.... that something you have thought of doing and have done has been thought of by someone else across the world and done in almost exactly the same way as you have....
It's saddening and encouraging at the same time. Saddening because it's not something novel any more. Someone has "been there.. and done that..". Encouraging because you know that you are not having any insanely weird and impractical thoughts and ideas and that you are solving some real problem out there.
This is the second time that this has happened to me, and it is a real confidence booster I should say!!
The project under question is StickyLinks. The exact same thing was done in 1997 and is called WebCite. The funny thing is that it was made for the exact same problem that I was trying to solve, which probably explains why it turned out to be so similar.
The thing that still gets to me is that even the layout of the version page (view where a version of a certain page is displayed) is almost identical. Both projects use frames. Both projects have a bookmarklet.
However, there are ways I plan to extend StickyLinks, so stay posted!!
ps. My next idea: To develop a search engine that will let you search for already existing ideas/concepts/implementations of thoughts that you may have and may think are novel. I use the internet (esp. the search engines) a lot to search for projects that I may want to undertake, just to check if it's already been done by someone else. Most of the time I have to search a lot of times, tweaking my search keywords ever so slightly in the hope of a match. Many a times, I fail to chance upon the right set of keywords (the words that the original author used to describe his/her idea/project) and am under the impression that the idea I have is novel/un-thought of. However, many times it does happen that such a thing does not exist. However, it is only time that lets you ascertain this (if a similar concept exists, you hear of it sooner rather than later, assuming you have shared it with friends).