Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: What kind of side projects are you working on?
110 points by gembird on Nov 26, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 122 comments

A simple CSS/JS library recreating the Windows 8 Modal. Still working on tablet/mobile support (which im pretty sure is just a css style cursor: pointer;)


Another side project I'm currently in the process of designing:

Personal Problem: Me and my wife have some folders with so many random files. Too troublesome and time consuming maintaining it to be clean and organized. Pictures should be in a specific folder, installers in another one, etc. an example is the "Downloads Folder"

Solution: A small command-line utility that organizes a folder on where it runs from. This small command-line tool has only one parameter: a JSON file that contains "Rules" on what it will do on specific files. ex: .mp3's should be placed on a folder, .docs on another, etc. And so on and so forth. It could also come as an "installable" service/daemon that watches over folders. Still learning more about Scala, it's used in where I work, may write this command-line tool in that language for educational purposes.

A simple script (in linux, windows or whatever) could do that no problem. In fact, I'm pretty sure something like:

find -iname ".txt" -exec mv -v {} /home/user \;


mv .mp3 /whatever/folder/youd/like mv .jpg /repeat/as/many/times/as/needed

would work. Is this what you had in mind? Hope I'm not way off base here.

EDIT: for some reason Hacker News edited out my asterisks and the letters within are displayed as italics. Curious.

Yep exactly! I know that it could be done via bash or a batch file. I just wanted to solve this usual problem with a simple project that also allows me to learn more about Scala since it's used at where I work.

Ah, I see! Well that's as good of a place to start as any. Good luck in your endeavours.

Kitten, a programming language based on zero-cost abstractions (https://github.com/evincarofautumn/kitten). Competing in the same space as C++, Rust, and Nimrod. Statically typed, type-inferred, stack-based, higher-order, GC optional, with an effect system to manage side effects. Very much a work in progress, but you should stow it in your brain as a systems language to try in the future.

Open-source visualization of our solar neighborhood: http://uncharted.bpodgursky.com/ (source https://github.com/bpodgursky/uncharted)

This is really nice. I would love to have the option of displaying a galactic coordinate grid and other bearings, and perhaps labels on some notable stars.

Great work.

1. Cubehero - Hosting 3D printed projects https://cubehero.com

2. Embossanova - Emboss images to surfaces in OpenSCAD https://cubehero.com/physibles/iamwil/embossanova

3. Graftleaf and Graftweave - Graftconcept iPhone module back covers https://cubehero.com/physibles/iamwil/graftleaf https://cubehero.com/physibles/iamwil/graftweave

Hey, I covered cubehero on our site: http://www.techendo.co/posts/3d-printed-running-shoes

Cool, thanks! I put the a link to the article in our press section.

Lots of them.

Open source implementation of Minecraft https://github.com/SirCmpwn/Craft.Net

Reddit API wrapper https://github.com/SirCmpwn/RedditSharp

kernel written in z80 assembly https://github.com/KnightSoft/kernel

TI-8x emulator in javascript https://github.com/SirCmpwn/OpenTI

And lots more https://github.com/SirCmpwn

Are you human :). I wish i had the capability of your species.

http://hamsterdb.com - a C++ key/value store. hamsterdb is AFAIK the only key/value store which supports typed keys (i.e. uint32, uint64, blobs). under the hood the btree optimizes the memory layout for this type, just like a column store DBMS does. I'm now moving slowly towards adding analytical functions, but it's still a long way to go.

Docker replacement with emphasis on tool reusability. Docker made incremental builds right, and I love the idea. However, it reimplemented the whole tooling around it instead of using what's in there.

It will support FreeBSD/ZFS/Jails and Linux/LVM|BTRFS|ZFS/LXC on the first release. My goal is to re-use existing tooling as much as possible.

I am writing it in Haskell.

What I would like in something like that is the ability to push from outside an image to be used. Docker has push to a central location and then you need to pull from it which makes it harder for a small setup like mine.

An open source stream processing framework (https://ghostream.com) - it isn't really ready for the limelight yet, but you can find the code base on github (https://github.com/ghostream/ghostream) - final steps on the to do list are a few more example projects, a couple more functional operators and to polish up the documentation.

