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Web app ideas (lkozma.net)
42 points by lkozma on May 30, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

In the tradition of news.yc, I'd be glad to get your feedback on these ideas. I'm not pursuing any of them right now, so I'd just like to find out if there is any value in them, if they already exist, or are impossible, etc.

Hey lkozma, I was just going through your site and see that you have been giving ideas away for years (literally).


That's pretty awesome.

I am doing a podcast about various ideas/projects/stuff that HN members are working on, and you definitely seem like you fit the bill of characters I would enjoy interviewing.

Interested in being on one of the episodes? I think the community would love to hear more about your some of your ideas.

I put up the first episode and am pivoting based on the feedback I got from the HN community:


I am also rendering a second episode, coming out shortly - in the new format (i.e. mainly discussing ideas and not news).

If you are interested, email me: marc {at} ideatin {dot} com


P.S. Was looking for your contact info on your blog and couldn't find it :|

"They will probably just stick with Word, but they will often still find the LaTeX-produced resumes better looking"

Can someone show me examples of what constitutes "better looking" when comparing these two tools for CVs?

IMO (La)TeX output looks professional when printed on paper with a decent laser printer. You need to look very close. Difference is in very small details. I would guess that it has more accurate font face calculations and positioning as every character looks perfect.

Looks like we need SMT HN: (somebody make this)

I am trying to do that with ideatin.com :)

Stay tuned.

"Site search that suggests frequent phrases" made me think how awful most site search is. I'm waiting for a startup to make it simple and easy to add weighted faceted search to any website.

    <form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search">
    <input style="width: 8em;" type="text" name="q" maxlength="255" title="Enter search terms here">
    <input class="searchbutton" type="submit" name="btng" value="Search">
    <input type="hidden" name="domains" value="yourdomain.com">
    <input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="yourdomain.com">

6. Automated website optimizer

The problem here isn't learning best content for user segments. A lot of applications already do that. In fact, AdSense and other ad targeting systems are manifestations of this idea.

The problem is to come up with enough variations. It is a pain-staking and creative task to come up with variations that can perform better. Moreover, even if you come up with enough variations, the amount of traffic needed with such automatic optimization is exorbitant.

In fact, I used to work for a company that does exactly this and has done it for many years now. They just last year (or thereabouts) released their newest version that is supposed to run over all the various bits o' data it collects automatically and generate ads tailored to every customer.

(www.sitebrand.com if you're intersted, or just google "web personalization" and you'll find a bunch of their competitors, who also do a bunch of very neat things in this space.)

6. Automated website optimizer

You are on to something there. There is a lot that could be automated. This reminds me of Apple commercial, when the Mac came out in the 80s. It was making fun of IBM as being the "morse language" of the past, whereas the Mac and its GUI where the telephone.

7. LaTeX resume builder

Why would anyone want that? On HN there seems to be a community of LaTeX users, and I can't figure out why. Isn't that thing only used for writing Ph.D theses?

LaTeX is a fantastic tool for any word processing. Once you've got the hang of it, I'd be surprised if you didn't prefer it to any other publishing tool.

I use LaTeX for most word processing, because I find it gives me control over the right things, and automates the right ones at the same time.

And LaTeX makes your text look great thanks to its advanced typography (please note I'm not saying that it's superior to everything).

EDIT: as for the idea, it seems useless to me. Resumes are usually structured, so there is no room for paragraph optimizations implemented in LaTeX. I think you can get a nice CV done using Word, Inkscape or HTML.

TeX and LaTeX were designed for mathematical and scientific publishing. So, homework assignments, technical memos, anything that has math or science in it, not just theses. They can be used for general typesetting stuff.

Its greatest virtue is that it makes writing math pretty easy. I would love to see more software support including LaTeX-formatted math in comments and blog posts and such.

I liked your idea #5 (Website visualizer) and have been looking for an excuse to play with the Raphael javascript library.

Just hacked together a little initial demo (still needs a lot of work), but think it will look decent when I'm done with it.

Posted on github.com at http://github.com/qix/Sitemap

That's pretty cool. I'm working on a real time analytics tool as well, although I'm only showing aggregate stats and don't have any sort of site map visualization yet:


#7 has been a rough idea of mine in the past too - somewhere that you can jot down your education, qualifications and other useful stuff as you go along. Then create customised resumes for jobs as you apply.

I've kicked that idea around too (and would be surprised if there weren't others with the same thought). I started whipping something up in Django (tied to a SQLite database I could just throw around) when I was learning it a couple of years ago for doing just that; it never came to fruition I'll see if I can find and brush off the code.

Thank you for making that content freely available. Nothing there floats my boat but thank you nonetheless.

well very rarely is an idea worth anything.. its the execution.


I'd like a web app, kind of like DabbleDB, where you can just drop in data and easily make pivot tables and get interesting outputs. It could just throw a bunch of analyses at the data and see what it comes out with.

The Latex resume is an excellent idea.

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