Plans for this year

Three weeks in the new year it's time to look ahead.

In the recent couple of months I could not be as productive as I used to be. My baby project just takes too much of my spare time - not that I would want it any different. However, that means I have to be cautious about any plans for this year. I probably can't deliver much, with most of my energy being in high demand either at my client or at home.

Nevertheless, I still see three things I want to tackle this year.

  • Lilwonders
  • AngleSharp v1
  • Conference(s)

While the goal to reach the first release of AngleSharp is not new (it is indeed a technical debt from last year), as is my affinity towards attending and speaking at conferences, the first item is definitely something new. It is a project that was literally born last year. Unfortunately, I could not make it beyond the architecture yet, but I am indeed on good hope that this will change soon. At this point in time I would also write one or the other post about it.

So what about AngleSharp? Here we still need the final release of the v0.10, which will include a changed extension architecture. This one will also excuse CSS, which means it will also mark the first release of the CSS extension library. There is, however, more that is blocking v1 at the moment. A proper documentation is still missing. To provide this I still need to develop two things:

  1. A good documentation system (based either on RST or MD) that converts to HTML (trivial usually) or PDF (most solutions need Pandoc/LaTeX for this, which is not my preferred way), i.e., a suitable documentation generator
  2. A nice text-based drawing solution (like TikZ, but much more lightweight, i.e., without any dependency to LaTeX)

The overall goal here should be to be able to generate the documentation from human-readable text files without any compromise (diagrams can also be given in text form such that changes are trivial). The diagram part is really important for me, as otherwise one would need two things to provide: The file in a (usually) proprietary format for the raw editing (which will also require some application to perform the editing) and the file(s) in a standard format such as PNG or JPG. I would like to reduce this to one file in an open format, which can be transformed in a compile step (which is the same compile step that is used for the documentation to be generated).

Therefore, at this point in time I assume that the documentation part of AngleSharp is somehow a project on its own. Still I want to do it as I feel it is an important project - not only to fill the gap where documentation is missing. Maybe someone has a good solution here already. I assume that Wyam could be a suitable basis for the whole project. I need to invest more time in research or find some interesting talks. Which brings me to my last project for this year: Conference(s).

Last year I was not quite active in this area. I spoke at one or the other conference in the first half, but did not do anything in the second half. Of course, here I was busy with my baby project and involved in the organization of a study group at a summer school. I now feel its time to get back to some conferences. I can't give any details right now (as everything is uncertain in this area), but I will most likely at least attend one conference (and potentially give one or the other talks). Also if the timing is right I may also be part in the organization of a conference. Again, details have to be omitted at this point in time, but once I know more I will also communicate these details.

All in all I assume that even though this year may not be my most productive one it may still be a very interesting and important one.

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