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Offer HN: Tell me what you need, and I'll program it (for free)
45 points by dutchbrit on Nov 11, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments
To refresh my mind, I'm looking at taking on one small project. So don't ask me to build a full crazy enterprise application here.

My skills include HTML5, CSS3, JS, PHP, Ruby, Python & Perl.

So, if you're missing something that you'd really like to have, comment below.

See any comments you like? Comment on it so I can see which request is the most popular, and I'll whip it up!

Create a web app that offers, your offer. A portal for HN devs to take on jobs, possibly in tandem, to better their skills. Hackers helping hackers.

I like this idea too, but perhaps instead of just "hackers helping hackers," maybe you could open it up to something like "hackers helping charities" to do some more good.

I'd pay $20/year if you build a reliable HN <-> e-mail comment gateway. I'd pay double if you convinced PG to let your app sync people's comment history. Use e.g. Gmail OAuth IMAP authentication, sync to a label, optionally sync bidirectionally (i.e. comment replies from Gmail), but that's only marginally more useful than getting e-mail archives of comments here.

Hell, if you write it in Python then I'll even donate the comments page parser I already have written (including a comment's original marked up plain text recovered from the HTML).

One of many tiny projects that just need a few concentrated days that I've never gotten around to. I suspect you might find quite a few here willing to pay that same $20/year.

Be careful about putting dollar figures on things like this and estimating demand. What if this guy spends a few hundred hours on this and then no-one buys it? Sure, it's his risk to take, and you carefully qualified your last statement, but overestimating demand is a deadly thing. So let me as - why do you think people will be willing to pay for this service, and what kind of numbers are you talking about? 100? 1000? 10000?

It's just an alternative for someone already offering to work for free – I'm certainly not about to write a business plan around it.

My use case is simply that I like my own comments/SMS/tweets/etc. archived and searchable, as it's an easy way of keeping track of stuff with zero effort. In the case of HN it would also serve to avoid the common situation where I miss a reply until hours after the replyer's lunch break ended.

My goal is to make $0 from this - maybe beer money, but thats all. No hosted SaaS - just an open source Github repo. Still, interesting idea.

Have you seen HN Notify? http://hnnotify.com/

http://notifo.com/hackernews looks like another option

Creepily, it claims someone is already signed up for my username.

They should allow multiple followers ... hello twitter for HN!

I had a crude but working version of that written in Go. One goroutine for the scraper, another for the email sender, it's pretty easy. Writing the website and billing is probably more time consuming than the gateway itself.

So, you want replies to your comments sent to you via email? or something more?

Literally just poll this single page: http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=forgotusername once every 30 minutes, extract the thread structure, generate some message IDs, and keep a database of which message IDs have already been e-mailed.

The ability to reply is more complicated and probably less useful.

I would like some help on a small(?) pyparsing project for a prostate cancer research project I'm doing. First try and some test cases here.


What's in it for you?

1) Tell your Movember buddies you're actually working on prostate cancer research

2) Maybe a trip to SD (big maybe, but hey)

3) a chance to make some connections. For example, I'm getting some help on the postgres side from Joe Conway (has a postgresql commit bit, and author of PL/R, http://www.joeconway.com/)

Could you explain what work do you need done?

Most immediately, I need to turn this file


into this file


longer story:

I'm a doctor in the military, and we use IT systems derived from the VA's original VIsTA project. If you've ever heard of Mumps, this is it. The manuals date back to the early 80s. I am trying to build out some infrastructure so we can sensibly work with external research institutions in the San Diego area. I have figured out how to get some decent text out, which then needs to be parsed for specific things, which may vary depending on the project.

Think of this as a startup within the largest of large organizations. The downside is there's a huge bureaucracy. The upside is we're operating far enough up, that everybody understands the bureaucracy problems and some key people are willing to help facilitate some things along the way.

So my minimum viable product is a research paper published using 55 cases. Trivial, right? Maybe if you're at Stanford. Here, not so much. getting enough code written that I can automate the parsing and inject this (and some other similar files) into postgresql, and then pull data back out and do data analysis with it. I have struggled to find help. Joe has been very generous with helping me wrap my head around postgresql. I have been through a lot of python tutorials, but I have never sat down with someone who knows python and seen how they solve a problem. Go to a desert island and teach yourself python with nothing but the internet. Can it be done? Yes, but it is very hard.

So I'm hoping to build a relationship with someone who could help with practical matters, like finishing this first step of a small parser. Paul McGuire, the author of pyparsing, has been very helpful over Stack Exchange, but crafting a well-formed question on Stack Exchange is very difficult when, again, one learned to code on a desert island.

Here's my effort so far


Which I'm sure anyone here will look at and say: dude, you could have finished this by the time you wrote this comment! Except it's really hard to wrap your head around something you've never done, never seen anyone else actually do, and can only spend 10-15% of your time on.

But I need to automate some of this work if we are going to undertake larger projects in the future, which is the goal.

