oh what to do…

I have time on my hands…or rather I am procrastinating about other commitments. As per a recent realisation that it’s been a while since I visited the fair shores of NZ…I keep popping my nose online. A site I have visited upon occasion is that of DigitalNZ which strikes me as really cool. I came across initially as I think someone I used to know in other circles, is involved with this. It’s a site devoted to sharing and making available, the digital content of NZ. When last I wandered here, I think I came across a bunch of requests to digitise this or that.

This time round, I have happened upon their API stuff, or more specifically, they have an API and are welcoming folk to use it and share their creations. There’s a whole bunch of resources for developers, code samples, and useful widgets that folk have created. This reminds me of a plan I had to create a complicated widget for the NLA’s Trove…though that project never got beyond the basic search plugin (probably should host this somewhere other than the work server) I did for IE/Firefox. I really should revisit that as the NLA too have been encouraging folk to play.

I s’pose the problem for me is that I haven’t really done any raw coding in far too bloody long. What coding I do for work is very basic reworkings of existing perl templates. Nothing that you could call programming, or even hacking for that matter. Oh how times have changed; I used to be conversant in several languages and completed a major in computer science, old school geek was I…but then I choked, got scared…got frustrated spending days finding missing semi-colons in C, and generally burnt myself out. In some sense I s’pose, I ran away. I eventually came to my senses, and commenced a library degree to celebrate my 10th year of uni…back in the mid 90s. And I’ve never really looked back.

But every so often, I go ” but what about…”, and I know I miss the problem solving, I know I like scripting, I know the satisfaction of a working program. I know I miss coding. These are thoughts that have been swirling in my head for a few years and I still haven’t done much about it. I recently read an interview with Paul Hagon, and he too commented on the problem solving aspects. There’s a lot of fun stuff happening these days in libraries, and with coding, and doing stuff with the vast archives of online data that exist now.

I just need to work out what bit I really want to do and try and stick to it. I did have a plan at the start of the year to pick up python as part of a MARC project for work. That remains interesting and I need to pick it up again. Mostly I just want to rediscover the fun of coding that I remember.

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