Friday, March 6, 2009

Hello World

Hello world,

I've been working on a project called Modkit, on and off, for well over a year now and have been thinking about the ideas behind the project for at least the past three years.. In that time, I have discussed, brainstormed, argued and demoed the ideas and ongoing implementation with and for a small but important group of people..

I've talked and demoed around the world @ the Boston Fab Lab, the MIT Media Lab, One Laptop Per Child, the Austin Maker Faire '07, the Bay Area Maker Faire '08, Sketching '08 in Providence RI, Scratch@MIT '08, MagicBox@SmartLab London, and the Second, Third and Fourth International Fab Lab Forums and Symposiums on Digital Fabrication in Lyngen Norway, Pretoria South Africa and at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

This small but tight knit community of educators, hackers, makers, fabbers, builders, tinkerers, programmers, and doers have helped mold both the technical and ideological aspects of the project.. The project (and myself) have gained immensely from their input, suggestions, and insights.. Unfortunately, the demands of my personal life, community work and thriving software consultancy, often require me to leave the project alone for weeks or months at a time.. But it is the encouragement of this group, that pushes me to neglect my consulting work from time to time, adding a feature or two to Modkit, feeling that I can't neglect my favorite project for too long..

I received much of this encouragement, from the Make (O'Reilly) team or from people I met at their events.. Recently, a friend named Brian Jepson (also an editor at Make) emailed me to ask about Modkit.. His last question made me think:

" Is there a blog/twitter feed I should be following to keep up with developments?"

For the last year, I've been demoing the different stages of my prototype implementation.. When people tell me that they have been dreaming of such a system and would like to know where to download or sign up, I usually exchange emails and tell them I will keep them in the loop.. This usually means emailing them a few months later apologizing that I have not yet opened up a beta program or posted any downloads.. Now I know I need to get this stuff out, but that always seems to be just over the horizon (when I have a "free" weekend to add some functionality, clean up the UI and chase down some javascript bugs - when do I ever have a "free" weekend?)..

In the meantime, here it is: The Modkit Blog! A place to keep all those people-who-have-encouraged-me updated, and have those same people trash me for not releasing this stuff last year (a little pressure never hurts).. Until we open the beta.....

I'll keep you posted,

Ed

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