Unfortunately I don't know python, I'm ruby-rails-mysql for my day job.

If you're interested in going down ruby (and even mysql or i can probably get up to speed on postgres, as it's a bit rusty), I can get involved.

If you want, the needed input cases and their desired output forms are in the repo, I would love to see how it's done in Ruby.


I'm not completely wed to postgresql, but I would hate to give up Joe, who has been tremendously helpful. And most of my admin experience is with postgresql (blogs, wikis, etc).

If the sequence of the last 3 numbers is not important (does not appear to be), then this appears to be relatively trivial. Unfortunatley, like the OP , I can only do this in ruby. I'll attempt to do it tonight, and reply to you on here when its done.

sent you a mail with my attempt

Here is an idea,

- Upload multiple images

- Add hot spots to them (annotations/marks, what ever you wish to call them)

- Each hot spot gets set to link to a different image of the uploaded images

It's a way to demo a UI prototype/mockup. So what happens is, once you are done, you'll share a link with someone.

And they would click through the images as they would normally do if those weren't static images but an actual UI.

Let me know if you need more elaboration.

This seems pretty interesting. There are options that provide this functionality as a bonus (e.g. LucidChart), but its definitely secondary and to use it meaningfully often costs some sort of membership fee. A nice simple free solution for this might be popular with designers.

At work I create a lot of flowcharts, e.g. http://www.freshfreestuff.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/gli... . I usually use Gliffy or UMLet. The problem is, all of these have drag-and-drop interfaces where you have to use the mouse all the time-and moving back and forth from the mouse to keyboard is painful for me. It also means that making flowcharts takes much longer than necessary-it would be really useful to have sane default keyboard shortcuts like "create a node beneath the currently selected node."

So some method of using, say, Gliffy without having to use the mouse would be awesome.

Disclaimer: I am not a programmer and have no idea how interesting this is, I can only speak to how much it would help me.

you should look into graphviz, this article posted a few weeks ago comes to mind: http://robrhinehart.com/?p=119

At first glance that sounds like exactly what I need! I'll definitely take a close look.

Also you can try this for the same purpose — http://yuml.me/


I want this[1], but a version that works online. Should support multiple calenders per user so that I can track more than one goal at the same time.

Have one dashboard view where I can see an overview of all my goals.

[1] http://seinfeldcalendar.com/

http://joesgoals.com does a pretty good job in my opinion, but it shows last 7 days instead of full month.

I have an app written in ASP.NET MVC with an API. Would like to either convert it into, say, RoR (or Python/Django/whatever if you prefer). Or, write a separate web app that uses the existing API.

To explain further, I had the app built in ASP.NET and find I don't give it enough love because I'm a mac-using product person (design and front-end dev). But it's a nice app that has some potential. There's an iOS app in existence that utilises the API.

Would be nice to have a web-app to complement it that we could work on in unison perhaps. It probably won't amount to anything more than a side project, but I've always found it enjoyable to work on.

My twitter is @tomcavill if you'd like more details.

hey Sam.

google directions allows you to add up to 26 places. it gives you driving directions, estimated time to drive each leg, and miles etc. It does not sync up with date/time info though.

I have posted all my ideas on the mapwhen twitter https://twitter.com/mapwhen

basically the idea is to have the interface like google directions, https://maps.google.com/ but add a date field and time field next to each location you add. That way you can plan where you will be when.

This can work for everyone from parents doing errands, where they need to leave work by a certain time, then get to the soccer practice by a certain time, then home by a certain time. Or for someone planning a 2 week road trip. you add 20 locations and the dates/times you need to be there. Using google's genius directions info, you get the drive times, the distances etc.... but then also create a way for all that data to be synced with date/time info.

I would imagine that once someone was logged in they would have a set of favorite locations, where they could just set the times they need to be places... also ideas like syncing with facebook checkins or foursquare, also ideas like having the app show you various entertainment or eating places, or gas stations along your planned trip, if you wanted.

I have all the ideas on the mapwhen twitter

Mike @mikehedge

Curve matching in javascript. Take a list of data points (x,y) and creates an equation that offers the best fit.

Side question: you will be making the code open source right?

This is a mischaracterization what curve-fitting algorithms do. You generally have to pick the function you want to fit, and then it's parameters are varied to minimize some comparison function. This means that this function would need to take the data, a chosen function, and a comparison function to minimize.

Also, this is a pure JavaScript project, and the OP wants to do something with HTML/CSS/etc.

Do I need to create the function I want to fit? Or would I have to look for a function that looks 'similar' to a plot of my data? So say my data 'looks' like a cubic function, I would need to supply it a blank(missing the coefficients) cubic function?

Also thank you for clearing up the mischaracterization.

A good implementation will have a bunch of ready-to-use functions for - polynomials of various degrees, at least.

Polynomial curve fitting can be "dangerous". As in, extrapolating results can be unpredictable if not done right.

