Difficult decisions - WoWInterface
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05-04-15, 11:26 PM   #1
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Difficult decisions

In 2004 I started playing World of Warcraft with my brother and my boyfriend (who would eventually become my fiancee). I really wanted to be a druid, but my boyfriend was playing a druid and I didn't want to "compete" with him, so I rolled a rogue instead. That's how I started raiding and how I began to enjoy the game. At some point it turned out we were a bit low on healers and I was asked to play someone else's priest for an evening. At that point I was hooked. I loved the feeling of supporting a raid through healing.

Naturally, we were raiding Molten Core. We were hardly a hardcode raiding group, but we enjoyed our evenings together. MC meant Lucifron, which meant Decursive was almost a given for raiding. I'll be honest (and I was quite vocal at the time), it never quite seemed right to me. I downloaded an addon called CastParty, written by Danboo. It was a novel approach to casting spells: rather than pressing the spell and then clicking your target you could assign different spells to shift-click, alt-click and control-click. It even came with same defaults that I use today (shift is fast heal, alt is slow big heal, and control is healing over time). CastParty also had this "DoTheRightThing()" function which auto-computed who was the best person to heal and then automatically cast the spell on that person.

The computer scientist in me thought this was pretty interesting. The algorithm got even better over time and could track the rate of incoming damage to estimate what health everyone would have next "tick" so we could better aim the heal to the right person. The player in me didn't like this level of automation.

Sometime in 2005, Vika came out with a new addon called "WatchDog" which was a unit frame with some interesting features. It was the first place I think we saw "tags" that could be used to customize the unit frame. It also integrated the concept of "click-casting" into the unit frame but took a simpler approach than CastParty (it made all healing manual again). People tried to add decursive functionality and DoTheRightThing(), but Vika resisted these changes. I loved the simplicity of the addon.

When Vika was deployed from the military and was no longer able to support WatchDog I took over maintenance. I helped to keep things moving but didn't want to make any large changes and violate Vika's vision. Even when he came back and gave me permission to, it never quite felt right. I ended up splitting the concept of WatchDog into two addons: WatchDog which was the unit frame, and created an addon called Clique to add "click-casting" functionality to WatchDog and any other addon that I wrote a plugin for.

This was all before 2.0 hit and the addon system changed. I was lucky enough to be involved in a small team that worked with Blizzard to help create the secure template and ensure that addons such as Clique would continue to work in the much more restricted addon environment that came out before Burning Crusade. I dedicated a large portion of my time to ensure that click-casting would continue for all addons, and built that functionality into Clique. I even provided tutorials for how click-casting was working, enabling others to write similar addons using the same system.

Somewhere along the line I also created TomTom (designed to help my boyfriend navigate through the world), and LightHeaded. Both were created while sitting on holiday at my sister's house in Phoenix, Arizona. I also created the function hooking libraries for Ace, helped to develop Ace2 and Ace3, the Dongle addon framework, LibStub and many other small projects. I've enjoyed every moment that I've had with these, and I am supremely greatful for all of the help and support I've received from my users. It's the users that kept me going through all of these years, helping me to realise that I was making a difference.

I've written three books about addon development and have had the opportunity to work with Dan Gilbert, Matthew Orlando, Bryan McLemore and Rick Roe. I learned a lot during this process and I stand behind the work we did as being really important for the addon community. I have barely made a cent off of any of the books, and I am completely okay with that.

Between 2007 and and 2012 I worked on my PhD at the University of Oxford. Needless to say this occupied a large amount of my time, but I still dedicated myself to supporting and improving my addons. Although I wasn't playing actively anymore, the "game" of addon development still held sway over me.

My sister was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in May of 2008 at the age of 32. She passed away this February after almost 7 years of smiling and living life in and smiling in spite of her cancer. Needless to say it has been difficult on me and my family, and I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past few years.

I have been grieving for my sister in my own little way, missing her smile and being able to speak with her. I want to spend more time with my niece and nephew and my brother-in-law so that they know I still love them and will continue to be here for them. In a way, I'm also still grieving for my PhD in what I imagine feels a bit like "empty nest" syndrome. It's difficult with so many life changes to know what's next. Both are different, but both require time and introspection.

I really love my job. I'm the Tech Lead for Payments at Spotify. I manage a large group of developers and help to run a large portion of the revenue business that ensures artists are paid fairly and that users have access to our service. I work with amazing people and I really love what I do on a daily basis. I'm living in Sweden with my best friend of almost 11 years and he makes me smile every day. I am surrounded by the rest of my amazing family and they make me feel loved and supported. I'm happy.

It's because I'm happy that I have decided to stop actively supporting my addons. I'm looking for good dedicated authors who might be willing to take what TomTom is today and turn it into something amazing, or someone to see the vision of LightHeaded back to true usefulness. I'm most worried about Clique because that's really my "baby", the thing that's kept me in the game for as long as I have been. I'll continue to do my best to support it, but I would love to find someone who is as dedicated to the cause as I was when I initially took over WatchDog.

