Those who can do

Across hundred of feeds I am reading, many dozens of posts that pass through FeedDemon daily there are three words that make me instantly interested:

“I made this”

Content about most varied stuff makes bulk of Internet, however places where something is actually being created are hard to encounter.

I doubt accurate estimate can be made so I’ll just take 80/20 rule.



For introvert like me Internet is sea of information. I am choosing my sources for their:

  • topics;
  • scope;
  • insight;
  • experience;
  • relevance;
  • and many other things.

Nothing is static – some get better, some get worse. Delivering information in appealing way is extremely hard. However it is done on such a massive scale online that sooner or later you find and stick to those who are brilliant at it.

Bulk of this blog is delivering as well – telling about software I use and confident in.


Some time ago I decided to check out a function in WordPress (engine this blogs runs on) that felt weird and unfinished to me. Few hours later I was:

  • annoyed with myself for being so clueless at PHP;
  • angry at crappy search at WordPress Codex;
  • slightly freaked out (dreaming PHP code during nap);
  • tired from hundred or so Google searches with little result;
  • staring at crude WordPress plugin I somehow ended up making.

All together it felt awesome. That plugin was not even working at that time but it was:

  1. my problem;
  2. my idea;
  3. my solution.

Such cannot be googled.

If you have ever felt that kind of awesome you will easily recognize it in others. Some make simple things. Some made Linux. That spark that pushes people from consuming to creating may not always lead to awesome results. However it is something that makes progress tick.

I know my creative posts won’t bring a lot of traffic or comments. Bug-tracking sessions or messing with RSS internals are probably making you yawn. But when I see person landing on such post from Google I know that I was able to help someone. Not whole world but specific person who had the exact problem I was capable to solve and share solution.

Is there much value in wasting hours and hours on something that won’t bring much fame, value, traffic or whatever else? You know what – I don’t care. And when I open my RSS subscriptions and read post that sparkles in same way – I know that author doesn’t care too.

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  • Angelo R. #

    I am a 100% with you on this one. I can't stand using pre-built software and I must always try and create something for myself from scratch. Sure it takes a long time, and for the bulk of it you have nothing to show other than beautiful code, but it's a great feeling. And good job on sticking to what you believe in on your blog. A lot of blogs just seem to pick up the same stories all day and just pass them around. It's nice finding those blogs where the writer knows what they're talking about and can present things that you don't find on the regular blog-stream.
  • Rarst #

    @Angelo Well, there is nothing wrong with using good available solution at times, I covered that a bit in good/best post https://www.rarst.net/thoughts/good-or-best/ But having Internet, Google and tons of stuff readily available cannot replace joy of making something yourself. And I will stick to what I want at this blog! :) And I hope that this blog will pick more and more people who find it valuable for both what I can deliver and what I can create.
  • Lyndi #

    New ideas will always just stay ideas unless we have the will to actually try and implement them. As you said, it does not matter what others think, the true value lies in the fact that you had an idea, you acted on this idea and you managed to create a solution.
  • Rarst #

    @Lyndi Yep, acting is important. However talking about web it's important to stay away from gauging things only by how profitable (in money or otherwise) they are. People mistake being greedy and lazy for being efficient. Creating arcane solution for some obscure problem won't make anyone better and richer blogger, but it will make person more knowledgeable.
  • Donace #

    hear hear! I remember when I started to try and learn php/html/xml/js etc (a few months ago) even though my plugins are well...not downloaded much, I can look at them and say: 'I DONE THAT!!!' That is the biggest milestone...sure making a popular app etc is brillaint...but hey one step at a time :p
  • Rarst #

    @Donace Milestone is a good word. :) It's very noticeable change when train of thought changes from "where can I find [close to usable] solution" to "how can I do this in a way I want it to work".
  • MK #

    What's most important is that you (the author) learn something new, and have it well-documented. So you always know where to look when the same problem occurs - your own blog, of course :)
  • Rarst #

    @MK Oh, I am terrible at keeping notes and stuffing everything into blog would make it explode. :) Luckily I have naturally good memory for geek stuff.
  • Nihar #

    BTW what was that wordpress plugin that you tried developing?
  • Rarst #

    @Nihar Antispam, simple but effective one. I am testing it at my blog - stuff 4-5 links in comment and see what happens. :) Will release it properly when sure it works fine and need to get docs for it in order.