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Ask HN: Show me your Half Baked project
126 points by dholowiski on Oct 23, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 305 comments
Release early, release often. Don't worry, be crappy. Fail fast. Iterate.

Show us your half baked, not really ready for prime time projects, HN. Is it ugly but interesting? I'll start with mine: http://smsul8r.com - a SMS message scheduler. Ugly, buggy, but it works. Come on... let's see your worst work!

Why do you consider http://news.ycombinator.com as half baked?

Because it's still missing features that might seem essential if you decided what was essential a priori instead of empirically.

When you started Hacker News you wanted a site which you could moderate and where users could only upvote (even though users of a certain karma level can downvote), according to Huffman's interview on mixergy. What features did you think were essential a priori that you left out?

this was an hilarious joke by PG, lost on the humourless HN community.

Don't you mean lost on the three people that upvoted pmarin's comment?

This was something that always impressed me with HN. Instead of using a robust, proven forum system, you created a new project that grew with the community, and opened the whole thing up for us to see and even hack ourselves.


An inspiringly purist design. I appreciate removing clutter, and removing it even when it hurts.

As a painter too. http://www.curtiswmoore.com/

Half baked and medium rare. Delicious.


Ha ha. Comment of the year.


The thing is, if we stop downvoting comments like the one you posted (even though it was a completely harmless comment), people would start to think such comments are acceptable and we'd soon have useless comments on HN that would add absolutely no value to the discussion.

I actually didn't use source control back when I started, so I can't show you what it looked like on launch day, but this is what BCC looked like in February 2007. Static HTML, written in notepad. The web application wouldn't exist for another year yet, and the software shipped with less than 20 bingo card activities written (it now ships with about 1,000).


Sales from February 2007 were about the same as my sales from today.

A classic case of worse is better.


Explanation: a big list of business info, in which the AdSense links are often the most useful, relevant content.

Hm - are you saying your sales haven't grown, or that they've grown 28x?

regvex.py -- http://gist.github.com/641688

Regvex is a proof of concept timing attack against regex engines. To make a long story short, the timing characteristics of regex engines make it perfectly suited to timing attacks, allowing you to (locally or remotely) create data that matches a given regex, and potentially even reconstruct the actual regex you're matching against.

The current version works locally against Python's sre, but I plan to take it further when I have time.


For others, this helped me understand the basis of timing attacks.

You will not be able to reconstruct the regex by a timing attack unless you make some assumptions on the input like maximum length and even then reconstructing the regex will be tough. If you don't make a maximum length assumption then the best you can do is create a string that will pass it because you will never be able to tell the difference between /a+/ and /a{1,10^99999999999999}/. Practically this might not make a difference but theoretically it does.

Actually, while that was my first thought as well, it depends on the underlying implementation. I'm not positive here, but I think that the characteristics of the regex engine could allow you to recognize the difference between /a+/ and /a{1,1000}/. That said, I haven't done anything to this end yet -- we'll see if my idea remotely pans out. It'll certainly require knowing what regex engine you're attacking, unlike just generating data.

You're probably right. I think the idea is really cool and I'm surprised some CS grad student hasn't jumped on this stuff yet. There is a lot of theory lurking in the background for this kind of stuff and it would definitely make a nice master's thesis.

Fascinating, could you explain how this works?

I'm planning on writing up a blog post exploring the attack and possibilities, but from a high level:

When you pass data into a regex engine for matching, it works character-by-character. When it reaches a character that doesn't match, the matching is terminated. That means that if you have the regex /^foo$/, "f" will take slightly longer to parse than "b", since it'll move on to the next character for "f", but not "b".

Due to this, you can produce matching data for a regex in a fairly small number of samples. Interestingly, it takes fewer samples to reliably get characters further down the string -- however, this may be a result of my horrid statistics code. Not sure yet.

As far as I'm aware, no one has ever done this before.

As someone who has made regular expression acceleration products, we were aware of this possibility but we didn't ever implement a proof of concept. The range of applications is pretty staggering just in network and host security. I'm interested to see what you come up with.

Appleseed - An open source, distributed social networking framework.


My Appleseed profile:


Most recent code:


(Yes, I use comic book characters for testing... Don't judge)

Nice, I was just telling some college students about Appleseed yesterday when I gave a presentation about securing your online profile. I expressed that Appleseed, along with other competitors, would be a viable contender to Facebook (a couple years down the road). Prove me right =) Helping freelancers find new work.

Going live tomorrow :)

Edit: if you want to know soon as it's live, add your email here: http://tekbob.wufoo.com/forms/notify-me-when-tekbobs-live/

I'm torn on the price display there, given the format unless you attract a very high quality buyer invariably the price is going to be a factor. But then if you don't have it makes it harder for the buyer.

Can you clarify what you mean? I'm not sure I follow. Thanks a lot for the feedback!

I think he's suggesting that the most obvious way for potential buyers to quantify freelancers is through price, meaning that no matter what (in most cases), the job will go to the lowest bidder, leaving quality freelancers with no other way to 'prove' they are worth more.

I'm not sure I agree with robryan 100%, as there are other ways for buyers to compare the freelancers (years experience, etc.). For a middle-ground, you could have the freelancers give a per hour range to be negotiated dependent on the scope/intensity of the project. Also, you could expand on the freelancers' credentials by including websites, previous projects, or client testimonials.

Good luck with your launch!

yeah, we have plenty of places for freelancers online which are essencially a race to the bottom on rate, a lot of buyers are looking to compare on rate, most sellers that sell at a premium would at least like buyers to give them the time of day to hear what that premium will get them.

I've thought about this idea and 3 things should help:

1. we'll have a min. hourly rate of $40/hr.

2. by making it phone-based, we will be filtering out most non-US programmers

3. we intend to charge $2-5/lead once we get traction. This will probably make it unaffordable for folks that only compete on price.

