As you may have seen in my last article I’m currently off traveling the world (well, North America for now at least) and I wanted to give people a quick update as to what is going on with various projects while that is happening. The good news is nothing is being dropped and everything is coming along really nicely, but I’ll just quickly explain what my projects are and why and how I stay involved with them all.
Working on CodeIgniter Reactor, FuelPHP, PancakeApp, PyroCMS, Travlr, a day job and freelance stuff has always been a tough call and it may have seemed like I bit off more than I could chew, but realistically most of them were mutually beneficial for a long time and there were less “ands” involved. Now for many reasons this has become a little more difficult.
Going back a year and a bit I started a job where my day job was to build a CodeIgniter CMS - multi-site, multi-client, mult-lingual, multi-territory - MADNESS. Although this was a crazy job, working on CodeIgniter every day meant I found lots of bugs or potential features in CodeIgniter and PyroCMS as the two shared a very similar codebase. So back last year I was actually being paid to work on CodeIgniter and a lot of bug-fixes and new features made to “MizuCMS” were easy to run home and apply to PyroCMS. Well now that I am no longer working for that company my time for CodeIgniter has seriously dropped and the only time I spend working on CodeIgniter is when I’m working with PancakeApp or PyroCMS which soon will start to become a lot more. No clients are really asking for me to work with CI these days for various reasons, so this is why I’ve not really been doing all that much for the last month or two.
For now my main contribution to CodeIgniter will be to make CICON happen, which will be great not only for those attending but the community as a whole. How? Well one of the features we’ll be running is a “CodeIgniter Bug Sprint”. 1 hour, fix as many bugs as possible with the winner getting a free iPad. 163 issues (many of which are probably non-issues) + 200 people = kick-ass version of Reactor! Crowd-sourcing with iPads is easy.
PyroCMS was the product of two years of “StyleDNA Ltd”, a company I ran when I was still a spotty-faced teenager straight out of college. The recession hit and we just weren’t ready for it. PyroCMS became open-source and has exploded into a massive project used by thousands of people. Since its release the main driving force behind development has been freelance clients asking for features or wanting sites shipped. If a client wants a basic site with a theme, bam, there is a Pyro install and some design work on top.
Again, recently with PyroCMS I will admit I have been slack. This mainly comes down to a shift in the focus of my clients. Everyone wants me to make them business Facebook or Twitter/StackOverflow/Springboard/Something-else instead of “ma & pa” brochure-ware. This is good as it means much bigger and more involved development work and I get to flex my FuelPHP muscles a little, but it leaves me no time to work on fun new features.
Community to the rescue! Jerel Unruh and Marcos Coelho along with several others have been coding the hell out of PyroCMS in my absence and have all been doing a damn good job. There are some great new features incoming and while I haven’t been actively involved in development I have been involved in some plans which will take PyroCMS in a great new direction. v1.3 is going to be awesome and we have a Premium version coming which - amongst other things - will allow you to white-label the CMS and sell it off to your clients!
Also, I’ll be meeting up with Jerel in Oklahoma City this Tuesday for a whole day of documentation (and steak). We’re going to get this documentation awesome, its been far too long already.
Pancake started off as a small bit of freelance work for a friend but somehow I’ve found myself being Lead Developer!
Again, it’s been a little quiet for a few days but the next version comes with an API that lets you control EVERYTHING. This was made not just to allow easy integrations, but to help a friend of mine create a iPhone App (:o!!). Along with that I’ve bundled in some awesome time-tracking which will potentially replace Toggl and make tracking and billing your work stupidly simple.
Anyone who has seen my travel plans will see that I finish in Cranbrook. I’m shacking up with Lee Tengum there who runs the project and we’ll be hammering the hell out of the code (in between fishing and hiking trips in the Rockies) for about two months. It’s already pretty awesome, so with this time to focus it will get a lot better.
This is one of the coolest projects to be part of, but luckily I have never needed to be a massive part of it. I’d say of the four developers I have a much lessor role, mainly being known as the guy that did that “Oil command line thing”. This is brilliant, as while I am close enough to shout at Dan when he makes a bad call, I don’t really need to be involved with the day-to-day and support.
I’ll be around to evangelize, support and improve the code overtime but after a whole 3 month session of constant coding on this fucker to get it from concept to beta, I will be sticking to my relative backseat and just be working on it “now and then”.
Yup, still working for others and the most recent is the very exciting MiCrowd - the first social question-answer network to be written almost entirely from a Greyhound bus.
I’m still getting things done, I’m just not shouting about it all quite as much as I used to. It’ll be a long time before I’m back to throwing out new libraries and fun technical articles regularly, but fuck it, I’m traveling the world!