What's in my Side Project Queue?

March 01, 2012

I usually have two or three side projects that I’m hacking on at any given time. I’ve tried sticking to one, but I like having a few options that I can hop between.

I’m winding down one project I’ve been working on for a few weeks (an Android app for doing planning poker) which means it’s time to reach into my giant bag of projects and pull something out.

One thing I’ve been meaning to do more of is collaboration - with both people in Indianapolis and across the web. So I figured I’d toss out my current list of project ideas. If any of them sound cool to you and you want to work on it together (which would be totally awesome!), get in touch with me.

#Project Queue (in no particular order)

Working title: garage-sailor
Quick pitch: find local garage sales on your phone; use Craigslist or other API to seed data; web app to list your own sales ($$$) and phone app to browse the sales and get directions
Potential Stack: MongoDB (geospatial index), TileMill, Leaflet.js

Working title: merlin
Quick pitch: “presentation magic”; I like writing slides in Markdown, but I don’t really like ShowOff; 98% of my slides fit into 3 templates (large centered text, full screen image, bulleted list) that’s all I want to support; provide a standard markup for theming and leverage one of the many Javascript slide libraries
Potential Stack: Ruby (DSL?), Markdown, Deck.js

Working title: coder.fm
Quick pitch: daily, customizable “radio show” centered around dev/tech news; pull down RSS or other trigger-based data to build a “script” then run it through text-to-speech to produce a 5-10 min audio file for the morning commute
Potential Stack: RSS parser, cron, Lion TTS, mp3cat, S3

Working title: git-tickets
Quick pitch: clone of Github Issues as a stand-alone bug tracker with tight integration with git ($$$); the anti-TFS/Jira
Potential Stack: Backbone.js, git-notes, grit, pretty CSS3/HTML5 stuff

Working title: pomojournal
Quick pitch: I’m really into the whole Quantified Self stuff at the moment, so I’ve started tracking my project work using the Pomodoro technique; this idea is a web-based journal that tracks my “poms” and has standard features like tagging, search, and a timeline; ideally would be integrated with a desktop tracking app
Potential Stack: Rails, pomodoro (Mac), tomighty (Windows)

Working title: hacker-stream
Quick pitch: Activity feed targeted towards the “modern developer or designer”; aggregate actions from github, bitbucket, twitter, blog RSS, HN, Dribbble, Forrst, etc etc into a single feed; inspired by Mark Pilgrim’s (now removed) “Firehose” page
Potential Stack: Open Graph, various APIs

Working title: git-gradelevel
Quick pitch: Script that computes the Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level of each committer in a git repo; the ultimate way to passive-aggressively tell your teammates to stop writing shitty commit messages! “You write commit msgs like a 3rd grader!”
Potential Stack: shell, readability algorithms

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