It has hit the 80-20 scenario. The last 20% is taking 80% of the time :)But it has let me quickly prototype a few little ideas (http://jamielewis.me.uk/posts/2013-11-03-Mapping-Earthquakes...)

Slick. Aside from the issues listed in github, what is taking 80% of the time? Did you expect the 80-20 split?

Honestly, part of it is motivation. I keep getting distracted with other things.

I expected it to go the 80-20 way, the initial ideas are not new ones, I have been building similar frameworks for a few years.

The time is mostly spent on the more difficult problems like "How should operators hang up when the program is closed?" " Should the program be expected to close?" "Should there be a global context object, or a default one" "Should an operator have a window by default or not"

There is no right answer, so its just a case of sucking it up and implementing something, seeing if it works, and going from there.

Plus the side escapades with earthquakes and space weather and irc channels - although implementing these little things does drive the bigger project.

I am hoping before the end of the year I can hit something I feel comfortable slapping "1.0" on and move onto something else for a while and use it as a base for working on some other ideas I have.

A columnar time series db with an lmdb backend - I have only just started and it us quite a struggle.

A map / tile server written in go. So far MapBox' mbtiles work.

This came from a peculiar interest of mine, whether my city needs yet another underground parking garage. So I started to scrape the public rss feed of the parking system. I have some gigs of data by now and RethinkDB is not as performant as I hoped it would be. There is no real query optimization as of yet.

What I want to visualize is whether you can find a parking spot at a certain point in time and reach a spot, for instance a shop, within a certain threshold by foot. In short, if you want to shop at XXX will you have trouble finding a parking spot?

I'm interested in finding more about disk failures (HDDs and SSDs), possibly with an eye to create an advance warning system for increased chance of multiple failures in a RAID system or the imminent failure of a single disk.

Blog is at http://blog.disksurvey.org/

Sub-parts on github: http://github.com/baruch/diskscan and http://github.com/baruch/disksurvey

Firefox OS port to the HTC One: https://github.com/firefoxos-htc-one

Round-based RPG Game written in Java/libGDX: https://github.com/andef4/adventure-game

Whatsapp for FirefoxOS written in TypeScript: https://github.com/andef4/ch.bfh.bti7054.w2013.p.fxos_whatsa...

All of them are still pre-alpha quality.

I'm working on a mobile/web app that lets users track their medication intake. It will use nfc tags that you tap each time you take the medication, so there's no risk of taking it more than the recommended number of times daily. It will also keep track of an side-effects you experience and prompt you to call the nearest pharmacy for refills. At the moment, I think I will target Android for the mobile app.

Almost all of the little spare time I have goes into http://Codepoints.net, presenting and explaining Unicode codepoints.

Edit: The page is fully open source: https://github.com/Boldewyn/Codepoints.net

Nice design and a great resource. Unicode is a complex beast, and making it easier to navigate and understand is a worthwhile goal, if only to improve how Joe Programmer deals with non-English text.

Visualizing crime of a city I am moving into: https://github.com/radekstepan/deadmonton

GitHub Burndown Chart: https://github.com/radekstepan/github-burndown-chart

Cool map. Edmontonians don't generally like their city referred to as "Deadmonton". However, the nickname rings true on so many levels. Good luck with your move. Is it soon?

Thanks. Hmm the crime in your city is not that out of whack compared to the Canadian average. It actually made me feel safer about the city and will make house hunting easier.

The move shall be in about 10 months time. Am in the process of reviewing the different startups in the city currently. Are you involved in one?

I'm glad you're doing the research before taking the leap. There are lots of safe neighbourhoods and only a few I would avoid. Let me know if you have any questions about city.

Unfortunately, I'm not involved with any startups at the moment but would love to get involved with the right one (take a leap of my own). I moved back to this city about a year ago after being overseas for six years. I rushed the move due to family reasons and didn't properly set myself up in that regards. I have the right personality, but I'm not confident in my skills. I need to find a company where I can learn as well as contribute and flourish that way.

I hope you find something that suits you. Are you thinking of joining an existing startup or doing something on your own?

Is there a way to contact you? Your profile does not say.

Of course. You can reach out to me at j.bryce.rogers@gmail.com. We can exchange additional contact details through email if need be.

