We were settling in for the long haul on my Quark project. QuarkXPress is a very feature rich file format - much moreso than even PDF. It's basically giving you a blank chunk of 3-space, infinitely long, infinitely wide, infinitely deep and telling the designer to just "go at it". If the PDF project took a year and a bit, the Quark project could easily be twice that. We were thinking that it would be at least as long as the PDF project.
I was very happily spec'ing out the requirements and verification strategies, how regression on a zillion-and-a-half files would go, building the test suite, scripting and cron'ing.
And then the shoe drops that the client is cutting the project short due to financial difficulties. So, it feels really weird to be wrapping everything up when we're just transitioning out of the R&D/prototyping stage. All of a sudden, we're in a quasi Ship-It mode. It's a weird feeling. We're not really shipping it, we're going through and deciding what can be supported, what can't and tossing the features that can't be supported in the amount of time we have left.
There are still things we don't know about QuarkXPress, tons of little nooks and crannies that we haven't poke at yet. And the Real World data is breaking it all over the place. This is to be expected when you cut off a project mid-flight, but there are so many things that we watch break and go, "we were just getting to that!"
Of course, the client knows that they're just going to get a slightly cleaned up prototype, if that.