Confessions of a Neophiliac.

When I started searching for a definition for Neophile I groaned, I hadn't realised that it's more Robert Anton Wilson, roughly,

A neophile or neophiliac can be defined as a personality type characterized by a strong affinity for novelty.

Which describes me perfectly at work, and what a great time to be a neophiliac! Everyday there is a new framework, editor, design pattern or language to try out, new methodologies, new everything all the time.

Messing around with the Github's new Atom editor at lunch time I was struck how easy it they'd made it to swap from Textmate 2 (and I'm guessing Sublime) and used it for a day until I found the snippet system too limiting (I couldn't replicate the options in Textmate snippets - they look like this: Textmate snippet options
).

After previewing Atom I ended up reccomending it to a collegue who is using TextWrangler. Now TextWrangler is great but trying to use it on their machine to edit a project made me think of the following exchange in the Hitchhikers Guide:

Marvin: It's printed in the Earthman's brainwave patterns, but I don't suppose you'd be interested in knowing that.

Arthur Dent: You mean you can see into my mind?

Marvin: Yes.

Arthur Dent: Well?

Marvin: It amazes me how you manage to live in anything that small.

('It' in this case being TextWrangler.)

I'm not saying we should use new cool stuff because its new and cool (I'm sure everyone has been on a project that is suddenly based around something new that it transpires is not a good fit).

But I don't understand, surrounded by all this cool new stuff, all these excting ideas and techniques you wouldn't take a little time to try them out, especially since it's so available.

I suppose you might find the time spent learning possibly useless stuff not worth the risk, or argue that its just distraction from real work but personally I don't think I could live in a world that small.