I really don't want to attract elance/rentacoder-type audience which only cares about cost. My experience as a freelancer AND client has shown that you get what you pay for. I'd like higher end clients to match with higher quality coders.

2. by making it phone-based, we will be filtering out most non-US programmers

I think you underestimate the capacities of non-US programmers. The international shops (ie. the coders from India and Singapore who can charge a fraction of what a US programmer would need to) usually have access to great VOIP and 24/7 availability.

How can I list on this?

Hey, drop me an email at zaid.farooqui at gmail and I will let you know soon as we are love!

Edit: or add yourself here: http://tekbob.wufoo.com/forms/notify-me-when-tekbobs-live/

The wufoo link goes to a 404 page.

Wow thanks. Wufoo changed the link URL because I edited the title of the form.


Have you thought about some integrated click-to-call?

(And add border:0; to your images.)

Hey thanks for the feedback! What browser/OS are you on?

Firefox 3.6.11 MacOS

The issue I'm seeing is on the logo, btw.

(Checkout browserlab.adobe.com for testing btw.)

cool idea but the design looks really spammy.

This is really not bad at all. Interesting idea with the extensions. I'm interested to see where you go with this.

Looks like a great system to white label for recruiters and networking types.

cool idea. double "within within" 24 hours for each listing.

great catch thanks:)

wow this is amazing


A way for people overwhelmed by Twitter to ensure they don't miss tweets from a special someone. I use it to follow my wife.

A way for people underwhelmed by Twitter to follow someone without creating an account. My mother uses it to follow me.

http://bulletxt.com - take notes/outlines easily (collapse indented text).

This looks great. One minor problem I had while trying the demo:

  press [`] key (key to the left of #1) to hide/show subtasks
This doesn't work on a German keyboard layout where ^ is next to 1. Pressing the ` key doesn't work either.

Bookmarked. This reminds me of OneNote but brought online. Feature suggestion: annotations for your notes. I think students and 'paper-replacement' users might find something like that convenient combined with the regular note-taking tools.

I wouldn't recommend putting too much time into this. After thinking about it, I'm not sure how many of your users would find the feature useful. I have a tablet which includes a pen, but that makes me an outlier.

Awesome, especially the checklist feature (when it arrives).

Great app. I love its simplicity.


I fell in love with darcs (switched from git) and wanted a place to put my stuff, since github would no longer be of much use to me. So I made it. Right now I just add things as I need them, or think they'd be a good idea (like "ssh username@darcsden.com init reponame"). Been meaning to get around to built-in issue tracking, but I'm busy working on other projects.

Source here: http://darcsden.com/alex/darcsden

you should call it 'darcshed'. [darcs shed, with bonus darcs head]


Using the CCDs on Androids or iPhones to detect cosmic rays, and in the process making the world's largest cosmic ray telescope (see http://www.auger.org for the most similar big physics project). Unfortunately, this project has been dead for awhile now.

This is an absolutely fascinating idea. Why have you stopped working on it? I know that astronomy fans are a small subset of HN readers, but this is the most interesting project I've heard of in a while.

Thanks! I just had too much on my plate at the time, and the hobby project got cut first. If you'd like to help with it, all the source is here: http://github.com/cloudchamber/Distributed-Observatory/


Poker odds calculator (texas holdem), the plan is for the website version to get linked around and soon release a phone version for a couple of bucks (starting with iphone, not finished yet).

Nice! Just add a 'Deal' button so it deals some random cards as you press it.

Sometimes I want to guess what the odds would be of any random game.

I really like this. I'll share it with my poker buddies (or next time someone complains about a bad beat on Full Tilt).

fantastic, gonna save a bookmark on my phone for the next round of poker.

http://www.seddit.com/ -- Realtime chat using your Reddit identity. It works, there were just a couple more things I wanted to add (mostly room discovery, based on subreddits) before announcing it. Got caught up in something else...

It's awesome to see so many building so much cool stuff. I just got lost for 20 minutes in benjoffe's site. Here are a few of mine:

Track lunch debts (turns out I'd rather just buy people lunch but I got to play with some JS): http://lunchng.appspot.com/

Save clippings from web pages (2008, seems like someone builds one of these every six months, could use a refresh with ideas from http://pagestackandroid.appspot.com): http://www.clipng.com/

Make Myst-like walkthroughs with photos you took (2009, might be fun for someone outside of real estate): http://www.pictourist.com/

Pictourist could be quite fun for seeing how others live. Imagine following a person in a foreign country around their guided tour...assuming it's different enough from your own!

Great! "someone builds one of these every six months" :)

http://snapnotate.com/ just might be available in 6 months then

This pagestack thing looks cool, thanks!

http://nearestburrito.com - Enter your address, find a burrito

May I suggest using the W3C geolocation API to get the user's location and pre-populate that? It's Simple to get the Coordinates, and then you can probably use Google's geocode API to get the address.

I just tried to use this while traveling and I don't really know my address.

Agreed. I don't really see myself using this from my laptop, but if I could use my phone's already known location...

Is there a way I can input burritos? I entered my address, and nothing came up. There's a great hole-in-the-wall not to far from here that'd be perfect.

Worked perfectly for me! Burritos, yum!

This is amazing.

http://inboxSEO.com - daily or weekly SEO emails - see where does your site rank, lots of little UI bugs but it works and we have some paying customers despite the poor UX...

This is fantastic. I've also signed up and am glad you shared this. Something I've always wanted but figured it was out of reach.

This post is great, too. We should make this a regular feature because, how many frequent HN users end up launching a neat product like this and it languishes among blah-blah news links? Tragic.

I've never even posted a launch on HN, but I love seeing them -- it seems like they should be highlighted on the new page or something.

o_O word!! This is what you call half-baked?

