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My last day at the Post is Feb 20, and I’m headed to Chicago on the 22nd. I’ll be helping a family member recover from surgery, so my schedule (both day-to-day and how long I’ll be in town) is pretty vague, but I’ll be around at least a few weeks before returning to DC.

I have three smallish website projects I plan to finish in this time. They’re in various stages of completion now.

The first is a mailing list archive. I’ve been tinkering with it on and off for about 18 months, and it’s the closest to a finished state. I really enjoy reading mailing lists, but haven’t been impressed with any of the sites out there. Often each message is its own page and threads are broken up. So I’ve done a lot of work on threading above and beyond the basic In-Reply-To and Re: matching, and the site is designed to show a thread per-page with lots of keyboard controls to make it easy to skim. Depending on free time this weekend, I may actually launch this before I leave town.

Second is a site cataloging Ruby gems. When I was searching out Rails forums I realized there’s a related problem in finding libraries that I could address. I’ve done the work to collect basic info on gems, it remains to collect news and blog posts and combine it into a nice presentation.

The last small project is my RailsRumble project (which I didn’t finish): a site for collaboratively producing transcripts of conference presentations. I’ve let this one simmer in the back of my mind in the four months since that failure and I’ve given it a better name and planned which features to finish, redesign, or drop. It needs a few days of solid development, a graphic design, and some seed content.

I plan to finish and launch these three projects by the end of March, and I’ll post more as I work on them.

The commonality in these three projects is that once I’ve launched them they require minimal ongoing attention from me and can grow at their own paces. I’m doing them first because small and well-defined projects fit well with the interrupted and distracted time I’ll have. I’d also want to make sure I start out with some successes.

Next posts: NearbyGamers and The Big Project That I Really Need To Name Already.

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