Why are there so many inactive observer accounts? Maybe I should have checked the list before signing up. I feel like an impending casualty of a popularity contest. I'd like to think my work is worth something, but what can one do when one's blog entries are bumped down by automatically imported entries from other sites? All of this blog activity got me excited until I realized most of them are from people who aren't actually logging in to post. Chances are 99% of the users reading this come from the 9k observer base.
Anyway, I'm in a negative mood today in case it wasn't apparent. I normally loathe "how I'm feeling" blogs; therefore, I'd like to say something important rather than waste your time.
I went searching for a new host for a few of my projects today, and I must say, the outlook was very bleak. I understand that hosting costs money; however, the commercial sites don't seem to offer anything better than the free sites. Many of the more optimal free sites strike me as exclusive, or they're missing something like web hosting.
I'm sure there's a large group out there with the mindset that a project needs a strong purpose and a place in the open-source world to be important. This might well be true, in which case I should pack up my projects and go home. The principle of "find a requirement in need of fulfilling" is very relevant and valid; however, nothing I've ever programmed arose from a requirement. This is partly my fault for not seeking out projects in need of help, which was a side-effect of thinking my imperfection/"uniqueness" as a programmer was equivalent to "of no use." In any case, my own unfounded endeavors provided me with a lot of practical experience in programming, documentation, and software design.
Whether or not my work be of use to anyone is at the whim of the community. With projects living near the bottom of the ocean, visibility comes only by chance. I suppose the real question, then, is if I got enough out of my experiences with my projects for my time to not have been wasted if those projects never go anywhere.
If the context in question is all-around programming in research and academics, the answer is definitely "yes." I'll still use my projects even if no one else does. In the context of the open-source community at-large, the answer is "uncertain" at best. A great weakness of mine is advertising myself. I can promote a project all day because that's somewhat tangible and quantifiable, but that's subject to projection onto a larger context.
In any case, this is getting too long and this is indeed the Web where everyone can read what I say, even ex-girlfriends and my mother. This is probably a good time to shut my mouth.