I guess police is not reporting anything now? I don't get any incidents in http://radekstepan.com/deadmonton/

Also, welcome to Canada, if you are into football/soccer there's a "2nd division" team in Edmonton http://www.fcedmonton.com/

You need to press the play button in the top left corner. The data go as far back as last Friday. I will run an update to get new data at the end of this week again.

Yeah thanks, I am originally from Czech Rep. so I am more excited about hockey.

where do you get the data for visualization?

This website: http://crimemapping.edmontonpolice.ca/ the data go back by only a few months so I cache them in a file and always update with new ones.


I just finished this weekend hack I really like. https://github.com/garrettdreyfus/Libstripper It's a handy (i think) command line tool to extract the code you actually use from css libraries like bootstrap.

Not much compared to other comments here!

Thank you for this. By the way, I found this topic to be a difficult one to google for. Is there a magic search string or term of art that I'm missing?

If you mean something to strip css libraries, I wasn't able to find something equivalent on google. I also wasn't sure what to google for though.

1. A news/blogging platform: http://techendo.co

2. I also organize and run the san francisco hacker news meetup. http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-Hacker-News-Meetup/

3. Dev school grading site: http://schools.techendo.co

4. Burrito: http://burrito.techendo.co

5. Tribes: http://tribes.techendo.co

6. Next up is an app that helps businesses find their distribution channels -- to be released in a week or two.

7. ..and finally a kickstarter for a hacker tool coming early next year.

Join us on #Techendo on freenode to chat. :)

http://precis.gopagoda.com/ a threaded outbound-link aggregator. It needs a lot of work but i'm hoping to turn it into something cool. Currently incredibly slow because it's on a pagodabox free account and has no caching whatsoever. Also bootstrap and most of the buttons don't do anything still.

also https://gist.github.com/kennethrapp/ccb392c399d72efd8b0d a terminally unfinished Hacker News userscript to handle block/unblock/following users.

I am tired of repeating this again and again, so I am doing some yak shaving and creating a hosted rest service for managing user accounts and authentication. I will use it as basic infrastructure for future projects.

Rather than a hosted/solution - I would be think a program language specific (node/php/java) solution would be more useful. For example - something like $199 for lifetime use for account/oauth/etc system that you can use on any project. Maybe even have additional "packages" like invite friend, etc. Just a thought.

1. A gmail-inspired MUA: https://github.com/sup-heliotrope/sup

2. A bittorrent client in go: https://github.com/rakoo/taipei-torrent

3. A bittorrent-sync Libre alternative: https://github.com/rakoo/zinc

4. Yet another pubsubhubbub hub, this time in go: https://github.com /rakoo/psgb

International social network for freedivers - http://theabyss.de/

With buddyfinder, user blogs, as well as list of freediving spots and events.

I made embedding transcoded videos as simple as using the <img> tag --> http://transcode.io

Working on the production version atm.

I hate to be the guy who points this out, but heads up--you have an extra apostrophe in "its" on the front page. Normally I'd keep quiet, but since it's your headline...

Didn't get it, what are you talking about?

It should be:

Video transcoding in its simplest form.

Hey thanks davewasthere! I will correct in the next release.

1. A community driven listing of events around you - http://sntd.pw - https://github.com/caulagi/sntd

2. A website for children to share their toys - http://toystori.com - https://github.com/caulagi/toystori

the toy sharing idea is really nice!

A personal automated email sender, using vars and conditional statements (Eg. Multiple languages are possible, we live in a country where most of them speak: french, dutch, german or english, so that's a big + over here).

Create a poll (or mail) and mail them to clients when you sold for > 1000 € should be an option :)

It's actually meant to get feedback (automated) from clients with a more personal touch or to follow up on a sale of 1 month ago (how the car is, ...)

News search engine: http://wintria.com Java applet games (from a while ago): http://codelucas.com/pages/rocketboy.html http://codelucas.com/pages/island-overlord.html

Trying to learn some js gaming engines though.

A mobile web app (https://treycent.com) that lets you create voice-enabled question answering sites by tagging internet or intranet content with spoken questions. After a while you end up with a private Siri: a site capable of answering questions relevant to your team. Also working on a companion Google Glass app.

