming paradigms, and platforms? We often talk a good, smug game about the value of polyglot programmers, but why not prove it to yourself?

  3. Release it -- push it up to GitHub or whatever your preferred platform is; get it out there where we can see it and admire your foolhardy audacity.

I guess the next question is... Who would be crazy enough to do one of these? People like Corey Haines or Gary Bernhardt come to mind. I bet Kenneth Reitz could do it, but then we'd miss out on updates to the ten million other things of his that are increasingly hard to do without.

I'd be tempted to do it--what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?--but I'm definitely not willing to consider in 2012. I think one 365 project is more than enough!

What do you think? Is this silly? Or could this Be A Thing?

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