It has been a frustrating few weeks. We are working our way through the legal steps to secure our future home. Last week we learnt that there would be an additional delay.
The delay was not entirely unexpected. We saw it coming but others did not heed our warnings in time. After months of getting our side ready, even transferring funds into escrow, the meeting to sign was cancelled at the last moment.
A critical document was missing from the seller’s dossier. Without the document nothing can be signed and sealed.
Born of Annoyance
The funds have been returned and we await a new signing date.
Rather than sit impotently by, I channeled my energy into something I could control. I wrote and published a new application.
A while ago Megan asked me how she could shuffle pages within a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. She had teaching resources that she wanted to reuse but the order and content of the pages was becoming predictable.
Had these been printed bingo or flash cards, she could have easily jumbled them up herself. But these were not physical cards. They were PDF documents on her tablet computer.
Over the following hour, I learnt that needing to shuffle pages within a document is rare enough to be difficult to do. Reordering or moving pages is possible but only one move at a time. OS X even includes a shuffle Automator action but it does not shuffle, it interleaves.
I put together a small command line tool to perform the shuffle. Since then, that tool has been good enough for Megan but not ideal. Having to use the Terminal.app is not a great experience.
With the changing of the signing date, it messed up my schedule. I found myself with a short gap in my schedule and too much personal distraction to focus on anything too demanding.
I looked through my list of possible future projects and settled to write Page Shuffle.
Page Shuffle is not a complex application but it serves a purpose and does it well. I picked it because of that clear purpose and the few decisions that needed making during development.
To spice the application up a little I included an Automator action that actually shuffles PDF pages, rather than interleaves them. I also included a command line interface. I doubt either will see extensive use but they are available.
Looking back this has been a response to not having control over something very important to me. Yet, being able to see oncoming problems with no influence to avoid them. The combination feels toxic.
Page Shuffle has been a silver lining. Not what I expected from this period, but a positive when all could be seen to be stagnating.
Hopefully this delay will not be for too much longer.