Saturday, January 1, 2005

The Year In Review

2004 has come and gone. It was a huge year for me, both personally and professionally; I hope yours was as good as mine.

The end of the year (or in this case, the beginning of the next) is traditionally a time to look back at what happened through the lens of hindsight. Who am I to resist jumping on the bandwagon? Herewith, a tour of the highlights of my year as seen via CraigBlog.

In January, I started up at MSDN again. Focusing on writing production software was a huge theme for me in 2004: while I've done it before a little, my career has long been focused more on research and troubleshooting than on the ruthlessly practical world of getting software out the door. It was enormously educational, and really fun. And I'm still not done learning how to do it better.

In February, I wrote the last Direct3D tutorial of the year. At the time, I didn't think it was going to be the last one, but things just kept getting busier and busier, and I haven't yet found the time to get back to the series. I do still plan to write more, but I don't know when I'm going to get there.

In March, I bid GotDotNet adieu permanently. As a workspace environment, I find it lacking in several regards. My discontent in part led to the migration of FlexWiki to SourceForge, a journey which took a large part of the rest of 2004 to complete.

In April, I got the FwContrib project set up on SourceForge. FwContrib contains the project to which I have devoted over a year of my spare time now: FlexWikiPad. Oh, and April was also the month where I found a three-foot snake in the basement.

In May, I shipped version 1.0 of FwSync. Finishing something and getting it “out there” was quite a milestone for me. Hopefully 2005 will see the same goal met for FlexWikiPad. May was also the month where my wife was accepted into the Executive MBA program at Wharton, something which negatively impacts my free time now, and (hopefully) positively impacts my income later. :)

In June, I found a nasty bug in System.Decimal while working on MSDN2. I submitted it via the Product Feedback Center, and it got fixed for Whidbey. Cool.

In July, Peter Provost and I released the dasblog2dottext importer tool (he wrote it, I did the build script). I also launched the Pluralsight Wiki, a fairly obvious thing for a wikihead like me to do.

In August, I released another version of FlexWikiPad, and then almost immediately had to patch it...I was definitely starting to feel like I was doing “real“ software. :) I also discovered Beatallica, a band that still amuses me months later.

September was a momentous month for me. Not only did the alpha version of MSDN2 ship, but FlexWiki went open source (only the third Microsoft project to do so). I also saw FoamHenge and finally ditched EIF for log4net - a move I still don't regret.

For all the other great stuff that happened to me this year, October is clearly the absolute highlight. And no, I'm not talking about the fact that I released RichTextEditor. The big event was that on October 28th, my daughter Ellen was born.

November was (understandably, I think), a slow blogging month. But I did manage to ship an update to RichTextEditor. Of course, right after that I realized that I was going to have to start over with my own text editor control. Sigh.

I took a good chunk of December off, only managing to ship one update and one patch to RichTextEditor. What can I say? It was a slow month. :)

I was planning to talk about what I want to get done in 2005 too, but I think I'll wait and make that my next post.

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