Qwitter and its Future (As far As It Involves Me)

Posted by hllf on Sep 19, 2011 in Technology

To my readers who don’t use Qwitter or don’t even know what Qwitter is, please ignore this post, as it will be of no interest whatsoever. If you are a Qwitter user or have an interest in Qwitter, then please read on.

As many of you know, Q (@mongoose_q on Twitter), Qwitter’s creator, announced today, via the @qwitter_hg Twitter account, that he is closing shop on Qwitter. This has been discussed at length on Twitter, and I am not going to comment on the events that led up to this. I am, however, going to state how this affects me and how I view the future of Qwitter.

To start with, let me provide a little history. I have a strong computer science background. I have a BS in computer science and engineering, and an MS in computer science. I have worked both as a software developer, as well as in other capacities dealing with computers. About 8 years ago, I decided I no longer wished to work as a code monkey and discovered my true love lay in business. I changed career paths, got my MBA, and have not looked back.

Therefore when Q first approached me to work on Qwitter, I had not written a line of code for quite a few years. Furthermore, I had never seen nor written a single line of Python code, which is the language Qwitter is written in. It actually took a fair bit of convincing on Q’s part to get me to start developing, as I had then, and still have today, a job, wife, and a life completely outside Twitter and computers. I eventually decided to start developing for Qwitter because of three reasons and three reasons only:

1. Until Qwitter, I never used Twitter, so I liked the program.
2. It would be fun to do some coding again on the side, to once again work the computer science centers of my brain.
3. And the most important, it was way easier for me to build in the features I wanted myself, rather than having to ask or depend on someone else to do it.

After I started, I eventually became the developer who contributed the most code after Q. I did it because of the 3 reasons above. But I want to be clear, and this is something that is hard for a lot of users to understand: I never started developing for Qwitter because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives; I’m very glad I was able to contribute in a small way in doing that, but I have always viewed that as a nice bonus.

So what’s my point with all this? Well, I started developing for Qwitter because of the three reasons I listed, and I will continue to do so as long as those 3 reasons remain in effect. The first two still do. As far as the third? Well, having switched to using a Mac as my primary desktop some months back, and given Macs have accessible Twitter clients available, I have been using Qwitter much less than I did in the past. Therefore, my desire for new features diminished, and that’s why I haven’t coded for Qwitter over the last few months. I also have increased responsibilities with my job and life in general, so that too made it difficult to find the time to code.

So where do I go from here? As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed. Q may or may not develop Qwitter anymore; that’s fine; he’s an adult and is capable of making decisions he feels are best for him. I have the source code for Qwitter and will continue to use it to suit my needs. When the time comes that I need Qwitter to do something more, I will simply write the code to do it myself, as I have always done. And if anyone wishes to take advantage of anything I write into Qwitter? That’s fine by me, licensing and other issues notwithstanding. When I switched to using a Mac, even though I didn’t write code for a while, I did not withdraw from the Qwitter development team, and I have no intention of doing so now. Does that mean I might write some code tomorrow? Maybe. Does it mean I may not write code for a year? Maybe. It just depends on how Qwitter can best serve me, and hopefully, as I continue to use it to serve me, it will also continue to serve others.

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