I recall an example where 7-8 points, trending up, are fitted with a polycurve that sharply dropped right after the last data point thereby giving erroneous prediction.

Octave is open source, you can port "polyfit" to JS if you like.

thank you, looking into this now

The game "Super Bub" with single player mode.



There are other similar games, but this hit the "just one more game" sweet spot. I'm not sure how.

I need standalone code to read and write PVRTC files, to and from a simple 1-dimensional uint8 image-buffer -- "standalone" in this case means "something tied to neither Objective-C nor an insanely gigantic C++ game-programming framework". I will bake you a pie if it happens!

I've got an idea that is fairly simple (initially). Can you share a link or something to work that you have done already? I've got a concept that does not have any code written behind it yet, I'd be willing to see what could be whipped up quickly.

Links - not really, all work I've done lately is pretty much secret unfortunately.. one of the main reason why I'm offering this (but not the main one - I just love coding cool things).

I'd love to see a decent Python implementation of this natural language processing paper: http://www.aclweb.org/anthology-new/D/D12/D12-1072.pdf

I want to build an autobiographical timeline with Google App Engine using a javascript bookmarklet that copies the url and title from any Wikipedia page and lets me add dates and annotations (eg toy I loved, book I read, etc)

An app that ranks content that we provide according to the popularity of an associated twitter hashtag. Similar to andthewinner.is but where the tiles of each event shift around in real time according to realtime popularity.

May you find something interesting and in need of some help — ping me, I'll help you out. Skillset: LESS, HTML5, JS (Backbone.js), hardcore Java, Node.js, Hadoop, EC2.

Btw, I'm in Amsterdam, Netherlands; saw that you are from Eindhoven.

a software that help us to download all our pictures,data,comments,etc. from facebook, so we can have it for us, and then be able to delete our accounts from that evil web...

They already kindof let you do that, the thing I can't find any simple way to do is download all of my friends photo albums that I'm tagged in somewhere. I don't really take photos, so most of my precious memories are in other people's photo collections. If someone makes that I may well even give them money.

It shouldn't be too hard, just a few graph API queries and a loop to call curl, but I've never got around to it.

Since IFTTT (http://ifttt.com) uses the Facebook push notifications, you can actually auto-save pictures that your friends have tagged you in fairly easily. Granted, this is not for historic purposes, but will work from when you turn the recipe on.

https://ifttt.com/recipes/1717 is the original recipe that most people have modified that saves any pictured you're tagged in to Dropbox. I'm sure that it can be modified to upload all the pictures in the album (which you have access to).

I want to extend this a bit

* scrape your facebook data and most importantly the references to other accounts

* make accessing facebook available through your own software

* when you post something, it should appear on facebook but also directly into the very own self hosted version of your data


Use facebook but be ready to leave or parallely use one of the many Free Software wanna be social networks.

They already let you do that.

1. Download data: http://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467/ 2. Delete account: http://www.facebook.com/help/224562897555674

Bookmarks manager which is browser independent, most likely local app which syncs online. Should have tagging, categories, notes etc. Should be super fast and quick to use.

An open source, secure, drop in login/authentication system for developers hosting their sites as github pages (static only, no dynamic server side code will be executed).

What do people login to do if there's nothing dynamic? To edit the pages?

I'd like an iGoogle replacement. That's probably a lot to ask, but if it could do three columns of widgets that display RSS feeds of my choice, that'd be a good start.

Django App for a user of certain role to create sub-user with another role with a button to login as the sub-users created.

Invent a new framework. Make use of what you already know -- i.e. HTML5, CSS3, JS, PHP, Ruby, Python & Perl.

What kind of framework? Just anything random?

A lightweight micro-framework.

How long are you willing to code?

Roughly 10 hours depending on how interesting the idea is. :)

If I really like it, endless amounts ;)

Code will be released under MIT license.

I'd like a good bootstrap form builder. Preferably, one that I can gem install.

Say you do build something for someone, for free, who owns the work at the end?

He says it will be MIT licensed.

Source: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4769947

Edit: witch means he owns the original code but you can do (almost) anything with it.

Well, I'd even release it under something more free than MIT if that's possible - I don't really need any rights, as long as the user can use it for commercial work and doesn't need to credit me - as long as they don't claim they made my part...

a bit meta: Build an offer HN

Build your own hacker news extension.

a roachspotting mashup: photo/video-api + maps api + real estate api :)

Using node_pcap, make an npm package to capture multimedia packets as they come over the wire and reconstruct them into the original multimedia file that the browser was streaming down and playing back bit by bit.

Can it be a personal project?

My mother's been bothering me to make a website for her, I just haven't had the time...

Not really a personal project - install Wordpress and maybe a Themeforest template? That's 30 min work :)

I think TS should take on this one :).

Thank you kind sir!

Maybe weebly?

Iwant know hw to break any computer password and set a cafe timer

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