Lately, there’s been a trend of users on dev.to sharing projects that died. Naturally, I decided to dive in, but I wanted to take a closer look at my GitHub Graveyard here on The Renegade Coder. At any rate, let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
What Qualifies as Dead?
In my opinion, a project is dead when you have no intent on reviving it. In other words, there’s no minimum number of days of inactivity required. It’s really just a personal decision.
I’ve declared projects dead for a variety of reasons. Sometimes projects turn out to be too hard. Other times personal obligations get in the way. Personally, I tend to work with projects to the point of hating them, so burnout is a common problem of mine. I’ve also found that projects can just turnout less exciting than I’ve expected.
In many cases, I’ve started projects that contain a ton of one-off scripts. Often times, these scripts served one process for a short amount of time. Ultimately, those scripts die on GitHub.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with letting a project die. If you see a project going nowhere, it’s noble to kill it.
A Series of Dead Projects
I’ve noticed that a lot of people in this discipline have many personal projects. Honestly, I don’t, and that’s okay. That said, that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to do anything cool—at least once!
Up first in my GitHub Graveyard is PopLibrary, a passive income library application. I started this project back in spring of 2016 right around when I graduated from college. Nearly a year later, I gave up.
Over the course of a year, I tried to implement PopLibrary in three different frameworks: JavaFX, Windows App, and Laravel. In the first two scenarios, I tried to leverage what I already knew to create an app. Unfortunately, I ran into security issues with Amazon API keys, so I decided to move to a web solution. At that point, I threw in the towel.
My primary motivator for giving up the project was the challenge. If it were somehow easier to create a web application, I may have done it, but I’m just not equipped for that kind of environment.
You might notice that I’m actually trying to revive PopLibrary as I’ve listed it among my active projects on the site. Personally, I don’t plan on working on it, but I’d love for someone to help give it some life. I’d hate to see it truly die.
Over the years, I’ve worked on a lot of video games. Unfortunately, they’ve all pretty much died in one way or another.
I have to give the first GitHub Graveyard honor to Orpheus which was my first ever video game. I developed it back in 2014 while I was abroad in Manchester. Of course, the game was for a course which happened to be in sound design. I spent a large part of that semester playing around in Blender and even learning a little Python.
Since I was in a class full of music majors, I got to show off a bit. As a result, I ended up scoring a 90% which is an insanely high score according to the British grading system. In some cases, a score that high can be considered publishable work. That said, I probably wouldn’t show Orpheus to anyone.
In addition to Orpheus, I’ve also worked on a couple other class projects using Unity including It Takes a Village, a Postpartum Depression therapy game, and Poof Paradise, a Farmville/Pokémon philanthropy game. Unfortunately, like most school projects, both of these projects died immediately after the course.
Ironically, Poof Paradise started as a Farmville-style of game based in a graveyard. As a result, the repository was initially called Gravehub which sort suits the code it holds now. I remember making jokes about how our code was just going there to die, and that statement still holds today.
Finally, I worked briefly on a Tower Defense game in Unity with a buddy, but we really weren’t all that committed to it. As a result, it died a slow painful death.
About two years ago now, I got an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Naturally, I spent the next few weeks playing with them before ultimately never touching them again.
Later, I found myself doing basic Arduino projects. In fact, I was given a kit which included a ton of fun stuff like LEDs and cables. Unfortunately, I’m not all that hardware savvy, so I ultimately sent that repository to the GitHub Graveyard as well.
Finally, I used to own a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) unit by QNAP. The original purpose for the NAS was to host all my Plex media. Naturally, that was all phased out by Plex Cloud shortly after I made the purchase. That said, for a short time, I wrote a few scripts for managing Plex media automatically. As fate would have it, all my QNAP scripts sit in my GitHub Graveyard.
If you got into programming in college like me, then you probably have several tomb stones in your GitHub Graveyard just for class projects. I know I touched on this a bit in the games section, but I also took several other classes where I leveraged GitHub: Artificial Intelligence, Graphics, and even Operating Systems.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t started playing with git until 2014 when I took a compilers class. Sadly, that code is long gone, and it’s perhaps my proudest achievement: I wrote my own compiler. For whatever reason, the professor chose to host all of our code on a private server, and I never thought to save a copy of my work. In fact, I don’t even have any notes from that class. It’s a shame and perhaps the truest code graveyard imaginable.
Remembering My GitHub Graveyard
After taking a bit more time to look back over some of my old projects, I’ve grownkind of nostalgic. In a weird way, it makes me want to find maintainers for all that lost work, but who’s going to do it? After all, everyone has their own GitHub Graveyard. How would we choose which projects to revive? Perhaps that’s a topic for another time!
As always, thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate it. That said, I’d appreciate it even more if you subscribed to The Renegade Coder. That way, you can stay up to date with more articles like this.
Well, until next time!
As we roll into 2023, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my most recent milestone in academia. I'm a PhD candidate!
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