An interesting meta-solution emerges:
- Realize that you have a quite general problem
- Write 15-30 min hack solution to it. It may work a little crappy, but it's good if it's easy to read and extend.
- Open source it
- Next time you'll have the same problem someone has improved your solution beyond the recognition, so you can dump the old one.
It seems that improving something that exists is psychologically easier that starting from scratch. My new slides about Scala (download them, browse the source or watch them online) were made using pygments with new shiny lexer developed by someone pissed off by quality of an old one. Open Source is great, isn't it?