jakimfett's lab

bits of code and other random musings

Project Triage —

When is a project worth saving?

My thoughts on rewriting, expending time and energy building or rebuilding a project.


I struggle with this question a lot.

I chronically take on more projects than I can handle, and then a few (or a lot) of them drop off my radar and get abandoned.

Here is how I’ve started the process of triaging my projects:
Am I proud of what the project does?
If the answer is yes, it’s probably worth rewriting, building additions to, or otherwise continuing in some fashion.
If the answer is no, then it’s time to wrap up the project and pass it off to someone else, or let it die.


Practical example of this sort of triage. I’m not proud of Minechem 5. There’s a lot of ugly hacks that myself and others have built into the codebase to make stuff work decently well most of the time. But it’s also, in essence, a pretty simple mod, conceptually. Once you have the base mechanic (throw stuff into the decomposer, recombine chemicals with the synthesis machine), the rest is just figuring out which things have the best combinations of chemicals for what you want to make. Almost everyone ends up with excessive quantities of Hydrogen that they can’t do anything with, test tubes apparently appear from thin air, power usage is weird and sometimes buggy, and it makes no sense that you can see chemical compounds with an optical microscope.

That said, the idea, of putting pseudo-real chemistry into Minecraft in an easily approachable form is one I like. Which is why I eventually put a feature freeze on Minechem 5 and focused my efforts towards Minechem 6.

I don’t plan to update Minechem 5. I’m really hoping I can get some form of Minechem 6 released before I die of old age, because I’m excited about the ideas and implementation of the ideas.


I don’t like doing triage. It means I have to lay to rest all the ideas and plans I’ve developed around a project, and sometimes it’s really painful, especially for projects I’ve been working on for a long time.

Categorised as: Minechem | Minecraft

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