The state of hobby-coding

This is something I’ve talked about for quite a while already on my personal journal, but never really mentioned in public. Hence it’s probably no surprise to a number of you–or maybe even to all of you, as I’m sure it’s been obvious that development on Enthusiast, and pretty much all of my other linkware scripts, have stalled. Being rather out of the loop recently with anything fanlisting-related, I actually have no idea if anyone’s still interested ;) but I would like to explain a little about what happened behind the scenes.

I enjoy coding. I enjoyed it many years ago when I made my first website from scratch, and I continue to enjoy it today. I especially enjoy making things that I can use but make it so that other people can use it, too. I like finding out that something I made is useful for others. That’s the whole reasoning behind all of the linkware scripts that I have done.

And then, Enthusiast happened. For whoever of you who have no interest in the fanlisting online community, you probably have no idea what it is. Enthusiast is a fanlistings and fanlistings collective management script, and a pretty damn good one (at the very least, back when I was active in the community). I have no idea where fanlisting scripts stand nowadays, but I’d like to think Enth is holding its own even if it’s old and “clunky”. I started writing the earliest versions for myself, prettied it enough to make it downloadable, and in no time at all it was huge (figuratively and literally).

It’s still my baby. I loff it the same way I loffed it before. But after months (a year? more?) of hemming and hawing, I’ve decided that I needed to step back from it, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. Enth has affected my life a huge deal, in many different ways.

The good things:

  1. The no-brainer: easier fanlistings management! I love fanlistings, they’re cozy and cuddly. But they can be crazy in droves! But Enth has really pulled through for me on this.
  2. I learned a lot about PHP coding from making Enthusiast. A lot, from things I researched myself, and things people taught and showed me.
  3. I’ve met a lot of people via Enth; from users to fellow coders. A number of them I’ve grown quite close to, even if we’ve all slowly moved away from fanlistings.
  4. I can’t begin to imagine how much time I’ve spent on Enthusiast, but the time spent with it has been, on the whole, very enjoyable.

Enth’s popularity does have its downsides, such as:

  1. Enth’s slowly morphed into something almost unmanageable. I’ve felt a bit of pressure with doing this and doing that simply because, well, it’s what users want. While generally these are things that I do want somewhere down the line, it’s just slowly gotten to the point when my hobby project has become a bit of a burden and yet there’s this pressure to work on this, to fix this, to add this feature.
  2. The pressure related to this has affected my participation in the fanlistings community. I’ve felt guilty working on my fanlistings when Enth (Enth4 specifically) is still not done. I haven’t applied for any fanlisting in ages because of the same.
  3. People’s expectations seem to keep rising and rising. I have no idea what people expect now, but that’s because I’ve purposely avoided knowing what they are, now. I want to make Enth better so much, and I have a lot of ideas on how to do that; but can you imagine how many will complain about what happened to this feature, or why is this doing this now, or I’m not moving because it’s a pain to upgrade. These are certainly all part and parcel of getting a script up for others to download, but little ol’ me feels overwhelmed.

I feel it’s sad that the reason why I worked on Enthusiast (that is, fanlisting) became something I avoided or felt guilty about doing because of Enthusiast.

I’ve gone through months and months of agonizing about this. The fact that I do have other things on my plate doesn’t help with the indecision and the pressure that I was getting, too. When I finally made the decision to put Enth on hold, I finally felt that I could breathe easier.

And thus, there you have it. Enthusiast is officially on hold. All development is stalled, I haven’t looked at any Enth code in months. It doesn’t mean to say I will never go back to it, but it won’t be for a good while. :) Maybe when I can get back into the fanlistings world, eh?

If you have any questions, concerns, or any general comments about Enth (or anything else dev-related I have done), please feel free to comment and ask. (Don’t ask me for troubleshooting support though ;) that doesn’t change, haha!)


  • Ah, I am late, but I always am! :P

    I feel for you so much on this, because it’s hard to look at something you’ve worked SO hard on, and avoid it because it became too much, or you just didn’t feel like working on it. A site became that to me, and I unfortunately gave it up – I felt that if I couldn’t give it my all, it wasn’t worth it, and it ended up opening more doors for me than it had before I closed it; I’d like to think that even though you haven’t permanently put Enthusiast on hold, if you ever do, that it’ll open doors for you, or for others.

    I know you get a lot of slack and pressure from Enthusiast, but every commenter (er, most? I’m being slightly lazy!) is right: Enthusiast was and is amazing, and you’ve managed to great something good out of the bad that FanBase turned into. I learnt a lot from studying Enthusiast, and I wouldn’t personally be where I’m at without it.

    I wish you the best of luck with Enthusiast, and I know we will all (for the most part!) be 100% behind you! <3

    • Thanks, Tess! If you’ve learned from studying Enth, that’s great :D I’m happy Enth has helped in that sense as well. <3

  • I’m with Danielle – It’s all I use, too, not to sound too biased or anything but I’ve done all the scripts – and I’ve never wanted to kick Enth’s ass like I did with the others, lol. I couldn’t keep all my beloved lovelies without it, and to be quite frank I won’t be moving on if you decide not to work on it again. I loves it too much!

    Thank the gods for you, man, you don’t even know how many or much thank you’s you’ve got coming to you. It would be weird if I just hugged you through the computer, right? Right. That would be.. weird.

    I know to an extent what it’s like when a beloved project starts to become a chore, and you have every right to pause or completely stop doing whatever you want to do. Your scripts are amazing – and free – and nobody can ask for more than that. :)

  • The last word I’d use to describe Enth is “antiquated” — it’s all I’ll use lol. It does everything I need, and does it well. [shrug] You should be proud, but you shouldn’t let it burden you forever, as you’ve concluded. No website, script or anything else should shackle you forever to duty… if it’s burdensome, lay it aside. Your sanity comes first!


    • Thanks, Danielle! <33 I still remember the very early days of Enth where you were one of the first users. If not actually the first. XD <3

  • Hhehehehe! Hey! You used the usericons na! :D

  • *hugs* As sad as it is to hear this news I can completely understand and in the end you can only do what is best for you. We (of TFL community) are so very lucky that you gave your time to create such an awesome script and I know I appreciate it so much.

    Enthusiast is still used by a whole lot of people (me included). I will say that a new generation of coders is emerging and new fanlisting scripts are in the works!

    I love your script, I love you for making it. But realistically it would be hard for you to keep this going forever. I will be thrilled if you release a new version but having said that I won’t be a poo and harass you with emails on planned features. I know I did that to you and I apologise, I think I was caught up in the excitement. Silly Kya.

    Don’t worry about it. Take a breath and relax and whatever is meant to be will happen. Even if you stop production on it, at least you know that other people are making scripts so our community is not scriptly helpless.


    • Oh Kya, not at all <3 Don't worry about it. And you didn't harass :O If you did I would have remembered it, haha--and I don't remember ever feeling harassed by you <3 Believe me I was also caught up with all of those planned features back then. It's just going back to them can be quite, quite daunting.

      I do know there are lots of capable people in the community, and that's fabulous--it's also actually the reason why I believe/thought Enth would probably be "old school" and "antiquated" by now XD

  • Hi Angela,

    Don’t worry about your “Enthusiast” fan listing web software. Maybe you might work on a different, new idea. I’m sure lots of people out there appreciated so much for what you’ve done for the Open Source Community. Wish you all the best!

    Jojo Siao

    • Hi Jojo, thanks! Certainly not worrying about Enth right now, just giving myself time to get back into the swing of things :)