How about finishing the year with an achievement?
Wouldn't that be a great feel-good motivator for the new year? Well it is.
As part of learning web2py, Python and Google AppEngine, I have been creating few applications. Earlier I created a checklist application, which I'm happy about. Since beginning of December, I worked on a simple blog engine. Requirements were based on my itch and they are :
Should support writing in Markdown. I have been using Markdown for all my writing. An additional benefit of writing in a pure text format is that you got a local copy of all your writings.
Just a single author system.
Commenting is non- essential. Ratio of quality comment that adds to the discussion to time spent on spam is low. I don't mind taking the discussion to Twitter or G+, if required.
Have a minimal design. Yes, I want to learn CSS but I also like to limit the learning to few topics at one moment so that I can learn them well. Also I have found that minimalistic blogs are pleasant to the eyes :-)
Having laid out these simple requirements, I went about developing it. Due to workload and family commitments, I could spend only an hour or two at max a day, some days even that was not possible. But the desire to create something of my own kept my enthusiasm high. The intuitiveness of web2py design should be commended since I didn't spend any time in picking up from where I left. There was no time lost.
I set myself a deadline - I should complete the blog engine before Christmas and should migrate my other biz blog before New Year.
When I started, I wasn't sure I will be able to complete. But am happy that I was able to meet the deadlines I set to myself. In fact, I did better. My biz blog was running on wordpress and I was even able to import wordpress entries (though I would consider it was only about 90% success).
On 24th, I had the running code and launched the application on Google AppEngine. I called it Minnaedu - a Tamil word for online journal. I played with it few more times before announcing it in web2py forum on Dec 25th.
Soon after I worked on making it work outside of Google AppEngine. I was hosting my biz blog on webfaction servers. Though webfaction doesn't provide quick-install method for web2py as they provide for django, they do provide a script. Few clicks here and there and voila, I got my biz blog in my own blog engine.
That is when I understood the power of web2py - I could run the same codebase on Google AppEngine and webfaction (only change was database connection string).
This blog is still running on wordpress. Migrating this to minnaedu is less priority than getting minnaedu well tested and having the deployment taken care by fabric.
Overall it is a great way to finish the year.
Wishing you create something useful for all - you and the tribe you chose to be with.
Happy New Year
update: I'm not using this blog engine anymore.