Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let me build you a web app/service!

So, according to my introduction, one of my goals for this project is to build a web app or service to demonstrate my skillset in that area. Unfortunately, it's turns out my idea for a web app has already been done, and is quite well-known (on the plus side, I now understand what 4Chan is). At the moment, I'm drawing blanks about what I should build, so I thought perhaps I could crowdsource that job.

So if you have an idea for a web app or service, but not the time or skills to get it started, or if you would simply like to collaborate with someone on it, post a comment describing your idea.

In general, I'm game for pretty much anything, as I'm confident I can learn whatever I need to. Some general parameters though:

  • It's going to be in Python, built on Pyramid, using SQLAlchemy for models
  • I will try to strip the idea to it's core, and leave others to make it full-featured
  • I will try to make an appealing and usable UI, but again, it will be pretty barebones
  • I'm going to blog about it, host it in github and make the code viewable by everyone
  • If you want to collaborate:
    • I'm open to hosting it elsewhere, as long as it's publicly accessible
    • I will be a stickler in design discussion and code reviews
Finally, I will happily put it under any license you want and grant you and copyright or whatnot, as long as it doesn't prevent me from achieving my objectives vis-a-vis skill demonstration.


  1. Hi.

    I do not know are You familiar with git source control. There is a great project to host many repositories with different access control "gitolite" but it is luck of web-interface like Gitorius to manage SSH keys, users and repository access.

    Writing such web user interface could be great.

  2. Hi Alec

    A while ago I proposed this project to the SoCal Piggies group which I organize:

    We haven't made much progress though, so we could use some enthusiasm on the project ;-) If you'd be willing to spend some time on it, I'm sure we could find other people in our group ( to collaborate.


  3. The celery project has a stub for a webapp, celerymon. This would def be a python project.

  4. Hmm, some good ones so far. The Python Web Client from SoCal Piggies is something I've contemplated writing in the past. CeleryMon could be very interesting, and I've always wanted to take a crack at working with Celery.
    Not sure about the Git project. New to Git as I am, I can see the utility, but it seems like something that would take a lot of work to surpass the utility of the existing tools (and abundant help available for them).

  5. I'm working on starting a company and building a product and have been looking to work with another developer. Obviously the main part of the code wont be open source but i'm hoping to open as much as possible. If interested, e-mail me...

  6. I've been wanting to build an RSS filtering application which works basically like this:
    1. User enters an rss feed.
    2. We give them another URL for a new RSS feed.
    3. In items in this new feed, there are Reddit style voting buttons for the user who created the feed (nothing displays for anyone else who sees the feed items). They vote about whether they want to see more posts from the feed.
    4. We use user votes and machine learning to filter out the posts we predict the user is unlikely to be interested in.

    The goal is to take massive torrents of RSS feeds like the NYTimes main feed or Techcrunch and filter them down to stories the user is most likely to be interested in. Sort of a recommendation oriented version of Yahoo Pipes.

    My knowledge and inclination mainly fall in part 4 (building the recommendation engine), but much less so on the RSS crawling / serving and the application front end. I have experience with SQLAlchemy from my previous job and Pylons (not pyramid), and a lot of experience with Python machine learning library. What front-end experience I have is mainly in Rails and jQuery, but I definitely want to learn more too!

    I'd be open to making this either open source or closed source depending on how things go. I'd prefer to keep the license such that we can close the source at some point if we so desire (eg start a company based on it). I would love to find somebody else to work with on this!

  7. Some years ago we developed a client server framework for real time collaboration through the web browser. Anyone at a given URL could create edit and resize "sticky notes" in real time. Search for Schull, Axelrod, multichat and twowayweb.

    It worked, it was cool, and it scaled to about 10 people. We stopped working on it when it became clear google was going that way, and indeed a few years later google Wave came...and went.

    But a simple extensible framework is still needed, and look at all the things that were not then available: AJAX, Scalable cloud servers, pub/sub, jquery, perhaps coffeesript and node.js.

    We're now working on a related project that could use something like this, and I'd love to see it happen again. We know the ins and outs.

    Be in touch!

  8. Well, the 0.1.dev1 version of the Python Web Client is up here:
    Hopefully it's the beginning of something useful for someone (maybe even me!).

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