/me signs up and begins using it immediately

cool. would love feedback. we haven't really 'launched' it yet as we've just too busy on other projects, and for instance when you do google analytics integration you can end up with WAY too many keywords and some weird behavior on the dashboard page...

Well - feedback so far is: I signed up and setup a profile/keywords etc. in under 2 minutes. I'll email you when I start getting information in my inbox :)

Looks great. Who did the design for you?

A designer who works for me part time here in Buenos Aires...email me if you want me to introduce you (scared to introduce you as she's busy for me right now :)

good implementation, but why 3 websites for the pro with 1000 keywords?

Don't even limit to websites at all, just use keywords. It's regex parsing anyways, it's not hard to check any number of domains.

The failing point of almost all rank tracking systems is limiting keywords and domains the way they do


Also: grouping keywords in different, Venn-like ways should be easy and intuitive.

good point. those numbers keep changing and the pro seems too low; we're probably going to make it higher.


An Operational Transformation (like Google Wave / EtherPad) implementation in node.js and coffeescript. Source at http://github.com/kevinmehall/OTpad . It's much cleaner and lighter-weight than the EtherPad open source project. Chrome recommended for now, FF sort-of supported.

That's really very incredible. I started implementing it in clojure, but I node is really well suited for this. Thank you for sharing the code!

what are you using as backend? mysql? postgres? couchdb? redis?


Pulls article text out of html pages

Populates RSS feeds

Save text to PDF

Extract text from PDF's

API to pull article text in XML, JSON, JSONP formats

Sure, that's the main reason I built it. So other sites could easily link to it. I'm doing just that with http://ihackernews.com

ihackernews is probably the most visited site on my iphone. nice work.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your service. Thank you.

Thank you, I'm happy to hear that!

doesn't seem to work 100% right now, but I really like the concept.

This is awesome. Thanks.


Made it for my gf and I, but never got around to polishing it. It still tentatively works. Basically it sends reminders at odd times because I felt when you set a reminder, you automatically remember it anyway, and wind up staring at the clock. So this comes at different times.

Bit fuzzy around the edges and I haven't worked on it in months :(

Cool idea actually. I'd use something like this for daily notes to self.


An RSS feed reader with intelligence. Got half of the intelligence part working. Still lots of bugs and not quite ready for primetime. But soon, hopefully.

It's also open-source: http://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur/

You should consider promoting this more widely.

Bloglines is closing at the end of the month and there's multiple people who aren't happy with using Google Reader for various reasons.

I'd be happy with a nice online RSS reader with no intelligence. :)

I'm planning to submit it to Hacker News at the end of the week when I have premium accounts turned on and many more of the bugs worked out. Thanks for the advice!

Very nice. I really like every single screen, up until I went to look at my Hacker News 100 feed (http://feeds.feedburner.com/newsyc100)

I was expecting it to break, because the title links to the content, and the body of the rss item links to the comments, but not quite that badly.

http://mootools.net/forge/p/lsd (Demos: http://inviz.github.com/lsd-examples/Demos/index.html http://jsfiddle.net/inviz/htmmv/)

New wave interface library that uses SVG to draw graphics, html as a templating language and a superset of css for theming. Already spent 1 year on this and have like maybe 5 months to go (add IE support, more polished features).

The thing is my very state of art code that i'm putting my soul into. Every day, even a small tweak makes me feel like I'm moving to the right direction.

Proud half baked product (not public production ready, but is used in several small projects) seeks for interested organizations and contributors, invizko@gmail.com :)

Half baked (it currently mostly works): http://github.com/stucchio/Idli

An attempt to make bug reporting more git-like, in terms of UI. Use the command line (not a browser) to file bug reports. Currently interfaces with github and trac, bugzilla support is next.

1/10 baked (command line part not yet written): http://github.com/stucchio/Sqlite-Diff

It will be exactly sounds like, a diff utility for sqlite databases. It's something I've wanted on a number of occasions, but had to hack around. Currently I compare table headers, not table contents yet. (Currently it's only a library and some tests.)

http://tackynotes.com - An idea I had for a couple years as a browser extension for Firefox but never implemented. When Chrome hit, the ease of writing extensions was too luring to pass up. I'm not the fastest coder and my motivation wanders easily so after sitting on this for months and finally releasing it, I found out someone beat me to the Chrome Gallery with the same idea. I think both have their strong points, but he has 200k installs and has been "featured". I've barely got 600. There's more I've wanted to do with it, but still it sits. I guess that qualifies (for me at least) as half-baked.


A visual search engine for Amazon products. It needs some work, and I don't have a scalable way to get traffic..


I can't say it's my worst work, but I never felt like it was ready to post to HN as a "Ask HN: Review my new...". But here it is...

Looks useful and impressive.

May be "Show details" should be "About Me". And instead of forcing "login\signup", a page allowing direct customization of the widget and embed code would be more impressive.

Thanks for the feedback! "About Me" is a great suggestion, and I have always wanted to make a site that allows someone to be able to immediately start using the site without signing up. I should spend some time to figure out how to do that...

Can you take the create table sql statements and create a complete web application? I.e. sql queries ( if there are foreign key relationships - automatically construct the inner joins ?) to insert, view, update then expose the SQL queries in the target language (my target language is C++) as an API which can be called from the Business layer, automatically construct the User interface ( for example - Web UI/ Text UI (ncurses ui) / GUI ) and retarget it for any database ? If you marked the fields in the create table statements as "search_key" can you automatically add the search facility in the sql stored procedure all the way up to the UI.

That's what my application is trying to do: Target language=C++, target UI = Web UI using wt, target database = postgres


Currently it generates a makefile in the output directory which compiles with a Wt (witty) UI which can be run as a standalone web server. Still a work in progress - I've done it in C++ - but you need not be restricted to C++ (You should be able to emit code in any language once you have parsed the modified sql grammar which my parser already does). Sample inputs available in the inputs folder. To see the Web UI working you need wt (http://www.webtoolkit.eu/wt) and the extjs-2.1 library

Rails scaffolding does this for Rails. You need to provide a way to implement custom functionality on these pages though.


