Going back to MyKidsLibrary.com

I've been playing hard with AppEngine, Python and Django for a couple of weeks now, and I've managed to come out of it with a useful application: this blog.  While I'd hardly say that it is finished, as there are still some features that I'd like to add, I have climbed the steep -- and thus challenging, interesting, addictive -- part of the learning curve.  So, I can no longer justify continuing to blow off MyKidsLibrary.com.

MKL is my primary off-hours project, and it has been for almost a year now.  It's been in public beta for a couple months now, and I am just beginning to implement the larger features that were suggested by the very helpful and considerate testers.  Apparently, as it stands, it lacks the stickiness that is mandatory for a successful social/crowd-sourcing web site.  Last night, I designed the data models for the new capabilities, and I started getting that buzzy feeling of excitement that I had lost during the last few months of coding that preceded the start of beta.

Getting back in to the Ruby on Rails groove was easy and enjoyable.  As cool as AppEngine is right now, Rails beats it hands-down for a productive development experience.  It was also nice to be back in NetBeans.  Komodo and the other IDEs that I played around with for Python were decent enough, but they felt immature, especially as I never was able to do any kind of step-through-the-code debugging with AppEngine and the tools that I had.  That seriously rubs me the wrong way; I've been coding far-too-long to be stuck with printf-style debugging.  It's bad enough that working with dynamically-typed languages seriously limits the code completion that is available.

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