Thank you all for your support over the past 10 years. It has been an incredible experience for me. I don't know how long I'll be able to stay away, but I won't be too far away. I hope to be able to find good maintainers (or people willing to take the addons and turn them into something new and exciting) so that you're still able to heal and navigate with the best of them. For now, I'm reachable here and all over the internet. I'm not going very far, I'm just shifting focus so I have time to focus on the things that are important to me in my life.
"There's only one thing that I know how to do well and I've often been told that you only can do what you know how to do well, and that's be you-- be what you're like-- be like yourself. And so I'm having a wonderful time, but I'd rather be whistling in the dark..."
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05-05-15, 06:47 AM   #2
A Pyroguard Emberseer
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I'm sorry to see you "disappear," yet glad it's due to wanting to maintain your level of contentment in life, and that you'll still be somewhat around in the community. I've already sent you an e-mail about TomTom; you asked if I were an IRC stalker, and I suppose that would be a good description!
Whenever someone says "pls" because it's shorter than "please", I say "no" because it's shorter than "yes".

Author of NPCScan and many other AddOns.
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05-05-15, 08:32 AM   #3
A Pyroguard Emberseer
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Cladhaire, I have bought World of Warcraft Programming, first and second editions. Without them, I can conclusively say that writing AddOns would be still a day dream for me. You cannot know how much I appreciate those books, and the starting point they provide.

In lieu of uncountable "thank yous", I will just say it once, and hope it carries the weight of all the rest.

Thank you.


PS, I have used Clique for as long as I can remember, and TomTom right along with. I come and go on Lightheaded, but when I have used it, it was amazing. Thank you for those!
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05-05-15, 09:05 AM   #4
A Firelord
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I too have both editions of WoW Programming and love them. I have used Clique (though I am more of a keybinder), but I find Lightheaded and TomTom to be invaluable while leveling and questing. The /way command should be tracked in the achievements along with other things like /hug.

I understand all too well how life can change and with it priorities. I look forward to your return and wish you the best.

Author of JWExpBar and JWRepBar.
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05-05-15, 10:45 AM   #5
A Rage Talon Dragon Guard
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Hi Cladhaire,

When I wanted to begin to explore the addons universe I was really alone and the only things that was with me was your book because I didn't know where to begin :-)

Also now that I have begin to understand a little about addon coding (also thanks to the wonderful patience, help and suggestions of the others friends here at wowinterface) I still have your book with me on table because is the first thing that I am looking for when I need to find or to look something.

So thanks for the great book and thanks also for all your great addons.

Amoung them:

Tomtom which I used so much.
NinjaPanel which my 2 sons used as ldb launcher. It is a great launcher that should not be abandoned please.
PerfectRaid My first, never forgotten raid frame.
WowLua which I still use to test my lua code :-)

Cladhaire, thanks again for everything, take care of yourself and come back sometime :-)
This is Unix-Land. In quiet nights, you can hear the Windows machines reboot.
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05-05-15, 10:46 AM   #6
A Warpwood Thunder Caller
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Very sad to hear that you're going :/

Your book in both versions has really helped me to make DuffedUI to what it was and will probably be back. Even your addon clique was a guide for me how I could achieve something similar as a plug-in for DuffedUI. I hope you find someone who also continues as it as you started with your addons.

Thanks for everything and take care of yourself
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05-05-15, 11:05 AM   #7
Big Daddy!
Join Date: May 2008
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I would like to give you a huge "Thank You!" for all you have done for the community. Good luck in all of your future endeavors.

Keep in touch.
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05-06-15, 11:11 PM   #8
A Kobold Labourer
Join Date: May 2011
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Thank you!

Cladhaire, first I want to express my condolences for the loss of your sister. My heartfelt prayers go out to you and your family. Thank you for your dedication, time and creativity all these years that you have put into these wonderful addon's that have made my game play more enjoyable, relaxed and less mind crunching! May your path forward be blessed ten fold with wonders, joy, peace and love.


(My very first toon.. a druid ;-))
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05-08-15, 11:56 AM   #9
A Cyclonian
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Happy Journeys to you.

I'm sad that we will lose you, but happy for you and where you are going.
Thank you for all your work on addons and dedication to teaching the rest of us how to make them as well. You have given a lot to this community, and I know that many of us greatly appreciate your talent and time.
Thank you, happy and safe journeys to you.
The strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.
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06-27-15, 06:14 AM   #10
A Kobold Labourer
Join Date: Jun 2015
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thank you

I've created account just for this single purpose.

I cannot stress enough how Clique was and will remain to be important for my game-play. Therefore, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for all your effort, time, love and whatnot that you have put into your work so that we can enjoy our time in game better.

