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Recently I received an email from the son of a long-time user of the site asking, essentially, whether he could count on it for the long run. One of his questions was whether I planned to make the source code publicly available.

I've thought about this for a few days and figured it would be a good idea to pose it to the board here. Apparently there are still people using the site and this Board, which is amazing!

I’ve been publishing weekly BMW site updates since June 2004 ( Wow that is nearly 18 years! The software has evolved a bit over time but not as much as one would think. It is written mostly in Perl and Linux shell scripts and grew “organically”, i.e. totally unplanned and without an architecture. More recently some Python has been added, mainly because of a package that downloads historical quotes from Yahoo efficiently and quickly.

The amount of work I need to put into the software and publishing updates to my web site is pretty close to zero. For years at a time usually everything runs automatically and I don’t even check unless someone sends me an email from the Board saying the results didn’t show up. Exceptions are usually when the data source changes. I have used MSN MoneyCentral, Yahoo in its various forms over the years, and tried a few other sources. Currently I am using the excellent Python package “yfinance” for the historical price download.

I’m not planning to open-source the code because actually it would be a lot more work for me to monitor and respond to issue reports, pull requests, and the like. I like how it’s running now where my involvement is so close to zero. I have a full time job that I enjoy and many other hobbies that keep me busy.

That said, I am thinking of significant updates to the BMW site. These may take years to actually show up. The concept is a much more interactive site, and conversion of the code to a far more compact and efficient code base, probably using Python. But there’s not a lot pushing me in this direction because the 18-year-old code that’s there now just keeps running… and running… it’s very limited and basic, but it just keeps running.

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