While updating an old project, I came across a piece of code I had written months earlier.  A beautifully complicated trick that solved no less that three separate problems in an couple of lines.  Even though I hadn’t look at it months I was able to quickly read my notes about the code and within moments remembered everything about it.  Why I’d written it.  What problems it solved.  What trouble it had initally caused. What failed the first dozen attempts.  Why it ultimately worked.  

The significance of the moment may be lost on those who don’t know me well.

Just that morning I’d already found myself typing an email, and half way though forgetting what had originally spurred me to click ‘New Message’.  The previous afternoon I’d been shocked to see a box arrive from Amazon – shocked my a package that contained a book I’d ordered less than 48 hours earlier.

So, the fact that this piece of code stuck so firmly in my mind was a bit of a revelation.  As a coder, I’m a bit of a hacker, but I generally document my hacks reasonably well.  Without those lines reminding me what crazy thing I’d done I would never be able to go back to any code older than 5 minutes.

And thus this blog was born.  Like all blogs it’s equal parts therapy and megalomania, but it’s also an experiment – what effect does documentation have on my life while I’m not coding..


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