Self dogfooding

Friday night, 1:22AM. The whole house is sleeping and the streets are silent. The night is holding its breath, waiting for party people to go home with the rising sun.

Since I went back home, I’ve squashed 15 bugs on Publify. 3 more like this to go and I can release a new version. In the meantime, I update my blog. Delivering on Friday night is the system administrator’s cardinal sin, but I’m confident as the build is green.

I’m back into daily blogging frequently. Since August the 15th, I’ve been writing one post a day, 6 days a week. The time I pushed 3 or 4 posts a day is 10 years behind me, but these 28 posts are more than what I’ve done during 2014 first 8 months.

Incidentally, I’m back into self dogfooding.

Self dogfooding is building something because it solves one of your problems, and being your first user. Most startups, most open source projects begin this way. Someone has a problem, build something that fixes it, and other people join.

This was not in the plan.

7 months ago, I’ve decided to step down from my position of Publify maintainer. I had done it for 7 years, and I did not find motivation in contributing in a blogging software anymore.

I did everything I could to let the project leave without me. I created a Github organization so Publify’s not under my name anymore. I gave my fellow maintainers the keys, opened 30+ issues, bugs and feature mixed, and silently closed the door behind me.

Something (un)expected happened.

As I’m back using Publify daily, I start hating here. I’m tired of the editor hoping up and down while I write, tired of the broken date picker, tired of the buggy autosave, tired of all the small glitches here and there. Even though my brain knows how to work around those bugs, I’m tired of the poor writing experience I have.

I’ve been considering switching to something else. Flat files based publishing tools are tempting when you’re writing inside a text editor. I don’t have comments so I don’t need a database, and most interactive things I do, I can do them in the command line.

But something happened.

2 days ago, Ben and Erin Jo released the hosted version of Known, and I gave it a try. Known is simple, Known provides an incredible writing experience and Known has every Indieweb thing Publify lacks.

For a few hours, I considered moving to Known, but it has 2 issues: you can’t configure the permalink format, and it’s written in PHP. I don’t feel like maintaining 5000 rewrite rules , and hosting PHP on my server is out of question, even in a separate jail.

Once again, my only solution lies in self dogfooding.

This morning, I warned my co maintainers I was back (most obviously after closing 15 issues in the night), and I was back to drop everything none of us use.

That’s the very base of self dogfooding: if you’re not using it, you don’t need it.

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