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This is a "Now Page", and you should make one too. Last updated on 2024-01-16.


I've been scratching my Shiny Thing itches with a few small side-projects. Wotzal was probably the most fun - I built it to provide a fun way for my herd of growing children to sharpen their maths skills, and to occasionally put my own brain through some different challenges. In theory, it's a vast resource of maths puzzles, where as you progress with your skills it will present you harder and harder problems.

For Readable, our ongoing effort to split the product into three has made good headway, and the current challenge is how we distribute customer data. We'd like to be able to offer hosting of data on either side of the pond, as well as for enterprise customers on their own hardware or their own location. That's coming along well.

I switched ads back on with Cheatography a year or so ago, with Freestar handling the inventory, and so far that's worked well. I still don't like having ads, and I'd love a better revenue model for the site, but with most of the traffic being drive-by downloaders, nothing else has come close to covering the costs of the project.

We're moving some or all of our sites from my own homegrown framework over to Laravel. AsUsedBy is the first project we've started work on, and it's not too bad so far. A lot of the decisions I made with my framework are compatible with Laravel, and some of the bits I'd always wanted to do come as standard features with it, so it's the right choice. Reinventing the wheel is fun, but not the most useful way to spend time.


Docker. Docker is next. Alongside the rest of the Readable rejig. Docker will allow us to get other developers up and running with projects far faster, and improve our testing and deployment.

The other big goal for 2024 is exactly the same as it was for 2021, and that didn't happen in 2021: for me to take a holiday. My company being so reliant on me isn't healthy for me and isn't health for the company. We recently (on a geological timescale, similar to that with which I post blog updates) doubled our developer headcount with a second one, so progress is being made in that direction.