Wrote this recently: https://communities.sas.com/docs/DOC-2462

Industrial size data linkage in SAS.

I'm pretty sure I can make it even faster in Lisp, but just finished doing the SAS version and haven't gotten round to it. Don't know if its HN type material, but its cool to be done.

Scala tutorials (http://scalatutorials.com) - it's a "try scala code in your browser" (powered by scalakata.com) and has a basic tour at the moment, but I'm working on making it more like try ruby / codecademy, much more work than I thought by the way

A system to test blog/forum-comments for spam in real-time: http://blogspam.net/

A list of pubs in Edinburgh: http://edinburgh.io/

A mail client: http://lumail.org/

Interested in blogspam, do you have some overall stats, akismet style? http://akismet.com/about/

It seems to average 10-14 days to reject another million spam comments, from this load-graph:


(I've got stats going back the past two months or so, when the server was reimplemented in node.js.)

I've just started a site that aggregates open public transit data feeds. It lets you quickly see differences between feed versions, discover new feeds, and I'm working on APIs to easily bring in better real time data into apps


Interesting - I'm working in this area too; more on the consumption of transit feeds - have noticed in the UK at least that there are a ton of T&Cs thrown around these feeds, do you think you have any issues repackaging like this?

It's definitely on the todo list to categorically make sure I'm complying with each feed. I think the biggest thing I'll need to change is perhaps to not allow download the zip of the most recent feed.

Can you share what it is you're working on?

A UK based price and product tracking site (http://salr.io)

Almost there, but I've been working on it solo, and development stalled for a bit whilst I struggled with motivational issues and analysis paralysis. Hope to get something MVP-able very soon!

Currently, my main side-project is Pronto, quick automated code-review tool: https://github.com/mmozuras/pronto Intend to make a SaaS from its current library form, at some point, also.

A couple of others on the back burner.

1. Helping people run faster: https://cleverrun.com

2. Stats about where you spend your time: https://clevergeo.com

3. Something with pebble and it's accelerometer, probably related to sports.

cleverrun uses data from Run Keeper? I'm assuming it can pull in information from my Garmin somehow?

Currently CleverRun only works with RunKeeper. However, RunKeeper should be able to pull Garmin stuff in, look at: http://runkeeper.com/apps/fit2app/47741 - Then CleverRun will be able to get that data from RunKeeper.

A site for people to record their predictions, to say whether they agree or not with other people's predictions and later to see who was right. Let's see who can predict the best what will happen in the world!


Great idea ! Plus, your site does have good success as far as I can see! Appart from jQuery & bootstrap, what other technologies have you used to develop this site ?

Btw, is there a point system to reward people who predicts it right?

Computer algebra system that yields the steps it takes to produce a result. Mainly intended as an educational tool to help teach math. This is actually my first side project since I (re)learned to program a few months ago—everything I'm using to build this I learned at work.

I just started this web audio app to see if I could make something that translates well to tablet devices, and help me learn php. The server isn't hooked up but the front end works. http://helpknow.com/snd

An open teaching and learning resource for Python: http://introtopython.org

(source: https://github.com/ehmatthes/intro_programming)

A terminal emulator - https://github.com/hoeck/schirm - using a browser to render the screen, allowing programs to use HTML and Javascript as an alternative output (via a CGI like interface).

I'm making a social sharing application, dedicated to street food vendors, it's called tacotuyo.. very early in development still (about 20 hrs in) http://tacotuyo-elninja.rhcloud.com

SassyStudio, provides much needed support for SCSS in Visual Studio.


Currently it supports compiling css (via libsass), syntax highlighting, outlining, and intellisense.

My pet project is the development of the concept of "mind map for programming" (mm4p). It is a mix between literate programming and visual programming with the capacity to work with text file and any programming language you want.

My feel good project is Sahana Eden.

Deal Drop (and now Tech Drop) - iOS/Android shopping apps http://www.getdealdrop.com Been working on it for a few years. Nice side income but still trying to grow it to be my main income.

xtopdf, a toolkit for PDF creation from other input formats.

xtopdf supports many input formats, and more can be plugged in. Runs on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows (except for some platform-specific parts). Has a core library and CLI, GUI and web apps built using the library. Written in Python.

xtopdf links:

Overview: http://slid.es/vasudevram/xtopdf

Posts (with code) about using xtopdf: http://jugad2.blogspot.com/search/label/xtopdf

Source code: https://bitbucket.org/vasudevram/xtopdf

Open source github based jekyll blog editor that runs completely on client side. [1] A CRM system, and a designer collaboration tool.