Just screwing around with HTML5 SQL storage a couple years ago, so it only works with Webkit-variants... Saves your pages as you type, listed on the left, flip the lights on the right.

That's really cool. Nice work.

227px empty vertical space?

Granary (granary.heroku.com)

Very much half-baked. Granary is sort of an online Access/Bento webapp. It started off with an emphasis on making data publicly available and editable (Wikipedia for data?), but that's faded into the background somewhat with private databases available.

Probably ideal for small websites/non-technical people who want to make their data available via web interface and API (like a hosted database?). Feel free to signup with a fake email to mess around with it, this is the dev site (and also, the only site).

Some simple examples of what it can do:

* http://granary.heroku.com/public/pj8lF5uM - pictures (of fruit)

* http://granary.heroku.com/public/GKhdmAFt - links (bookmarking)

* http://granary.heroku.com/public/8aHsg1cZ - information (the planets)

* http://granary.heroku.com/public/iiIPmf2H - maps (quasi restaurant reviews)

* http://granary.heroku.com/public/07meNTGa - information (caltrain schedule, partial)


openpoll is an electronic direct democracy that will allow Americans to vote on state and federal bills and elections. It is currently in development and has been for the past 2 years (I work on it in my spare time as getting funding isn't a viable option). I am in the data acquisition stage right now. That means writing parsers to pull legislation information from every state's website. As of right now, the site isn't much more than a UI slapped on top of a DB. It has registration, basic voting, and commenting. I would like to hear any potential ideas from the internet community for this site.

I plan on having beta testing in the first quarter of 2011. Some point after that, I will open source the code. Then I will add a Web API that will allow smartphone applications to be built. And if I get enough traction, eventually turn my LLC into a non-profit. My target market is every single American. My eventual goal is to turn phone booths into voting booths. Pretty lofty goals, but I believe it will make America a much better place.

Not quite half-baked:


Anywhere from just a name to README Driven Development[1] to the aforementioned:


[1]: http://tom.preston-werner.com/2010/08/23/readme-driven-devel...


Got lots of original content (interviews, 1500 of them); not sure the best way to make money out of this, in fact if you have some good ideas to monetize this stuff please let me know. Do you think ads would be best or some arrangement like 10% of the content free and pay to access the rest?


It's an HTML5 typing tutor that I'm working on. Also planning to sell the tools I use to build it as a jump-starter API for folks wishing to create GWT/App Engine products:


http://www.fruitshow.org - A simple forum

Mainly implemented at http://www.crazyontap.com

The original version was built in 3 hours after Joel Spolsky closed his off topic forum ( http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/01/25.html ). The name itself comes from Joel, he called us a "3rd rate fruit show". I put a bunch more hours into it and open sourced it -- a few people still download occasionally.

I had intended to make it a much better forum following Joel's own design philosophy ( http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/BuildingCommunitieswi... ) but sadly life got in the way. I'm still thinking I might revisit it someday.



i also have this half-baked search engine that has no content: whatwhere.com.au :) but you can't really do anything with that!!

(incidentally when you're ready to add "rest of the world" you can use my 8centsms.com API ;)


Email reminder system. Dead simple. Has an mobile-client that's also easy to use. I use it all the time. It works.

I wanted to be able to see products on Amazon side-by-side with their pros and cons: http://silvos.com.

I need to add more products, product specs, and fix the way the pros/cons work, but I'm already using it to start thinking about which digital camera to get.

Interesting idea - in a similar space to my startup http://www.happybuy.com/

It may be good if the site was able to, based upon the metadata and extraction from the product description, show the relative differences in the specs of the products.

For instance, if I compare a Macbook 13" and a Macbook Pro 15" it would be great if it listed all of the differences - such as screen size: 2", price: $300, speed: 0.4Ghz, weight: 700gms, popularity: 200 difference in sales rank etc.

It would allow objective comparisons to go along with the subjective comparisons of the reviews you currently show.

That's a great point -- currently, I'm in the process of scraping specs from other sites, and I really like your idea of putting a layer of understanding over that to simplify the display for the user.

Kind of like Google Squared, but easier to generate the table.

This looks useful. It would be a good idea to have the pros and cons lists next to each other so that one doesn't need to scroll down long lists.

http://nextsprocket.com Pay and get paid to complete open source tasks, bugs, etc. We are having trouble figuring out why the idea is not catching on. Is it fundamentally the idea of paying for open source, the traction or other?

Fixing bugs is a much less glamourous task than implementing features, and people aren't as inclined to take on the dull and frustrating task of fixing other's mistakes.

Beyond payment, how do you build up the pride and reputation of bug-fixers? How do you make them heroes in the community? Or rather, just heroes in general?

I thought of the application as a way for freelancers to get paid for relatively short tasks in between jobs while helping the open source community.

The site isn't geared just for bug fixes. It's any task for any open source project that needs to be done for a price. For example, this recent task http://nextsprocket.com/tasks/python-for-enunciate wants to port enunciate from ruby to python.

A major problem with it for me is the high complexity to low pay for most of the projects I see.

http://bit.ly/callbreak and http://fishinmyhead.com:3000 . It's a popular card game in Nepal, similar to Spades here. One is a rails app another Seaside.

Hacker News Safari Extension: http://github.com/braintapper/Hacker-News-Safari-Extension

My attempt at a prettified Safari Extension for reading HN - for fun, not money. Lets you star items, follow sources and or user submissions etc. Uses Safari's SQLite db to store stuff.

Some explanation of how/why: http://blog.braintapper.com/update_hacker_news_safari_extens...

Only about halfway there, got busy with contract work. The source is all there if you want to build it though. Still buggy. Some edge cases are breaking my page scraping code (i.e. HN Poll items, etc.).

http://www.playlookit.com === A daily scavenger hunt you play with your cell phone camera.

http://www.apprabbit.com - Turn spreadsheets into web apps. Kinda like Wufoo, except our forms aren't pretty. But we do support setting up relationships between your datasets and we auto generate the views for you. We also have a fairly robust security model that lets you restrict user/group access to datasets both vertically (filters records meeting criteria) and horizontally (restrict access to certain fields). Plus what you're actually creating are Django apps, so (in theory) you can export them when you're done building them and host them on your own servers.

Go to /beta-signup/ to skip the mailing list and go right to creating a real account.


I wish I had some time to finish it (client work first)! It also might be a miniscule market.

I don't think it would be a miniscule market, someone was asking me about multiplayer on iphone the other day and I don't even make iphone games.

Sorry I was unclear. Multiplayer on iOS is a huge market. But with Apple providing peer-to-peer built-in a hosted solution such as PlayRelay might not find many fans. Game Center might be "good enough". That is why I am trying to add things like accountability (opponent is losing and quits the game with no punishment) and tournaments.

Haha, my project couldn't be a better fit for your description: http://valuegrapher.com/

Looks great! I do all my timesheeting via an IRC bot - will plug this thing in and then blog about it when I get the chance :)

hey - can you say more about the IRC bot? I'm working on ohMore.com and the idea is somewhat similar, but with web/mobile interface instead of irc.

Cool, thanks!

Trying to incorporate wakoopa anytime?

Hadn't thought about that... I'll look into it.

http://rapidsocialresponse.com - An automated response system for Twitter @mentions (not canned responses). That is, you preset a response to a specific @mention to you. I'm using Django + Python AIML at the back-end, so there's some NLP involved (although that knowledge is not needed on the for end-users).

The name is from Jeremiah Owyang's post here: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/03/05/altimeter-repo...

www.appcanvas.com. I posted it here a few days back and was blasted for poor and unintuitive usability. Have been working my ass off on the UX since then. For what's it worth it definitely fits the description here.

I think this is an incredible concept! I tried to use it but couldn't actually enter in any text (FF 3.6.11) but keep at it! This is a really great idea and already well on the way to being a great execution.

Yeah the usability sucks. Right now the problem is that one can use it after 15 minutes of training and become expert in may be few hours of training, after which you can create super complex sites like twitter/HN.

I am doing a UX rewamp and trying to minimize the learning curve. The next version with some major UI modifications and support for all browsers should be out in 2 weeks. Do follow me on twitter or drop a line and I will make sure you know.

Will follow for sure. Hey - Harsh Jain - were you on Google SOC 2005? Or is that just a really common Indian name :)

I worked for Project Looking Glass, added natural language voice control. It was really cool demo and stuff but didn't go anywhere as the parent project was always in a demo like state itself.

I did continue to work for Google and played a part in some of the SoC activities for next year.

haha far out, I was in that too :) I did this: http://rubyforge.org/projects/koto/ and then never looked at it since :(

As far as I know, there was ONE GUY in Germany that managed to install it and get it running. He blogged about it under the title "That's Real RAD!" in German - but my lack of autotools skill and inabiilty to properly use qtruby as a "lib" meant that the install process was pretty diabolical.

What did you work on? Did you ever do anything with it after SOC?

Can't reply to the child thread. Yes I am the same guy :-)


Wanted a place to keep track of what movies I was watching, when and who I was watching them with, and then be able to recall them later.

For instance: Recent movies watched http://movief.ly/users/adamfortuna/viewings

Movies first seen in 2009 http://movief.ly/users/adamfortuna/lists/first-seen-in-2009

Never went beyond the 'scratch my own itch' stage, but gomiso seems to like the idea of checking in to TV/movies.

Nicely done. I made something vaguely similar as a weekend project. Mine is a lot more minimal and focused more on just tracking things to watch. Perhaps I'll post it if i can find enough time to get it online.

i like this idea. my husband and i are always watching tons of movies and can never keep track.

Thanks! I really want to get it to the point where it can look into your friends lists to generate lists as well.

For instance -- What're my girlfriends favorite movies that I've never seen? Or What are my friends favorite movies of all time (that I have seen or haven't seen)? In the end it's all about keeping track of what you've seen, and helping decide what you should see next though, so it might have Netflix integration so I don't have to reinvent the recommendation wheel either. What movies you'll like is only half the equation though -- the other half is what people you know are actually watching!

http://www.antiqueway.com - antique store listings with a dose of mapping.

The ultimate goal is to have pricing for improved listings (description, couple pics, link to website) and tiered pricing for the listing of antiques that the antique store has for sale. Example of a site doing the former is www.antiquesincanada.com and the latter www.sellingantiques.co.uk/

I think the main challenges here are SEO and pounding the pavement. If you have any thoughts or ideas for improvement, fire away!


About two years ago, me and my partner gave ourself 48h to launch a project. We never touched it since then and the database has more than 1 gig of data by now... I guess there should be something to do with it but we never had the time and/or motivation to touch it again after that.

We still managed to get some coverage (press, tv, etc.) on that so even if it's not something really complicated, I'm still proud of it.

Too bad I didn't see this sooner - it would have made a nice simple way to keep track of the various municipal elections happening across the country at the moment.

If this could be customized for the user's location (or per account) so that the local Toronto/Calgary/Durham/Ottawa/etc election was covered this could gain huge traction.

This is great - maybe you can push it further for the next federal election?

Maybe, we had good coverage but almost no visits. I think Twitter wasn't popular enough two years ago.

But the real problem is that we aren't really motivated by politics so that the real reason why we didn't add any features yet.

