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What side projects did you start in 2014?
56 points by ericthegoodking on Feb 8, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 67 comments

In 2014 I started http://www.lessmilk.com, a website where I build one new HTML5 game per week. I was on the front page of HN a few days ago.

I'm doing this mainly to learn how to actually make games. So far I have 7 games available. Let me know if you have any questions about it!

Hi, This is interesting,here are a few questions.

Are you doing this full time? and if not, how do you find time to work on a game?

How many hours do you put into a single game?

I just had a lot of fun playing box jump! Cheers!

I really started it at the end of 2013, but I've been improving it slowly in 2014:

HTML5 + AJAX + RESTful end points + Basecamp2-style partial swapping => Intercooler.js

The idea is to use declarative markup to achieve better UX without the complexity of client-side javascript frameworks and retaining most of the familiar web app techniques and advantages. It's a riff on pjax, the basecamp 2 approach and Angular.

So, if you want a button to post to a url, you simply say:

  <button ic-post-to="/some/url">Post It!</button>
And you get an AJAX post when that button is clicked.

Another aspect to it is using REST-ful paths to express dependencies. So you could have a div depend on the path that the button above posts to and, after the post succeeds, we would refetch the div content and swap it in (if it is different):

  <div ic-src="/some/url/my_div_src">...</div>
Because "/some/url/my_div_src" is a child path of "/some/url", this div will get refreshed when you click the button.

The main site is here:


And a rough demo is here:


When I get a bit further along and convince myself it's a decent model for development, i'll do a ShowHN.

I started Akasha, a programming language for auto code generation(like genetic programming but can also use stochastic hillclimbing and simulated annealing to generate code). I did just a month's worth of work on it. The language will be imperative and statically typed. It will allow for parallel evaluation of programs(GPU). Programs generated will be Turing complete instead of just symbolic regression.

I think it will be ideal for AI or at least that is what I'm planning to use it for. I estimate it will take me like six months - 1 year to complete.

If you are into AI, you can join my strong AI group:


Just copy the link into a skype window and click on it.

That sounds really cool. Are you really, really wedded to Skype though? It would be awesome to be able to participate using something open source... :-)

When we get up to like 300 members we will move to a new platform. We are now at 10. The reason why I chose skype is because it is already in many people's workflow. Don't you use closed software for anything?

Don't you use closed software for anything?

Not if I can help it. :-)

You are working on something interesting. A suggestion though, did you try Google Hangout?

Hoping to lurk around though.

I'd like to join but entering that into "add contact" section didn't work and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it.

Open a skype window to one of your friends and paste the url in. Then click on the link. If that doesn't work add me to your contact : chester.hercules.grant

Currently working on Gophish (https://github.com/jordan-wright/gophish), an open-source phishing toolkit designed to help businesses and pentesters to quickly conduct phishing campaigns.

The project is being built with Go and Angular, so it will hopefully be a dead-simple application to install. I'm also blogging about it occasionally here: http://jordan-wright.github.io/blog/categories/gophish/.

Hangout Fishbowl - A way for the audience, of a Google Hangout On Air, to request an invite in real time. In the next iteration, I hope to add automated invite moderation, like auto-accept if the number of participants is below a specific number.

But, honestly, it was more of an excuse to learn NodeJS.



Could you help me with an hangout app I created for my company. How do I set the logo properly? Can I send information to google analytics? Thanks

Still the same project I've been working on for some time... Fogbeam Labs[1]. We're an enterprise software startup specializing in enterprise social networking, social BPM and semantic integration + knowledge management. We're an Open Source[2] startup pursuing a model similar to the model used by Red Hat... which is probably not a coincidence, since we're in the Raleigh / Durham area, basically in the shadow of Red Hat Tower.

All of that said, we don't really use the word "pivot" a lot and our basic focus is now still the same as it was when we started this thing. But we have a few new initiatives lined up for 2014, including some things we're going to do in terms of taking our technology, making it more of a "platform", and building some domain specific SaaS offerings on top of the platform.

It's an exciting time right now, as we have some leads in the pipeline and have a real chance to get some movement and traction this year.

[1]: http://www.fogbeam.com

[2]: https://github.com/fogbeam

Interesting. How do you guys differ from Yammer?

How do you guys differ from Yammer?