[1]: https://github.com/captn3m0/potion

WriteTracker - A resource for writer's to track the submission process as well as find potential markets to submit their work. http://www.writetracker.com

I'm working on an iOS app that lets you manage and edit Jekyll websites on Github. check it out https://github.com/bringel/staticly

A youtube-based jukebox server in dart: https://github.com/rounds/jukebox-mode

We use it at the office to queue songs a chatroom and listen together.

My current side project is http://upbeatapp.com, working on it with two co-workers, and having some success.

Been having fun with Go-lang koans and Angular.js uiRouter as well.

I like this idea. Hope it catches on.

Interesting reading about all your projects. I'm working on http://muscula.com Log JavaSript errors in production. It installs like Google Analytics.

Will Muscula work on secure, logged-in pages?

Oh wait...I see that you do support https :-)

I built a SSL certificate store GetSSL.me[0] and so far it has been really great. Our goal is to make SSL certificates available to everyone.

[0] https://getssl.me/

Last weekend I have created http://microbezilla.sandbox.lt/.

Now I'm working on HTML5 turn-based strategy multiplayer game about space pirates.


Started as a joke among my dev team and we've now sold a few shirts and plan on developing the idea.

Curious: what tshirt merchant API is this built on?

I found http://printaura.com via Google when we first decided to wire the generator up to a t-shirt print service, then I saw a http://shirts.io post on HN and wired them up too!

When each order is placed, we go with the printer that gives us the largest margin. There is no bidding going on or anything, they just have different prices for different products and calculate shipping fees differently.

edit: linkify printers

I am working on Readbox (https://www.readbox.co). It's a news reader founded in collaboration with University of Naples Federico II.

I'm making an online store in Rails for a specific target market (have to be vague). I'm building it mostly on my own and I'm looking for a second developer to help me out.

sounds interesting, checkout my gh, also you may find contact data over there: https://github.com/matiasinsaurralde

would love to learn more.. feel free to ping me, contact info in profile.

Streaming Twitter client in javascript since the last one I used died. Early version at https://deny.io/river/

I'm making an offsite status page SaaS: https://statusutils.com Its in beta, and I could use some feedback :)

A News reading App based on the most popular news stories being shared in real time on Twitter: http://newspo.st

git/hg/svn repo mass-updater from a YAML / JSON file. http://pullv.readthedocs.org/en/latest/index.html

tmux workspace manager in python. JSON / YAML configs. session workspace freezing. http://tmuxp.readthedocs.org/en/latest/index.html

I have been building this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6618834

It's been fun. :D

An Android game called Foobit: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6800828

A service that allows single page ajax applications to be indexed with minimal effort http://crawlspa.com

MCServer, a open-source minecraft server:


Trying to build soomething which can help to job seekers: http://besthi.re/

Prototype of a site to search across twitter and instagram: http://much.ly

A console so we can share the API data from our Bitcoin asic miner without allowing access to the console.

Soon to have google charts implemented.

Cleaver: 30-second slideshows for hackers


Speed-reading iOS app for ePub http://velocireaderapp.com

Brodlist: making it possible to query semantic data in a way that's easy and fun.

Kaya: A new paradigm in software construction.

Private tech recruitment community: http://likewise.io

Actually, i work on curve-based rasterization, to build a game later on it.

A social "Things-to-do site" - never miss a cool event again

Multiplayer Acquire client/server (android/php-mysql)

1) Internet-Side for Magic Cards 2) little JavaScript-Game

A hosted call center solution using Node.js and RethinkDB

A double-album (more or less) of songs and dance music.

simple image optimization app: http://www.imgoptimize.com

Sharing Gmail Tasks gmailsharedtasks.com

Co-browsing solution with go & redis

An invoice management app

A multiplayer RPG in JavaScript

a better trash can

interesting, what kind of trash can is that? can you provide some details, thanks...

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact