After it has been running for nearly a year, and with parts of it rewritten in that time span, I've decided to release POP Forums v8 into the wild and see what happens.
So what's the delay, and what's my problem? Well, there are three issues that have made me unsure about releasing it into the wild.
The first is that I'm not sure what to do with it. Do I sell it, give it away, sell support services... I wasn't sure. Remember that this is an app that I've always built for my own use. Trying to package it up for others makes it more complicated, as you start second guessing how it might be used. At the end of the day, I decided I'd let it go, code available for download, and a request for $95 if you want to use it in production. Honestly, if I sell once license in a year, that's good enough for me.
The second problem is one of code worry. I've got 12,000 lines of code that has been written on and off for the past four years. Some of it is good, some of it is not. By putting it out there, I'm subjecting myself to public code review. At the end of the day, I realize that's probably not a bad thing. Besides, it is what it is. I'm not expecting to make a living from it. It is funny though how internally you'll let some things be suboptimal or a little messy, but the moment you have to show it to someone else you bring yourself to a higher standard. God knows I wouldn't write any of it today the way I did four years ago. I've never really spent a lot of time trying to invent a smooth installation process either.
The biggest issue has always been time. That became less of an issue when I got laid-off in July, and enjoyed a good ten weeks of "me time." When I rebuilt CoasterBuzz around v8, I realized that it was a pretty good app that was meeting my needs. Even if I can't extensively support it or do new builds and features every day, it may still have a great deal of value to some people. It makes sense to get it out there.
So there it is. This app, in its many iterations, has been with me now for nine years. It has always been a little ahead of what I needed, and an odd combination of my skill levels over that entire time. I'm confident in what it can do, and I hope that there are others who find it useful as well.
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