Thank you all for your support!
Wow! I am so grateful to all of you. The Hackety 1.0 launch can only be described as a great success. Thanks to everyone who tweeted, commented, posted, and installed. You guys are great! So let’s hear some details, and then talk about where we go from here.
To give you some idea of the size of the launch, in the 4 days after Christmas, we had about 50,000 unique visitors to http://hackety-hack.com, 100,000 pageviews, 11,000 downloads, and 2300 accounts made on the site. Wow!
There was essentially three kinds of feedback: This is awesome, I want more lessons, and this is broken on Windows.
This is awesome is the best kind of feedback, obviously. I’m glad you’re all enjoying it!
I want more lessons is a subset of this is awesome, in a way. You’re totally right: the lessons are a bit skimpy at the moment. I wanted to get a base amount of stuff out there, so that I could make sure that everything was working smoothly before I built more on top of it.
This is broken on Windows. This, while unfortunate, is still good news. It worked great on my machine, but apparently on others’, it’s breaking. Such is life. This is now my biggest priority. Windows is incredibly important to me. Even though the downloads were split almost 50%/50%, I consider both Windows and OS X to be first-class platforms. I also have a lot of love for Linux, but since it has such smaller demand, and I’m only one guy, it’s a lower priority. This breaks my heart, but is the reality of the situation.
Where I’m going
Here’s the plan for the immediate future:
I’m going to release a 1.0.1 a little later this week. This’ll fix some small issues, such as typos in the tutorials, a bug where Samples aren’t showing up, and clarifying some parts of a lesson that some people found confusing.
I’m going to figure out what’s going on on Windows. I have a few ideas for how to fix this, but it’s my biggest priority. I spent a few hours getting everything squared away on my Macbook now, and so I’m pouring most of my attention into this.
I’ll continue to improve some last portions of the website that are broken. There are two or three fairly big holes at this point, and one major feature (email notifications on posts) that I want to get it.
A newsletter for Hackety users, that you can subscribe to to get updates, show off some example programs, point out other good resources, etc.
In the larger future:
Lessons, lessons, lessons. I want to have community lessons as well, so that you can share what you’re doing.
Fix an international keyboard bug that makes it hard for those with international keyboards to use the Editor. This is really unfortunate, and full i18n is in the future, too.
Better site/app integration. Create an account through the app. Download programs into Hackety directly. Automatic updates. Etc.
I have a complete roadmap with a few other things, but this is what’ll happen soonest. Really, getting these plans in motions is blocking by the Windows bugs. The faster I can bang them out, the faster the rest gets done.
You can help!
If anyone would like to give me a hand with this in any way, send me an email! I’d love some assistance. I’ll do whatever it takes to help you help me.
I hope you all had a good new year, and thanks again for all of your support. Happy Hacking!
Merry Christmas (and a 1.0 announcement)
Merry Christmas, everyone! This year, I’ve got another present for you: Hackety Hack v1.0! You can get it on version 2 of the Hackety Hack website.
It’s been a long, long road since the v0.9 release last year. Many people have put in a lot of hard work to bring Hackety Hack v1.0 to fruition. Everyone on Team Shoes, all the people who hang out in #hacketyhack, and especially Wilkie, for packaging up the Windows build. Fela’s hard work over the summer was a massive contribution.
I think I really enjoy Tumblr
I sort of made a leap of faith when I moved the Hackety Hack and Shoes blogs to Tumblr. My personal blog is on Posterous, and while it’s a fine service, I feel like I’m sort of in isolation. There isn’t a social element to it that is really important for what I’d like to accomplish with Hackety Hack and Shoes.
I feel at my most creative when I share what I’m doing with others, and hear what they have to say. I started a recent paper that I wrote with a quote from _why. I think it’s the most important thing he ever said.
When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people. so create.
Running around saying “_why _why _why” doesn’t do anyone any good, and I try to stay away from it, but I won’t stop repeating this particular quote. The act of creation brings people together: you and I are now forever connected, as you’ve just read what I’ve written. If you’ve read my things before, our bond is now stronger. Share and read enough things, and faraway people can feel like (and indeed be) old friends.
This is what Tumblr really gets right. It’s fundamentally about sharing, in a way that other blogging platforms seem to miss. These kinds of things are hard to grasp, sometimes: it’s more about culture than features. Tumblr is all about sharing things that you’ve either created or found. It just feels right.
I’m hoping that I can manage to capture this feeling, and imbue Hackety with the same kind of creative spirit. If I can make it easy for people to share the programs that they’ve made, I’ll be very happy, indeed.
How to attend Tomorrow’s Summit
Hello everyone! I figured I’d write up a small little how-to about IRC, so that if you’ve never been on it before, you can show up to the summit tomorrow!
IRC stands for “Internet Relay Chat.” It a chatting protocol like AIM, Jabber, or any of the other ones you may have used. IRC is still really popular in certain circles, since people have been using it for years.
clients let you connect to an IRC
server and chat with other people. Once you’ve connected to a
room, which are named starting with a # character. So, the Hackety Hack chatroom is on the “Freenode” server, in the “#hacketyhack” room.
When you connect to a server, you also provide a
handle, that identifies you to other people.
The easiest way to get connected is by downloading XChat. It’s a free client that works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, too!
To get started, open up XChat, and then pick “Server List” from the file menu. You should get something like this:
Pick a nickname, put in your real name if you’d like, and then scroll down the list until you find Freenode. Click the two boxes next to it, and then choose “connect”.
A bunch of text should scroll by, and look like this:
/join #hacketyhack to join the Hackety Hack room. Now you’re there! You’ll see the Message of the Day, everyone who’s in the room, and some other fun stuff:
Then just type to talk!
Feel free to stop by any time, not just tomorrow!
The first ever Hackety Hack Summit
Fun stufff: December 11th will mark the first ever Hackety Hack Summit. It’ll be held on IRC, on Freenode, in #hacketyhack, at 3pm EST. It’s gonna be fun!
Let me back up a minute: In the past, I’ve been kinda bad about transparency, and letting people know what I’ve been doing with Hackety Hack. This means that it’s hard for others to get involved, it looks like nothing’s going on with the project to outsiders, and other stuff. So, I decided a virtual meetup would be a great way to get everyone on the same page.
If you want to hear about what’s new with the project, you’re curious about it, you want to ask me some questions, anything… then’s your time! Of course, you could do that in #hacketyhack at any time, because I idle there 24/7, but it’s more fun when there’s a party! Until then, I’m head down with my GRE studying and writing sample efforts.