It's not a real "startup" type of project, but these are some of my half-finished projects that I'd like to bring to a stable and releasable point some time:


At http://blog.marc-seeger.de/ , I'm trying to get a blog based on serious (http://github.com/colszowka/serious) (ruby, sinatra + flat files) up and running. I don't seem to find the time (or muse) to keep doing some improvements such as:

- start adding more CSS and beef up the HTML semantically

- publish some new papers (e.g. my M.Sc. thesis)

- Introduce tags

- Create a cellphone-friendly version by just using CSS3 media queries


http://fitness.marc-seeger.de/category/joggen (aka: http://github.com/rb2k/run-a-log ) is another side project that works, but could need some polish.

I scratched my own itch after I couldn't find a simple way to visualize gpx files recorded with my cellphone (simple = just upload via scp)



A plugin-extendable commandline downloader for video sites. Currently does Youtube, Vimeo and Megavideo. I basically hacked it together and never got arround to properly document or package it... :(


Just four days after I "soft-launched" by telling a few friends, the site wound up on TechCrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/04/stealth-mode-watch-another-...), and now I'm adding more features with the goal of creating a freemium/pro-upgrade business model.


Simple and no-nonsense budgeting app using mostly inline editing. Theres only like 4 main pages planned namely 'Dashboard', 'Budgets', 'Daily Expenditure' and 'Reports'.

I have only coded 'Budgets' at this point. Signing up doesn't require email confirmation at this point.

Screenshot: http://offbudget.heroku.com/images/screenshot.png


I developed organizemysearch.com after being tired of keeping tons of car ads and notes all over the place while I was looking for a used car a few years ago. I wanted an application that will let me enter all the data I wanted to keep track of when searching for something (eg. color, miles, make) and later be able to quickly and easily sort through everything so I can compare things based on my priorities.

The idea is to let you compare properties of items you are considering buying across multiple websites. It's a shopping comparison tool

The official definition from the website is this:

"organizemysearch.com helps you organize your searches, keep track of them, and provide you quick tools to sort and display all the information your are considering when making a final decision. In other words it helps you manage searching for information in the real world, regardless of what you are actually searching for."

The project is public but I have been caught up with other projects recently and didn't get around to market it (part of it being that the app falls into the caregory of 'people don't know it's useful until they use it'.

A HTML5 puzzle game: http://www.sokogame.com

Got some very useful feedback when I posted it here, update coming soon.

Overall, http://ourdoings.com/ is beautiful once you've uploaded hundreds of photos. But there are still ugly parts: I'm still not 100% satisfied with the registration page. The headlines page for any given year is ugly. Several features (e.g. using a custom domain) are not self-explanatory. But I'm definitely proud of it.


StackExchange meets TasteSpotting and hopefully, eventually LocalHarvest

If you ever want any help developing this or need someone to bounce a feature idea off of let me know.

holy mouse-clicks batman! that's an awesome site/project.. sending to the wife now

Thanks :) I'm working on the second beta version and am almost ready to take it live.

Mine is http://www.soulplaying.com

It's a web app that integrate RPG elements with a TODO list.

I'd like to check it out, but it doesn't seem to be up.

Oh sorry. For some reason, it only like www.soulplaying.com not soulplaying.com.

Try the link again. It'll work.

http://drunsen.com (instant search), http://dealhill.com (daily deals), http://audiothink.com (narration), http://videothink.com (video editing)

http://www.propgrok.org/ -- A (nonpartisan) guide to 2010 California Propositions. I would appreciate any feedback, and I realize it's not too pretty. My bigger issue is that I'm at a loss as to how to get people to come visit the site since this is a hobby project. Any ideas?

Make it easy for someone with an opinion on an issue to type in their analysis and share it to Facebook (with a "more" link back to your site). Recently I've had several conversations about voting behavior, I think many people vote mostly based on advice from their friends. Maybe you can help the politically minded friends share their issues and in the process build a community for them.

Took me a while, but I have that implemented! Thanks for the great suggestion.


Get a page for your community with events, jobs, groups, members and filter everything right on the map to see what's near you. It also has live chat using websocket (done in two days with 3 other guys for railsrumble). It also integrates with facebook, twitter, gmail, linkedin and more.

Ok, I'll bite.

It's a little app that lets you find Imdb scores and release years for movies: you type a list of titles in a textbox and it responds with info that you can then export as .csv

It's in the form of a Chrome extension for now (because I want it to be a Chrome app as soon as possible) that you have to use on a specific page.

The extension is here:


The page you use it from is here:


I built it for a friend that has a big collection of movies on disks, that he has yet to watch, and who wanted to know which movies were worth his time.

It still needs a lot of work, but I lack motivation to improve it since I don't watch many movies myself and the friend I built it for found it met his needs as is.

But if anyone is interested I could go back to it.

A really simple web app that lets you create and take multiple-choice quizzes:


Some friends were talking about making such a thing, and I'm tired of discussions of "hey we could do this cool thing" that ultimately go nowhere, so I just jumped in and did it.

http://ripplepay.com/ - mutual credit payments through a social network. First site I ever made 5 years ago, proud of it, but never really made it very usable or useful. Just started working on a rewrite so I can start adding new features, like a marketplace...


Improve your spelling through daily practice.

http://www.triviathing.com - Trivia game inspired by IRC trivia bots.

Very early, still needs a TON of questions, and a handful of bugfixes. But it's semi-functional, and I've played it with my friends and family for a smashing good time (until we start getting duplicates).

Yeah, including a bugfix for it to work on Chrome in Linux. I choose a game, submit, then get a blank page with just the header.

Thank you for the feedback. It's worth noting that if you don't have flash, it won't work. It currently relies on flash for persistent socket connections. I'm working on getting it working with websockets.

But it should work on chrme, which is also my browser of choice.

Interesting, I do have flash block, but disabled it for your site. I still didn't get anything, but perhaps flashblock is still at fault.

Oh, and it's written entirely in Erlang (runs on the Nitrogen Web Framework), except for a bit of javascript.

