Racing Against The Clock

I usually take advantage of Summer break to reacquaint myself with real life in various guises, seeing as I’ve always considered it to mark the yearly cycle–a perception that I suppose was ingrained by academia and that I find no reason to do away with seeing as it is still (theoretically, at least) the longest period of time I spend away from “regular” work.

But, invariably, when chance smiles upon me against all odds (or, rather, despite the kids) and I manage to string together more than a couple of quiet hours, I usually spend them going through a variation of the seven stages of grief, which this year amounted to the following:

  • Disbelief: realizing I don’t have to use Windows or check mail at all.
  • Denial: bingeing on all the books I was unable to get to since Christmas for the first few days, so that I can take my mind off work by bludgeoning it into submission.
  • Anger: taking stock of the dismaying neglect my hobbies have fallen into (namely photography, where I had over two years of photos to sort through and file properly).
  • Bargaining: fixing various things around the house (which this year included hacking away at my HomeKit setup, poring through the HAP-python source code and filing some bugs).
  • Guilt: Tidying up drawers and closets I haven’t really looked into since last year.
  • Depression: (which is where I’m at right now): going ballistic during the last few days after realizing I’m not going to get half of what I wanted done, and wondering if it will ever happen.
  • Acceptance: firing up my work machine to let Windows update go through its paces, pointedly avoiding checking mail until Monday.

I’m currently mulling the sad state of native app development–I need to build a simple GUI app to view the contents of a sqlite database and allow for some simple filtering, and having zero desire to build anything with even a smidgeon of web-related technology (except perhaps JavaScript for Automation), most paths are fraught with discouraging complexity:

  • I don’t have the time (this week) to learn how do it in Swift or the patience to do it in Objective-C (although I’m sorely tempted to reminisce on my NeXT days).
  • I can’t be bothered to get PyObjC working (partly because it doesn’t install with the system Python in High Sierra and partly because it requires fiddling with a dedicated Python build), and I’d like the end result to run on Mojave.
  • Xamarin.Forms doesn’t seem to do what I want on the Mac (only on mobile), and the “direct” C# approach doesn’t seem any simpler than Obj-C.
  • Tkinter works, but is far too archaic to do what I want (I need a modern, extensible list view)
  • The only way I’d even consider using Java is through Clojure and this wrapper, but I’m not sure I want to go down that particular rabbit hole even though I like the idea.

I definitely don’t like where computing is going, but I have no time to save the world right now… There’s still so much other stuff I need to at least try to do over the next few days.