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2016/05/23

Death of a Project

Years ago, I learned some R. When I was doing so, I had decided to move from just being a vi man to trying something a little more modern, so I was using ActiveState's KomodoEdit.

A problem was that KomodoEdit had syntax highlighting for many languages, but not R. So, I did some digging, found some code that did what I wanted that someone else abandoned, adapted it some and made it work. Then I made it a GitHub repo called RLangSyntax. I had an itch, I scratched it, I made the backscratcher available to others and I went on with my life, eventually moving to SublimeText.

Until ActiveState released Komodo(IDE|Edit) 9, and I started getting issues in my repo. Those issues were solved by incrementing maxVersion from 8 to 9, and then by remembering and documenting the build process and adding a release download of the resulting xpi. And, because I've gone on to other languages and editors, I left it.

Until ActiveState released KomodoIDE X for 10. I figured that, as with 9, I'd eventually get issues, and so I decided to jump ahead of it. I installed KomodoIDE, tried to install RLangSyntax to see what the errors were. I contacted the support team and asked them a few questions, like "can I just assume Komodo will keep the same engine for syntax highlighting, so I can set maxVersion as 20 or something and let it go?"

Here I wish to say that, for both the 8->9 and 9->X conversions, the Komodo support team was helpful, friendly and intense. A bit more intense than I like, but being helpful and friendly leads me to forgive a lot. I use Sublime Text and vi for my editing needs, but I certainly feel that Komodo could work for me. I like how KomodoIDE takes it's cue from Sublime Text and Atom.

But I make the minimum changes to get it to install and start waiting for the automated checking of their version of Package Manager will take place, and I get this comment:

"Hey guys, I do want to point out that as of Komodo 9.3 we have built-in support for R lang syntax."



Ahem.

I'm happy that happened. I really am. R is really not a thing I touch anymore. I look at ggplot2 and think "Hey, I could make really pretty plots with that", but I don't have reason to make new plots or change old plots right now. And, I'm very happy with my Sublime Text environment. This is an important change for both R and KomodoIDE, and I'm happy.

But, of all the toys I released on GitHub, this is the one that had the most interaction, which implies the most use. One measure of value as a programmer is the number of users your code has, and the change, while of use to those who code in R with KomodoIDE, makes me a programmer of lesser import. But, really, not so much, because beyond packaging and iterating maxVersion, I didn't add much.

So, that repo's documentation now reads: "You probably don't want to use this project. So long, and thanks for the fish."