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Sun, Nov. 6th, 2011, 09:32 pm
Rewrite

At work we're in the process of rewriting Firefox for Android to replace most of our JavaScript/XUL front-end code with new code using Android's Java frameworks. This is looking like a very good move technically, but on a personal level it sort of cast me adrift. I've been working on the XUL front-end code for almost two years, and suddenly everything I've done or was about to do is living in a codebase that's soon to be abandoned.

Most of the team has jumped straight into the new front-end code, but I've had trouble doing that, partly because I had some loose ends to wrap up in the old code so we can ship the next few updates, and also because I was tired out from our last big project and didn't have the energy to jump right into another one. So I spent a couple weeks doing simple janitorial work like bug-fixing and sheriffing. This gave me some extra mental energy for my free-time projects like the AI class, and learning enough LLVM to contribute some patches to the Rust programming language.

I'm glad that I've learned to recognize swings in my productivity cycle. Instead of denial and procrastination during the low-motivation periods, now I try to accept them and use them to regroup. I think my anti-burnout strategy worked this time, since I now have some ideas of new projects I'm excited to try in the new codebase. If I'm lucky, that means I'm back on the upward swing of a new cycle.