Migrating interest

Sunday 26 March 2006This is more than 17 years old. Be careful.

One of the great things about having a site like this is that I can post small pieces of code that others might find useful. I hear from users of the code, asking questions or providing patches. It’s open source writ small, and I like it. It provides a nice guild of craftsmen feel to sharing code.

The downside to this style of working is that my interests change over time, and so I may effectively abandon a piece of code I’ve posted. I don’t intend to, but the time since the last revision gets longer and longer, and my familiarity with its details gets staler and staler. As time goes on, it gets harder and harder to get back to it.

I have a To Do folder in my email. I put emails there that I intend to act on. This weekend, I noticed that there are five emails there about id3reader, my Python module for reading ID3 tags in MP3 files. Four are providing patches or test cases, one is asking a question (that is in fact answered by one of the other four!).

I sat down to deal with those five emails, but I cannot. Writing a good module is hard work. It requires thought about how to organize data, it requires diligence in dealing with the unfortunate gaps in compliance in real world data. In short, it requires passion. I don’t have passion for id3reader right now. From this vantage point, I guess I won’t ever again, certainly not soon enough to do it justice.

I am hereby making it formal: I am retiring id3reader. I am not going to be updating it any more.

To those who took the time to write to me about it, I’m sorry. Perhaps one of you will take it over.


That's a hard decision to make. I did this with my popfile-based bayesian spam filter for procmail, well after the bayesian functionality became available in spamassassin. I still maintain a few snippets though. When my blog was toasted by ne'er-do-well's, I sort of said "oh well." But then the emails started coming: Where's MTFlickrPhotosets? Where can I get MTZeitgeist? So I retreived those pages off the Wayback Machine, and re-posted them.

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