The major areas where we differ are:

1. our product is 100% open source, developed in the open, using the ALv2 license, open issue tracker, mailing list, code on GitHub, etc.

2. Our primary focus right now is the "on premises" deployment model (although SaaS delivery will be available)

and (2) is largely rooted in (3)

3. A tremendous focus on integration. The vibe we get from talking to users of Yammer and the other social networking products is that the largely just become sort of a "replacement for email" or maybe a complement to email. There are different reasons for that, but our thesis is that a big part of it is that the products don't lend themselves to integrating into existing workflows and processes. By comparison, we have SOA/ESB integration for real-time business event subscriptions, BPM integration to make a "social BPM" offering, Calendaring integration, and more to come.

4. A big focus on contextual computing, largely driven by use of semantic web tech. As "content" of various types passes through the system, we do semantic concept extraction, clustering / classification, etc., so we can show you - for a given piece of content, business event, person, task, etc. - all of the related (people|content|documents|events|etc).

5. Open standards focused: all our integration points are based on open standards, including RSS, Atom, ActivityStrea.ms, RDF, FOAF, and the like.

Other than that, it's basically the same thing. :-)

Localize.js (https://localizejs.com) - it's the easiest way to localize your web app.

The localize.js javascript library detects phrases on the page, and injects translations into the DOM on the client-side. Unrecognized phrases are saved to your localizejs.com dashboard, where your can order human or machine translations.

As a developer, localization is really hard thing to get right. Traditionally, i18n workflows take 1-2+ weeks to setup plus a lot of ongoing maintenance. My goal with Localize.js is to automate as much of the process as possible, making i18n more accessible to startups and time-strapped developers.

It's being used in production at http://verbling.com and https://localizejs.com, with very few glitches thus far.

Let me know what you think :). If you're interested in trying it out, feel free to sign up. It's production-ready. Send me an email if you have any questions :) bp@brandonpaton.com

http://goodaudience.com is a domain I just won in an auction a few weeks ago. It makes your target market aware of your existence on social media and converts them into fanboys/girls (lead generation).

I started Instagram integration as a side project and now you can increase your reach to over 150 million monthly active Instagram users.

I started re-building an old project of mine, correcting the mistakes/overcoming the difficulties I had, that led me to give it up back then. http://www.greeceandroid.gr/dev/766-smart-home-android-ardui... Its about an Android controlled home.

I just released SyncNet[0] which is a experimental web browser that uses bittorrent to distribute files. Decentralizing with bittorrent makes it very hard to censor a site, and greatly reduces the load on popular pages.

[0]: https://github.com/jminardi/syncnet

Pasteye (Pastebin monitoring as a service) - was trending on the front page for a few hours 2 days ago.

http://pasteyebeta.herokuapp.com/ http://github.com/shayanjm/pasteye

Ah, I remember seeing this. Looks a lot like @dumpmon (http://github.com/jordan-wright/dumpmon)

http://serversforhackers.com, because I don't like current email newsletter formats and there's a large niche of programmers who are behind on how servers work and can be used.

I'm working on a side-project per month. I start each month with a couple of days of identifying which project to undertake, a couple of additional days to work out features that I'd like to see and the spend the rest of the time building it (while working a full-time job, part-time writing, etc.).

My first project, to start with something light, was a text-based game that crossed a Unix shell with an RPG (called RPGFS). You can find source and discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7198147

My February project is a simple data processing scripting language called Piglet inspired by Apache Pig.

I've started writing a book on Haskell web development to make it easier for beginners to get started.

Another project I've started is for the tracking and analysis of athletic training and performance (aimed at D1 to professional athletes).

I decided I wanted 2014 to be the "year of the product" for me, so I started http://bugroll.com - books and screencasts for developers.

I've "swung for the fences" in the past (anyone remember plentyoftweeps.com - twitter dating? :), but this year I want to focus on the exact opposite approach: instead of trying something that's never been done before, I want to try something that I know many others are doing successfully, to see if I earn my way into that group.

That's awesome! I call it Freedom 2014 and I'm planning to release a product and quick my job, too!