I wish you all the best, and as I can see from your original post you deserve nothing less than best.
Much love to you.
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06-27-15, 10:24 AM   #11
A Kobold Labourer
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Thank you & congratz

Congratz on your life going well and being in such a good place now. My family wishes you the best.

And THANK YOU from me, my wife, my son and daughter for the past 7 years that we have used your addons and they have saved us from countless hours of frustration. I can honestly say that being the big family of questers that we are, had it not been for your efforts to provide such helpful addons we would not have nearly the amount of family fun WOW time memories that we do and I am sure we would have much less hair, more broken mice/keyboards, and all be on Prozac.
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07-06-15, 11:58 AM   #12
A Defias Bandit
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Cladhaire, thanks for your open post.

I wish you all the luck and best in the future.
I am a user of your addons from the first moment in time and yes i agree with you, Clique is the best and helped me a lot in my raiding journeys through the world of warcraft.

Thansk a lot for all the work you have done and are doing for the wow add-on community.

GL & HF Roeland from The Netherlands
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07-07-15, 07:58 PM   #13
A Kobold Labourer
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Programming books?

I came here to see if there was an update to Lightheaded, and I see your post about leaving. Thank you so much for adding immeasurably to the game. I find that I'm interested in addon programming more now that I use Lua for my employment in the healthcare industry, and I'm thinking about taking a crack at it. I'm not the caliber of programmer you need right now, but I might get good enough to help out someday soon. I'm interested in your books; are any of your books up-to-date enough with Blizzard's API and with your current best practices? If so, I would LOVE to buy it!
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07-09-15, 11:24 PM   #14
A Flamescale Wyrmkin
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Firstly, sorry for the loss of your sister.
Nextly, thanks awfully for the time and effort you have put into your addons.
I have used Lightheaded and TomTom for ages.
My friend, who refuses to use addons, does still use Lightheaded and TomTom.
Best wishes to you in your future!
US Nazgrel - Bikutanda
EU Lightbringer - Saanlem
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07-19-15, 08:57 AM   #15
A Murloc Raider
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A sad day for WoW players the world over. Cladhaire. Thank you. From the bottom of my Orcy little heart. Yours were the first addons I installed, and they have been a mainstay on my system ever since. I was another of those Molten Core Irregulars. Raiding. Dying. Winning. "Serious Raiders Need Only Apply" was a concept we all laughed at, because We're here to have fun. When the game stops being fun (or addon development I suppose) it's time to walk away. Do it with a smile, and knowing you got what you came for, but there are other ways to achieve the same satisfaction and feeling of being a part of something.

I am so sorry to hear of your sad news. My sincerest condolences, and know that with time comes healing. The loss will always be there, but the hurt of it will slowly be replaced by fond memories and a kind of satisfaction that she is out of harm's way. I lost my Mom not too long ago, and I know how that can affect you. Really... My heartfelt wishes to you for healing, laughter, joy in your life, and with that fellow you wrote my favorite addons for.

Lightheaded and TomTom don't have much competition for one reason. They do what they're meant to do, and they do it really well. The programmers at WoW have made them a tiny little bit less absolutely necessary than they once were, but I can't imagine living without them. I hope you do find someone with the same vision and enthusiasm you've had for them over the years to take over. If not, then as always, we the players will adapt.

Thank you for the creation. Thank you for the support. Thanks for sticking with us through the years, even while life went sideways. You made a difference. I for one, will miss you, and we've never even met. Take care, and be well.
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09-13-15, 07:37 AM   #16
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
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I am also sorry to see you go. You brought such great things to the WoW community. I wish you the very best in all that you do. Your name made my past 10 years even better. TomTom has helped me not get myself lost on many occasions. I hope that this wonderful community will help pick up where you left off because you have done amazing things.

As you go, know that you have made the playing experience for thousands of us so much better.
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09-16-15, 12:30 PM   #17
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 17
I started playing WoW almost 7 years ago and I have never been without TomTom. Lightheaded has been an off and on affair and the only reason I came across this post was looking for an answer to an error I started getting and I am so surprised too see this. I do understand and I am Glad you are heading in a direction to better your life. I got my wife started playing WoW after she came down with Stage four breast cancer. She would get up and watch TV for a while so I thought maybe just maybe she would be able to play and she did. We even connected with what I think is one of the greatest groups of people in the game. She plays a druid healer so that's why I see the connection with you enjoying the support role in the game. I did not lose my wife, in fact the doctor said her staying busy was one of the many things that may have gotten her through the chemo and radiation. With that I am s sorry to hear about your sister. Cancer does horrible things to people. I hope her soul is resting peacefully in the great beyond. You are going to be missed in the add on community. I know I have seen that name Cladhaire in so many post's in the forums and looking for help. Good Luck to you and your partner and may all of your days be filled with joy and happiness! I know TomTom will survive and Lightheaded I love when I use it (I would love to see it go further).

Again Thank You so much for so many years of support and service to the community and to the gamers whoi use your addons!
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