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thedevdan

Don't do it all!

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Plan out boundries for your projects! Establish beforehand what features your project will have, make them reasonable, and stick to them! Not only will your code be smaller and cleaner, but you will get finished much faster, and chances are that you will indeed finish. Unfortunately, this is one of those things that people probably won't do until they don't do it. Luckily for me, I was on the verge of doing an engine rewrite, then I thought to myself, "Its happenning again. You are about to start over. Don't! Just finish what you have!". So, I am about to remove some unecessary features, cleaning up my code. If you feel that you really should go back and add a feature, make sure you know what you want it to be, and don't add anything more than what you had planned. [Edited by - thedevdan on August 5, 2004 11:09:51 PM]

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Amen.

There's always improvements to be made. If you have heard the buzz, John Carmack recently mentioned that the new id title would use an all-new engine. Yes, even after the all-powerful Doom III engine in all of its "this will last us seven years," and "there are very few limits" glory is not being used by its own creator. And we sit here and persuade ourselves that *this* is the absolute cleanest code ever and optimal for re-use (Let's avoid the whole "objects are not always conducive to reuse" argument for now), when, in all likelihood, we will have to throw some or all of it out the window. I'm not saying write crappy code, I'm saying know when to draw the line when it comes to this stuff because it could very well be disposable.

Rewrites are not always a good thing, especially when you already have a working version. I can understand rewriting to fix problems with a high-level design, but such problems are often discovered later in the development process and can be really, really painful to fix.

Having a personal project is a wonderful thing. Finishing it, doubly so. Outsiders tend not to understand what passion drives us to do (stay up late programming and go in to work to program professionally for 8 hrs a day), but they do understand the results of it. In conclusion, find a project that seems interesting, finish what you do (it's good for you), and be pragmatic about how you spend your time.

Shameless plug - my instant messaging client (inspired by Miranda's architecture, except it isn't a bitch to code for)

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