Much Ado About Nothing

It’s been an awkward and frustrating couple of weeks lately. Not everything is going quite as we had planned it I suppose you could say. The Wildlife Rehab site is on a bit of a hiatus as we try to work out where we’re going to place some new content, and where that content is going to come from. Not to mention a laundry list of tweaks and changes that’ll need to be taken care of at some point, but there’s a few items blocking progress on that list. Hopefully that’ll all come together soon, but it’s also not a major rush of any sort either.

Work lately has been a bit on the ho-hum side of things. I’ve mainly just been doing odds and ends style work on legacy applications and other maintenance style work. I have had a couple of really simplistic and short Django applications to write, but nothing major or thrilling. Nothing exceptional worth really talking about. Oddly, I’m supposed to blog something for Imaginary Landscape, but considering how little I’ve had to do in terms of actual Python/Django work, I have no idea what to blog about. Hell, I barely know what to put on this blog most of the time. On the upside I am going to PyCon next week, so after I get back from that I’ll hopefully have something to blog for them. We’ll see I suppose.

Currently though, my main focus at work is developing an iPhone application. I have some pretty mixed feelings over the whole situation. First off, it’s a monumental task in my eyes, and I’m not sure that management totally gets that. I’m getting some of my first glimpses ever at Objective C, and I’ve been pretty clear that I have to learn a new language, and a new development environment. I’ve played with it a bit thus far, and even though I have C/C++/C# experience to some degree, Objective C just feels so incredibly foreign to me. Obviously, it doesn’t help that thus far I’ve been trying to learn strictly via Apple documentation and online tutorials while hopping between other small issues as well. I know it’s something I can do, that’s not the question, it’s more how long it’s going to take. I don’t have a personal vested interest in making an iPhone application, it’s not something I want to slap on my resume some day really. Thus, I’m not cramming at home in my off time to learn more. I like Python, so in my off time I write my code in Python.

Secondly, I tend to think that making an iPhone web application makes a lot more sense in a lot of ways. Obviously, it’s *free* to do so, which is a big plus. It also doesn’t require anyone to learn Objective C. You don’t have the risk of spending weeks/months of development time, just for Apple to potentially decline your application. We could build it using tools we’re familiar with, in a much shorter amount of time. Finally, should anything ever happen to me, they wouldn’t have to find someone that knows PHP, Python, bash, AND Objective C. Those people exist, but they’re likely to be expensive.

Finally, I see so much else we could be doing to improve our current infrastructure including servers, documentation, issue tracking/management, and quality assurance with the free time we’re spending on this random iPhone project. I guess I look at and think that if we improved some various aspects of our infrastructure that down the road we’d have even more time to spend on projects such as this, and be able to do it with less distractions. They have a lot of good things going here, and it’d be nice to bring some legacy items we use up to date.

In the end, the iPhone stuff isn’t that big of a deal. I’ll do it, and I’ll try to enjoy it I suppose. It seems a bit silly to me overall, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. I just wish the project we were working on was somewhat more entertaining. If it nets the company a few more customers that’s a good thing I suppose. Of course that’d mean I’d have to write more iPhone applications :).

Other than that, not much going on lately. I’ll be sure to update with more information after I get back from PyCon, which I am pretty excited about. Just wish it’d hurry up and get here.