I wish I was still a student

Tonight I’m not going to write anything technical, I don’t really feel the mood for it. I spent the whole day with a huge headache trying to understand how to best complete my task for my current job (it’s not nice to have to work without full specifications at hand), and I’m really out of my energy.

I guess my problem is that last year, with my whole health situation, I’ve sent a lot of time researching, rather than working on software, to the point that my mind now is filled with stuff like packages that have issues, ways to identify issues in packages, common patterns in problems, tricks and other details that I could make use to write documentation, or to improve software in general. But I don’t have time to apply them, and they keep getting at me during the night stopping me from sleeping properly. It’s detrimental to my health too.

I have to decide that I don’t want to do some things, I have to decide that some things are out of my scope, and I have to decide that others will have to fix issues. Unfortunately, often enough it turns out that nobody else is interested in those things and either I handle them myself or they’ll be left lingering, which I don’t like at all.

Does anybody have a solution?

I’ve been trying to spread the word about issues, and see if someone else would like to pick them up but I received very little feedback up to now. Even all the bugs I filed about bundled libraries, just a few were handled directly, a lot were just forwarded upstream and the issue will likely stay there for a very long time. I’ve also sent patches around to fix the AC_CANONICAL_TARGET problem, but after the most common projects picked them up, I started to hit difficulties on preparing and submitting them. A lot of projects, even well known like ImageMagick or OpenVPN have some issues with making it clear where the source repositories are and were to submit patches; their mailing lists reject messages coming from non-subscribers, the former lacks a bug tracker as far as I can see, while the latter uses the nasty SourceForge one.

Is this going to help? I’m afraid not. Even though I’ve been doing this, I really don’t count on the voice to be spread by itself, although hopefully some people might learn from the examples I’m trying to set around.

Since I started using Remember The Milk, I kept on adding tasks, and rarely have been able to complete more than a couple a week. Even the most trivial ones. I kept adding topics for the blog to write, but what you’ve read up to now has rarely been fished out of that topic pool, but rather written out of what new topics I kept thinking of before going to sleep or while eating meals.

Then there is the software I’d like to fix issues with, or improve: xine, FFmpeg, Ruby-Elf, libcdio, xdg-utils (so I can package the newer versions of Calibre), … having found some interest in OpenMP does not help because now I’d like to make use of it, and I just don’t have time.

I really don’t know how much I can proceed this way without having a nervous breakdown.