spacing hack

yelyah

solo piano 20101205

It's December now. Which means it's the perfect time to think about what to do about wickedwx.com. Seriously.

Sure, there's very little severe weather that will be happening over the next few months (well, the kind of severe weather that the site focuses on anyhow), which makes it harder to be motivated to work on the site. I already started running into that problem back in like August.

But I know me. If I wait until the spring severe weather starts, then it's already too late.

Here's why.

wickedwx.com is currently stuck in limbo because its creator decided to leave Python for Ruby.

And there are a few reasons I haven't worked on it:

  1. The obvious one is the fact that there is no severe weather happening in my area so I'm not using the site, so I'm not thinking about features I'd like to implement.
  2. Given my past history, if I wait long enough, there's a decent chance I'll switch back to Python, and then that means I don't have to redo the site at all.
  3. I'd rather be trying to write something new, especially given #2.
  4. There is no Google App Engine equivalent for Ruby. Well, specifically, a free equivalent to App Engine.

Heroku would be the closest equivalent to App Engine, but their free daily cron ain't gonna cut it for wickedwx.com. Heck, even their pay-for cron service won't work because all that gets you is an hourly cron.

Now granted, maybe I could get a Ruby app running successfully on GAE by using JRuby. But honestly, even with Python and Google's own webapp, things often felt like they were being held together with duct tape.

And you can't take your App Engine sites elsewhere. If you want to switch providers, you have to rewrite anything that was specific to App Engine. So even back when Python was still my thing, I was already starting to become increasingly concerned by the whole App Engine lock-in.

The conclusion that I'm starting to come to is that rewriting wickedwx.com might be worth it for the experience, even if I do end up back with Python.

The core of wickedwx.com is really just about scraping data and doing something meaningful with it. And right now, I have very little experience in working with equivalent tools in Ruby. So here'd be a great way to learn, eh.

So basically, I've realized that I can rewrite a large chunk of wickedwx.com without even having to think about where it will be hosted, or what Ruby web framework I might use.

For me, building some momentum again is huge, which is why I'm serious that December is a perfect time to start thinking/making decisions on all of these things.

At worst, I'll go back to Python, and the rewrite will have just been for the experience.

But hey, I'm starting to think that maybe this is it. Maybe Ruby is my language.

So then I sure as hell better have it rewritten before severe weather season starts.

And as a final note, yeah sure, I could just start working with Python in parallel to my Ruby programming. But I know me, it greatly increases the chances that I'll end up in limbo on everything and never bother to create anything because I'll perpetually be plagued by the questions of which framework/which language/which host?

I don't want that.