February 15, 2007
@ 04:21 PM

I feel like I've been getting a little complacent about trying out new experiences in recent years. My new year resolution was to learn new technologies outside my comfort zone and try out new experiences. So far I think I'm doing OK on the new experiences front. I've had a podcast interview with .NET Rocks show (Show #218, Scheduled Air Date: March 13th 2007) , I've tried to buy a house and learned why so many people rave about Zillow, and will be going to the happiest place on earth next week.

To keep my programming chops fresh I'd like to spend the next couple of months of my hobby time learning a new programming language and perhaps catching up on old ones which have evolved since I last paid them any attention. But first I have to get a Jubilee release of RSS Bandit out of the door. Torsten and I have been fixing bugs like mad over the past few weeks and I think we're about done with any more major code changes for this release. The last major issue is the fact that the RSS Bandit installer crashes on some versions of Vista. I've talked to Rob Mensching about this issue and my conclusion was to move a bunch of code out of the installer and into the first run experience. I'll be making that change this week and then will publish a Release Candidate 2. This RC 2 of the Jubilee release is to validate that we've fixed all of the issues that were found by our early adopters in the previous release candidate. I estimate that should take about two weeks and then we'll publish the release version of Jubilee release on March 3rd 2007.

Once this release goes out I plan to take 2-3 months off of working on RSS Bandit. During the first month and a half I plan to catch up on changes in Java and C# I haven't been keeping up on by updating my C# From a Java Developer's Perspective article I wrote when I was in college. I'm also interested in catching up on recent debates on concurrency models in programming languages such as the ones references in posts like Neil Mix's What Mean You, Threads?, Brendan Eich's Threads suck and Patrick Logan's Misguided: The Road Not To Be Travelled. I need to resubscribe to Lambda the Ultimate.

During the second half of my RSS Bandit sabbatical I plan to learn the Python programming language, specifically IronPython. To make sure I actually learn the language I need an actual programming project. I plan to build a meme tracker in Python hopefully by combining code from RSS Bandit and [OSS licences permiting] Sam Ruby's Mememe code

Once the summer hits, it'll be time to start work on the Phoenix release of RSS Bandit. My goal with this release is to solve the problems I have with http://blogs.msdn.com due to the monstrous number of posts a day. I'll tackle this in multiple ways including incorporating meme tracking as well as introducing a page model to newspaper view so that I don't have to deal with slowdowns when the embedded browser tries to render the content of 500 - 1000 blog posts at once. There will also be UI work done such as adding a podcast inbox as well as jumping on the Office 2007 ribbon bandwagon.

Now that I've actually written this down in public, I have to actually get it done. :)