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Show HN: CaptainObvio.us - a place to share ideas (captainobvio.us)
109 points by Aaronontheweb on March 24, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 72 comments

Allow voting. -- Captain Obvious

That's high on my list of things to add - that, tagging, and email subscriptions. Love the feedback :D

I might be the only person on the planet who still uses it, but RSS would be awesome!

On the list - shouldn't be hard to do :D

You're not alone yet. I get my daily dose of lolcats via rss.

I made this in the course of a couple weekends and wanted some feedback on how I can make it better. I've heard email notifications for comments and easier social sharing features so far, but I would love to know what else I can do to make it better.

Great idea and great domain name, but I would suggest that monospaced fonts and #6A6A6A text on white are not exactly the best thing ever for readability.

You can probably leave the colors the same if you just switch to a proportional font, add a smidge more of padding, and bump up the line-height just a bit: http://cl.ly/3x1n103K472Z1J2t3Q3k


your mock-up looks FANTASTIC! Could you tell me what font that is you used there? I'm not a designer by any stretch of the imagination and am generally clueless about these sorts of things.

Hey no problem, maybe try one of these:

  .ideaBody {
    font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;
    line-height: 1.6em;
    padding: 0.9em 1.2em;
Or the one in the screenshot:

  .ideaBody {
    font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Tahoma, sans-serif;
    line-height: 1.7em;
    padding: 0.9em 1.3em;

Thanks a lot, Jarin! I'll implement this tonight!

Here are a few simple CSS tweaks that can improve readability. I only spent a couple of minutes, but I think it helps: http://pastebin.com/WEKswHND

EDIT: Here's a screenshot preview: http://cl.ly/022H381a2N2p1N0h3q0k


Dude, you are a life-saver. I'm going to use this and deploy it soon after I try to patch that scrolling lag issue people have been reporting - is there any way I can give you an acknowledgement or something in the footer of CaptainObvious or on the about page?

Very nice improvements... I hope you are online when I do my own ShowHN ;-)

Shoot me an email. I have at least 5 minutes to spare for pretty much anybody.

Fantastic, thanks. This is one of the reasons I love HN.

Please drop the "s around everything. The picture being there and the context forces me to associate it with a person and not the site, the "s are redundant. Especially in comments. Also scrolling is insanely laggy for me, I have no idea why, but I assume it's all the JS.

Just pushed a new build that removes the quotes - that was one of those things that looks better on a mockup than it does in production.

As for the scrolling issue, it could either be the Twitter @Anywhere hovercards or the background (used some CSS hacks to make it scale with the window when you resize) - could you let me know what browser you are using?

Google chrome, version 10.0.648.151 which chrome tells me is up to date. My operating system is Windows 7 and I have about 2.1GB RAM free out of 6GB total and CPU usage is at ~1%. I don't get the same lag in Firefox 4.

Ah, thanks for that key detail about Firefox - that tells me that the scrolling background might be the issue since it does some browser-specific stuff in order to resize with the window.

That's odd - I tested it in Chrome on Windows 7 on a machine with similar specs and I don't have that issue. I'll do some digging around and see if there's something funky with that block of CSS or my JS

I'm having similar lag issues when scrolling up and down the home page with latest Chrome on Ubuntu 10.10. Firefox 3.6 is fine.

Good stuff, indeed. I have always a place to go to just discuss ideas with other creative people. I've used Twitter to do something similar, mentioning Twitter handles of those who would could use the idea I had in mind.

I'll post tonight!

I still see the quotes.

I think the key missing feature is being able to register interest or activity for an idea.

It would be extremely useful to see if anyone else is working on an idea, who they are and what their focus and status is.

e.g. When seeing the idea about selling twitter names, it would be helpful for everyone if I could say "Oh yes, Twitter are launching this next Friday" or "Like the idea, have a prototype, need a designer."

Comments do help, but a structured solution would make things much easier.

Ideally this wouldn't be only first-person, so that people can report other projects which seem similar. You'll need moderation either way (votes or active moderation, whatever.)

If implemented well enough, this could breed a sort of communal start-up site. Maybe the originator of the thread gets to choose from respondents and splits equity among them, at which point the idea is locked.

I love this idea. Good implementation too, the only thing i'd change is:

1) Add an overview page with a much bigger list of ideas.

2) Decrease the font size a bit. I could only see two or so ideas at once on the home page.

3) Perhaps add a voting system of some type?

You also might want to seed it with a bit more content, otherwise you'll have a hard time breaking out of the chicken and egg problem (that's what ended up killing me).

EDIT: I'd also add some indication that you aren't going to tweet as me.

Voting and tagging are on my roadmap. I'm working on seeding it with more content too (just posted an idea myself!)

As for your comment in the EDIT - does it make you think you're going to end up tweeting your idea without a chance to opt out? Currently it doesn't tweet anything out if you comment or submit an idea, so if that's not clear I'd like to improve it.

Great :)

Nothing about your site indicates you'll spam me, but plenty of sites do. I am, and i think a lot of people are, reluctant to log in with Twitter without some reassurance that they and their followers won't be spammed. Just a quick note can't hurt imo.

I'm planning on doing that eventually, but it will be opt-in with a big TWEET THIS checkbox next to the submit button. Do you think that will be clear enough?

Could you get the relevant twitter account, so people could follow it? Looks abandoned with that last tweet made may '08.

I created @Obviouscptn last night and am trying to get captainobvious.

I also created an RSS feed http://captainobvio.us/rss/

It's foobar in IE at the moment but everywhere else.

@CaptainObvio.us: There's always room for another great site about ideas, but check out halfbakery.com. You might get some ideas from their site. It's good, not great, but has an active user base.

Is half-bakery meant to be somewhat silly ideas or serious ones?

originally it was meant to be silly ones, but the userbase got more serious over time.

i know the person that built/runs it.

You're welcome to check out Sparkmuse and steal any ideas on how we work. I can send you an invite if youd like, just shoot me an email.

I love this.

I had something built that is VERY similar (architecture - blobs of text with titles, twitter login, comments, voting, tags, flask+mongody) except for another completely different use: http://cluedb.com/

Might be interesting to share code?


Absolutely - I'd love to show you what I'm running under the hood. My email is aaron AT aaronstannard.com - what's the best way to get in touch?

So you're not going to make the code public?

Not just yet - I might post it to my Github account (https://github.com/aaronontheweb) once I get a chance to push a few changes and sanitize my repo so it doesn't contain my debug and production .config files

Would you be interested in checking out the source too?

Absolutely. Other would be interested too, I think.

Ok cool - I'll put together a repo with my .config files sanitized out of it and with a few critical bug fixes in place and drop it on Github. I'll see if I can get this done this weekend.

i emailed you.

I found scrolling up and down the page to be very laggy--without much investigation, it appears to be caused by the background image.


Are you tying the resize of the background directly to the window resize or scroll event? You might want to consider using setTimeout(customResizeFunc, 100) just to keep the scroll event from blocking

I'm using some CSS hacks to do it. Here's what that code looks like:

body { font-size: 75%; font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: #232323; background: url('img/styles/blue_bg.jpg') no-repeat center center fixed; -webkit-background-size: cover; -moz-background-size: cover; -o-background-size: cover; background-size: cover; filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='/img/styles/blue_bg.jpgg', sizingMethod='scale'); -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='/img/styles/blue_bg.jpg', sizingMethod='scale')"; background-color: #00689c; height: 100%; }

Could you let me know what browser you're using and what your machine specs are? You're not the first to report the issue, so I'm trying to see where I should begin testing.

Same problem here. Firefox 3.6ish / Mac

Chrome; Win7 x64; 2.4ghz duo; 4gb ram

Very nice v0.1

Just thought I'd let you know that if you ever need an official Tee (weekly best idea?), there's a good one on threadless: http://www.threadless.com/product/2537/Captain_Obvious

Dude, that's a great idea and hysterical to boot! Thanks!

Great site, but I would lose the Courier. Might just be my preference.

The background image is causing scrolling lag in Chrome. I turned the background image off and it fixed the problem.

I also love this - funny cause I think that every creative/idea-generating mind with any regard to the internet has had this idea before, but I'm glad that someone is finally making it happen.

My guess to your idea's success is that you need to wire in with the right people and it'll explode.

Guys, thanks for all of your feedback! Lots of great ideas and suggestions, and you helped me find two really nasty bugs that I didn't catch earlier.

I'm going to start hacking away on this the instant I get off of work on Friday - I can't wait to get started. Thanks, Hacker News!

This is really a lot of fun, and could even be a great tool for teams that are brainstorming ideas. I also love all of the feedback you are getting here and your receptiveness to it. I look forward to seeing how it grows. Nice work!

Just a tiny, trivial, aesthetic/grammar change: on http://captainobvio.us/auth/login you say "Login to Captain Obvious". I'd change that to "Log in …".

I had this, err, idea! Congrats for doing what I wouldn't do and implementing it. Perhaps I should have just put the idea on CaptainObvio.us and let someone else implement it ;-)

Love it! Not sure if I'd remember to come to the site everyday, but I'd definitely follow a CaptainObvious twitter account if it tweeted newly submitted ideas.



Probably an error with my controller that does writes to MongoDB - I'll check it out.

After OAuth, it couldn't retrieve my twitter username/picture, displayed them as null.

I had to delete the comments off of that thread - my post oauth-hook failed to retrieve your information. It could be an issue on my end (most likely) or an issue with Twitter @Anywhere. I'll investigate!

Try logging out and logging back in

it working for me.

Well executed. I would love an RSS feed to subscribe to.

The link to the comments for ideas with one comment is currently displayed as "1 Comments". You might want to change that to "1 Comment".

Is it mainly meant as a way of getting feedback on ideas, or throwing ideas out there for others to implement/use?

this is a great idea about... ideas

I think www.iinspireus.com does a much better job at soliciting feedback for your ideas!

I'd like to submit anonymously

While I see why people would do this, I think it would ruin the site. When people are forced to use their real identity I've found the quality is always much higher.

Something went wrong when i login with my twitter account.

Feature request: Automatic URL linking/detection

I voted you up sir

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