This is a longish post… there were bunches of ideas rattling around in
I’ve been wondering how I can manage my snippets of code. I try to
experiment with self-contained examples whenever I have a particularly
interesting problem I want to remember the solution to. But it’s all
disorganized, and sometimes it’s housed past my END statements at
the end of various half-finished scripts. That’s a great way to lose my
It’s a horror for me to suspect that I know how to solve a problem, and
that I’ve done it before, and not quite remember how I did it before
because I can’t find that one block of code.
The one thing I know about myself is that I will never entirely and
reliably remember enough of my past solutions. I know this is
unrealistic for most people but I know that it’s entirely impossible for
me. Nomatter how I absorb myself with something, I’ll always forget
bits of the knowledge. On the plus side, this makes me great with
documentation since I write everything down. =)
So, I want to house all of my snippets within a useful and
easily-used/searched documentation structure of some kind. Because this
is an itch, my personal rule/habit is for me to lay down some code to
solve the problem for myself. But this seems like a large-ish project.
What I really wanted to learn is:
Do you use a snippets-helper of some kind? If so, what?
Do you think it’s a good idea for me to make my own tool and then
outgrow it and use someone else’s afterwards?
It’s not a problem for me to reach out and find a couple of dozen
websites and applications which would solve this problem. But I just
wanted to hear some opinions/testimonials for existing tools. Some
people may use some interesting solutions that I might not find by
But a self-created database feel simple on the surface – just a few
fields, each are searchable: topic(s), title, abstract, keywords, code
code, example code, example output, ‘see also’ links, notes and maybe
some other stuff. I’d learn a bit of database stuff and some helpful
new libraries. It sounds like a definable project whose
completion-payoff would be incalculable. Actually, it sounds like a
Rails project, but I’m not ready to go there.
But I kindof imagine being able to search through all of my existing
projects to find real-world examples of the code in use. And then I
could somehow embed comments within my code which talked about the code
and helped the searchability. That’s definitely way over my head, but
if it were implemented elsewhere I’d love to use it.
There are some nice documentation systems out there but they seem
focused around single-project documentation and not on gathering info
and searching through an entire messy and unrelated collection of
scripts like what I’d want.