Starting my project thoughts

So I've got a little project I want to do. Of course just thinking about all the infrastructure I need to do first to makes me want crawl back in bed or turn off the computer and go play with my GameCube. There really needs to be a universal identity sign up, sign in process out there (that's not Passport). Wouldn't it be nice if instead of the whole registration process, you could just upload a file with your identity instead and skip the whole email to confirm bit? It'd be like saying, "hey, I've already gone through all that crap with someone you trust, so just take this key instead." I'm sure there's 100 million solutions for this stuff out there, but it's still annoying to think of a new little project and be daunted by something as basic as the user signup process first. Maybe I'll just skip it.

Okay, so I'm looking at what I need to get done and I'm still doing the Java vs. PHP thing. My little Tomcat servers survived the Macdotting without any problem, so there's not a lot of reason to move from the scalability perspective. Also, I'm not a programmer any more, so the chances of me having lots and lots of time to really practice PHP programming is pretty slim, whereas I spent the last 6 years developing in Java and know it relatively well... There is the idea that once I get into PHP, I would be able to crank out pages much more quickly because of the scripting nature of the language and the massive numbers of projects and support PHP has... And the other problem which is that my knowledge of Java is stuck at 4.x and more and more examples out there are using Java 5 formatting which I loathe as geeks-only syntactic sugar. This is a real quandry to me (as inconsequential as it is) - I just need to make a decision and stick with it.

So now I'm in that Yak Shaving loop of things I need to do to get started. If I go PHP, I'm going to have to finish converting this weblog over first, otherwise I have no where to host my new project. Also, since what I'm doing is mobile-oriented, I'm wondering whether I should check out WURFL and WALL or whether I should just wing it and do The Simplest Thing that could Possibly Work (i.e. XHTML formatted pages). Hell, while I'm exploring projects, Ruby on Rails is getting all that hype, maybe I should check out Rails-type MVC frameworks for PHP or Java... The prospect of a Silver Bullet technical solution is so tempting at this stage. I could spend the rest of the day exploring Source Forge and messing around with frameworks, etc. Hell, I could learn Ruby today! That'll fix everything! (Just kidding).

Note how none of this thinking - including writing this weblog post - is actually doing much to get the project done, or even exploring the project at all. I've got this ephemeral idea, a domain name and a logo, but that's it so far. That's how all of my projects start, by the way. I think of a concept, find a domain, whip up a logo (using Amazon's typeface as always) and then get stuck getting around to doing the actual project. This is the zillionth time this process has repeated itself. I really think that I either need to figure out a way of breaking through the psychological and programmatic roadblocks that keep me from being productive, or just give up trying to do these sorts of side-projects and go golfing or something.

What I really need is minions.


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