Update on Shine

Hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Obviously, it’s well past November. So it’s time to share what’s been going on.

(Most of what I’m writing here comes from a Twitter thread I posted a few weeks ago. Although my Twitter posts include a variety of things that probably doesn’t interest people who only want info about Shine, it is the easiest way for me to post updates about anything I’m thinking about.)

Long story short, I’ve been taking a break from Shine.

I’ve been diving back into working on the Nova system for Shine and, honestly, I don’t like working on it all that much. It’s important to have in there if Shine is going to actually properly become useful, but it sucks my fun and kills my motivation. It’s been my biggest hurdle for months upon months, and no matter how much I design or plan for it, it’s still hard for me to work up the desire to get it done.

On top of that, I’m frankly not sure how much of an actual need there is for my program.

I’ll admit that Shine is more of a portfolio builder for me at this point, rather than being some marketable, revolutionary product. I’ve long since abandoned the idea of this program being able to be sold for a profit. And honestly, I feel more okay with being able to freely share with the world my work, no paywall needed.

But I know that there isn’t exactly much genuine interest in the program itself. The interest I’ve personally seen in the program just comes from my friends’ interest in me, and my projects. I could be working on any other program or project and people would still respond the same. People think it’s “cool” and “awesome” that I’ve undertaken a project like this, but I don’t really hear people saying that they’ve been “wanting something like this”.

Shine by itself isn’t garnering the attention that I thought it would, either by my friends or outside my friend groups, but I’ve honestly done literally no marketing either. (Why would I market a product that’s unfinished?) But truthfully, Shine fills a hole that other program have already adequately filled. People aren’t clamoring for a new calendar app. Things were a bit different at the time I announced I was starting this project, but at this point, the other programs are “good enough” for what a calendar app can do, and a number of them exceed what a one-man project is really capable of: being backed by machine learning, or integration into larger services, or being able to roll out major changes to multiple platforms at the same time. Shine may do certain things in a slightly better or convenient way, but I don’t think it’s that competitive with what others offer.

I’ve been doing work on other projects in the meantime though, some more related to Shine than others. The UI library that I’ve built alongside Shine has been getting some major improvements and is nearing a public release of its own. The installer program I created has also been improving, although that’s further away from being usable by anyone else. But changes to those both do trickle back into improving Shine, even if I’m not actually directly working on Shine.

I’ve learned a lot from working on Shine and these other projects; I still really want to continue working on it and making it grow. Shine is already pretty functional and useful as it is, but finishing the Nova system and implementing those last missing features so I can reach that 1.0 release would make it as good as I can reasonably make it right now.

I want to build up the motivation to push through and finish these last things, but doing so before the end of 2019 obviously isn’t going to happen. I plan to resume work on Shine in February 2020. And I guess I’ll aim for 1.0 before the end of 2020. Hopefully sooner.

So, well, that’s the news with Shine. I’ve been meaning to write this for quite a while, it just hasn’t been a priority of mine to do so. But now it’s finally done.

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