Achieve.ly. I had a few people interested in using it but I took a contracting position and had to stop working on it. I have a few people waiting to use it too. I'm probably just going to open it up publicly to let the handful of people use it.

I'm also working on some client/server stuff for automated web deployments.


A project to revamp the online course directory for UCLA. For reference, the original directory is here: http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/schedule/schedulehome.aspx


code http://github.com/mmb/murlsh

Right now a link blog for those who want to self-host and customize. May build a site that hosts these or add some kind of federation.

ChatPatio.com - I just embedded a bunch of chatrooms into different topics people would want to discuss. It's been sitting on the side untouched for a few months now. I just created it as a quick mockup and may launch a real app sometime.


http://smallpayroll.ca - an online payroll site that does the paperwork and calculations, you write the checks. I have some paid users, but I'm still working on a few key features that are holding me back with a large part of the market.

This belongs more in a "Ask HN: Show us your 'dead on the vine' projects":


You could play videos and keep searching while the video played, make and share playlists, etc. It stopped working when YouTube started muting copyright songs and then made some tweaks to their API and now there are dozens of similar sites so never had any real drive to fix it.

That was 3 years ago. It was one of my first php and ajaxy projects and is a bit dreadful code wise. It wouldn't have taken anytime to improve it and who knows, if I had kept it in running order it might have done something.

As it is, I think I made about ten bucks in Adwords and Amazon affiliate money...

WeatherLoop┬░ - http://weatherloop.com

Receive Weather Texts Everyday.

http://biblioflip.com -- just a landing page right now. this is a cross-platform (mac/linux/win) desktop elibrary app. drag-n-drop pdf, chm, etc. into it and it 'figures out' what the content is and populates all the meta-info (i.e. authors, isbn, publisher, cover image, etc.). edit meta-info in bulk. lightweight, clean ui, easy to use. will also have lucene full text search (todo). will also expose RESTful web service so that apps like Stanza on iPad can browse and d/l the content to the devices. i've been pouring my time into this from 8PM to 2-3AM on/off while not doing my day job. if anyone wants a peek, i can send you an installer. would love help building the website ;)


right click to turn, left click to fire, 0 - 9 to set speed. It's just me playing around with node and canvas. I can't decide if I should spend the time on it to turn it into an actual game.

Murphy on Luxury: http://murphyonluxury.com. Seeking to emulate the success of email newsletter verticals like DailyCandy & Thrillist, but with a refined editorial tone and a focus on luxury travel (news/reviews of resorts, hotels, spas, first class/private aviation, etc). High CPMs for this sort of audience (that's the goal at least), and it's a topic I love.

I've focused most of the design on the email templates so far, so the website remains very alpha.

Trying to decide whether to bootstrap or try to get F/F/F or angel/seed $. (DailyCandy, for example, apparently had $300K seed funding only later raised money from Bob Pittman (after 250K subscribers, I think I read).

HN extension for Google Chrome that adds profile hovercards and instant search. I really dislike the current hovercards and the code is dirty but it works.


Image-focused chat: http://popchat.org


This is just a room so you can see others on and not just yourself http://squarechat.com/hackernews


A site that lets developers share promo codes for their iOS apps to bloggers and app reviewers. It does the job, but there is so many things I want to do with it.

http://www.crossies.com is a media marketplace. It is very ugly, but try it out and let me know what you think.

Each of the codes below will allow you to create an account with an initial balance of $10 on the site. They are one time use so first come first served.<br>












It's a two player, turn based, web strategy game. It's like Stratego, but with bunnies instead of soldiers, and fog of war instead of not being able to see what a piece is. It's my first AppEngine app, so a lot of it was just learning to use the Data Store, which is quite different from the RDBMSs that I'm used to.

Source code and screenshots are available here: http://code.google.com/p/bunnyland-tactics/

Khoi Vinh (http://subtraction.com) and I made something called Shorty (http://get-shorty.com). It was the first URL shortener you could install on your own server.

I built Shorty in high school. It's absolutely dreadful code; hopefully I'll rewrite it sometime after I graduate college.

Last Christmas I built a webapp that displays my iTunes music library. I can't show it to you though, because then you'd max my home's bandwidth.

A service that has no backend (no server calls, DB, 'scary' stuff to consumers) that lets you back up your tweets on your own terms. Basically gives you ownership of things you write, without relying on any third party to access, store, or send you your own writing. Eventually will be given out as a folder with some .js and .html files, all self contained.


http://sayonarastuff.com personal project for the expat community in Tokyo.... needs a lot of work, loads slowly, very buggy.


I've got an amazing image acquisition pipeline that finds thousands of images a day with little human intervention, but there's barely any user-visible categorization, the navigation sux, the full text search sux, and there's a lot of infrastructral stuff that sux too, but at least you can't see it.

Not only that, but to make the site successful I need to promote it to the sky.

I expect to chip away at some of those issues over the next year or so.

I really like this site! Good job.

http://dambr.com - a quick and simple RSS/Atom feed reader I'm writing to replace Bloglines when it dies at the end of the month.

http://scoopbase.com - It's just the landing page right now. Working hard tonight to get something people are use.


A web app that handles two-factor authentication systems for web sites that want to add it. Let's you use an API to generate a password that gets SMS'ed or voice called to your user, then let's you validate what they typed.

I figured if Google, Facebook, and Chase banks have them, then many other sites will want them too. And they don't want (or know how) to do it themselves. Tough to market though.


I had an idea to build a chatroom-flavored MUD that is played through the browser. There's a live demo on no.de that you can find at the top of the docs.

I've currently paralyzed myself with a desire to reimplement the backend in other languages including Clojure. The Node development cycle is really fast though - getting onto the JVM has slowed me down.

http://onlineqrlab.com This is the first iteration. Actually re-coding it to fit into Fat-Free. Will add a decoder, other functionalities, a sharing tool... I really have nothing specific about it and will see how it goes and will decide later.

Grabbing the QrCodes that get coded and seeing what people are looking for ;) this would help me later on deciding my QrCode product.

http://vol.ly - Volly ~ Plans made easy

An app to help friends get together quickly for casual events. iPhone app just released.

One of my first programming projects, a physics game done with Processing: http://www.ewjordan.com/RGBApplet/ (warning, that link is a Java applet, don't blame me if your browser crashes!)

Buggy as hell (won't work if you reload the page, I think the applet viewer doesn't reset statics?), and really rough. Probably one of the toughest control schemes imaginable.


A call-by-name untyped lambda calculus evaluator. I have no clue what to do with it.


Track any numeric metric over time using your Twitter account.

People have used to to track their weight, mpg, jogging, movie ratings, etc. Most of the users right now are Japanese, tracking their "hakaru diet" (whatever that is).

Here's an example report: http://www.twackit.com/yishibashi01/hakarudiet


When you're on the phone and you need to spell your name, address etc. It will print out the international call sign (Alpha, Delta, Lima etc).

Took me about 30 mins or so, running on Google App Engine but almost all JavaScript. Was going to make it into an Android app instead as a learning exercise, but never got round to it.

Claycloud: Sharing and Executing Python Scripts in the Browser


http://www.weathermap.eu/ Weather forecast based on free data. Only rain forecast for now. I had (still have) plans to make it much better with wind, temperature etc., nicer graphics, better animation and an Android App. I am working on too many other side project, but I hope to start working on this one soon again.

A bit late to the party, but here's mine. It's an online shop list management web-app. It's not open to the public. You'll need to send me your email address for me to set you up an account.


PS: ShopSmart needs a Google account to work. So, whatever email you send needs to be associated with a Google account.


I want to make learning (for a self learner) easier by matching learning intent with materials specific for someone's learning style.

Basically if you are visual learner the system will try to suggest more visually oriented materials for the courses you are taking right now.

I think it should be really valuable to a busy student :).


Instant voice recording over the phone. Listen by phone or web.

http://piqi.org -- a better alternative to XML, JSON, CSV, S-expressions, etc.

Nobody's going to look at my response at this point, but


So far it's just a port of Microsoft Research's TrueSkill rating algorithm. Next up is to learn SQL so I can test the accuracy of the algorithm, and once that's done, a web site to allow you to track games with friends (I'll probably end up porting it again to Python or Ruby)


I started the website as a senior design project in 2005. My team won a $10k entrepreneurship contest, but we were all finishing college and drowning in debt, so we split the prize up and went our separate ways. I intended to sell, but never got around to it.

A year later: Etsy.

Uhm, This was about three hours worth of work, and never came back to it. http://prj-megan.heroku.com/ source is here: http://github.com/icco/Project-Megan.

I have no doubt someone could blow this up.

http://toylanguage.com - it is kind of like jsfiddle + pubsub

http://norstrulde.org/tty/tty.html An ASCII-art, note-taking, {box,line}-drawing thing. Was the first thing I made with Javascript. Drag-n-drop to draw. Type to insert text. Edit: I think Safari is the only browser it kind of works in.

http://timetracking.im : time-tracking and timesheets on IM

This is a great project! I'd like a way to be able to list existing tasks / projects and then I would probably use it

when writing "select project" (shortcut : sp) or "select task" (shortcut : st), it lists them so you can choose a task already created.

Great, thanks! I was just typing project names after the command.

timetapper (see another post) aims to be about as simple

After spending a ton of time trying to think of a name for a web app, I spent a couple hours writing this short domain name generator. It's a bit buggy and it doesn't generate the world's greatest names, but it's something.



100-word stories and workshopping. My first Rails project from 2007.


A Sinatra project from over last weekend. Forward an email, get a reply with a private Pastie link. Working but not polished.

http://alex.turnlav.net/yarg/ OS X interface for rsync. One of those pet projects I never found the time to give the polish it needs. Github: http://github.com/Pretz/Yarg

http://illustrend.com - Self hosted, real-time Erlang/GWT metrics system. Uses Munin plugins, log files, HTTP GET, or a TCP socket to get the metrics into the system. Drag and drop chart and trend-list building to get the data back out.

This is more like unbaked: http://wallstdollar.com

http://www.irishionary.com - a collaborative Irish dictionary. It's been up a couple of years now, but developing new bits is a pain in the ass specifically due to my complex implementation of a multi-lingual interface.

http://lyrica.heroku.com/ so I can have a way to view my chords and lyrics on the go. Also an excuse to play with jQuery Mobile.



Crappy re-implementation of git-web in php. Yes, I realize it looks like github. Yes, I realize the code is from various existing frameworks/blogs. But git internals are so cool!


This has been worked on in various forms for over a year now. The main issue was always with getting quality data. No attempts at optimization have been made yet, but it's fairly usable even so...

Bizzybe - http://bizzybe.com/

This is my first project using Web.py. I wanted to get a feel for the framework and see how difficult it would be to build a minimalist twitter-like site. Not sure if I'm going to give it any more time.

I'm the only user so far: http://bizzybe.com/bgrohman/


A site to manage your backpacking gear and track your pack weight for different trips. A very needed service for ultra-light backpackers. Still needs a little polish, but it's usable.


It's a stand-alone version of Swing appframework 1.03's ResourceMap implementation. I didn't want to use their entire framework and also needed a few extra resource loaders.


A search engine that allows you to check-in and comment on sites in search results -> can you be the future mayor of hacker news? Essentially Google + Foursquare. Suggestions welcomed.

http://frutell.com - Daily Deal Aggregator

http://www.gifexplode.com is pretty half baked, I've never put enough effort into tidying it up, but it does the job, and reddit love it (~30k uniques/month, mostly due to reddit spikes).

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