published on Wednesday, November 6, 2013:

A word on Tinker

So, as some of you may know, I have a little side project called Tinker. As some of you also might know, Tinker is down at the moment, and I’d like to a moment to explain how this exactly came to pass. This post is somewhat difficult to write, so try to go easy on me…

Without wanting to sound too dramatic or anything, my life has been somewhat chaotic the past 5-6 years, riddled with financial issues, moving around a lot and a relationship that died. I am okay with all that though, since it affected me, and me alone.

When Tinker went down, that wasn’t the case. Tinker was never used by many people, but there were still people that used it (roughly 2000 per month), and kept their data on there. Since Tinker was something I did in my free time, I never gave any kind of warranty.

It only ever cost me money, never generated any, but it was a labour of love. I genuinely enjoy(ed) working on it every second, overcoming issues and eventually rewriting almost everything to make it more decoupled, making sure each part of the application could be swapped out.

It’s gone now, like… gone, gone

I’ll spare you the details, but due to my leaving London I was left without a credit card, and those things aren’t really common back in Holland (where I am now), so I was unable to pay Linode. Aside from that I’ve also been horribly broke the past months, so even if I had the money, I would not have been able to afford it.

Due to not being able to pay the bill for the server and not being able to get a credit card and such in time, Tinker’s data is all gone. I can’t even begin to express how shitty I feel about this, but there’s just literally no way of getting it back at this point. The Linode it was on got securely deleted, so all the data is gone.

Yes, I should have offered a way for users to retrieve their data in some meaningful way, but I was broke, stressed and unable to give a fuck. But in hindsight I feel like a selfish ass for not doing this, so I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me.

The future

So what’s going to happen with Tinker in the future? Truth is, I’m not entirely sure; a part of me would really like to get it up and running again since it was always a lot of fun to work on, but with today’s “market” where there are plenty of such tools available, I wonder if there is even a want/need for it anymore.

I initially created Tinker because back when I worked at Spotify, there was a need for an internal code-sharing tool like jsFiddle. I did some looking around, but found that jsFiddle was closed-source and there were some plans to do licensing in the future. I didn’t really want to wait for that to happen so I decided to cook something up myself, have some fun with it and make it open-source while I was at it.

By now there are plenty of other open-source alternatives, JS Bin probably being the most used/popular at the moment. That said, I did always have a bunch of, in my opinion, cool ideas for things to add to Tinker and make it more useful to the end user, so perhaps there is still some kind of point to continuing with Tinker and putting it back up.

So I guess it’s at least partially up to you guys. Is there any point in me keeping the domain name and improving it again as I was before? I know there’s no comments section on this site and that’s not likely to change (for now, anyway), so if you want to be heard feel free to ping me on twitter.

Thanks for reading.


:e: forgot to mention, if you’re into using IRC, there’s also a channel on freenode. Feel free to drop in there to talk, too!