Here's a blog post that's dated Dec 30, 2014: http://blog.hndigest.com/from-the-future/

cool man ! i wish you all the success

I'm working on Braph, a parametric search engine and a model-as-a-service solution. It's about classes and instances, where you can save your data with certain properties and search by its characteristics. In the demo I create a Pokemon class and create many instances, even with relations between them (evolution), then I could search a pokemon by its weight or evolution. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfOvGYEYJq0

http://ammazing.de But actually we started it at the end of 2013. I started another one in 2014, but there is nothing to show yet ;)

very nice, thanks for sharing.

Build a Browser Game (http://buildabrowsergame.com) - A digital book on building a multiplayer browser game.

Game development is the reason I became a developer, like a lot of people. I've made countless games for myself, but have never released them. Started working on this since creating and writing it has the added benefit of forcing me to release a game, in addition to teaching others how to make one.

First steps, allows any developer to play with your API or SDK in 60 seconds or less. It spins up one customized virtual machine (container to be exact) per developer, and exposes the machine via a text editor and a terminal in the browser. No setup required for developers. http://first.askvc.com/home/

I started FitSpot (https://Fitspot.io) and released this week. Our first feature allows personal trainers to create a web presence easily and for free. We have some big ideas for the future but wanted to start small and build from there.

The site is built using Django and Angular.

I started http://kurikku.com dubbed Rap Genius for code. It was at the top of HN a little bit under a week ago.

I'm thinking about turning it into a tool for code reviews for software teams. If you're interested in that, let's talk. Email is in profile.

I'm targeting small businesses in 2014.

1. A very simple web based CRM targeting small businesses hosted on a Raspberry Pi with a AdHoc Wifi

2. I've developed an easy keyword monitoring tool with competition content analysis (based on a bayes algorithm). It's currently in closed beta and will launch in Q2/2014

I started thinking seriously about side projects as a side project!

So far it involves actually planning stuff (using Trello), working on things for one maybe two hours at a time max (lunch breaks etc) and actually shipping. So far one basic Android app has been released. Hoping for more inspiration soon.

Ported Github identicons concept for missing display pictures to Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.davidhampg...

I put this together couple days ago to shorten my URL's and I've actively using it. It's a simple personal way to convey your own message while sharing links. I call it a better URL shortener for startups.

-- http://juts.co

Procedural content/story generation software.

Something for VR (Oculus Rift) that I hope to Kickstart soon.

Procedural storytelling is something I would LOVE to learn more about. Are there any resources you've found particularly helpful or interesting?

There are a ton of papers written about this field. I've been bushwhacking through them. Google Scholar is your friend in this. There's a good overview of procedural methods here: http://www.st.ewi.tudelft.nl/~iosup/pcg-g-survey11tomccap_re...

Thus far, I've been focusing more on procedural content generation/procedural -anything- related to gaming/storytelling. Togelius has a lot of good stuff.

I'm also fascinated by this space. Have you seen http://www.interactivestory.net/ ?

I launched a paid niche iOS app for a group of enthusiastic hobbyists. It's not an explosion of awesome, but it's sold 2,000+ copies in the first two weeks.


I built a browser-based puzzle game based on a concept from Machinarium: http://unbeaded.com/

My friends liked it, but I haven't had much success showing it off on the Internet.

I created and released Wrist Presenter [1], an iOS and Android app that lets you control presentations wirelessly with your Pebble Smartwatch.

[1] http://wristpresenter.com/

Gitpoints (http://gitpoints.com) - Github meets Gamification

We got some initial traction with hundreds of subscribers and we are testing the MVP with few dozen startups.

I've (just) started 1701.io (http://1701.io) to rethink enteprise applications and make them applicable to projects of any size and budget.

Getting an application error

What type of error are you seeing? I can successfully bring the page up and register my email. (It's just a basic landing page atm)

Application Error An error occurred in the application and your page could not be served. Please try again in a few moments.

If you are the application owner, check your logs for details.

For 2014 I decided to build an open-source remake of Sid Meier's game Colonization (1994), in HTML5 (canvas) + TypeScript, with a special twist. :)

I'll be blogging about it on GitHub.

I started https://packageindex.com/#/ (actually started in in 2013 but it's a work in progress...)

I've just completed a composer version of Phrocco which is a Docco style documentation generator for PHP code.


Writing an iOS childrens book app for my son to teach counting.

I am implementing a 360 panorama generator in my photo effects app http://wonderc.am

RSMN (http://osom.so/rsmn) is a social media analysis tool as a subscription.

So this is the same as logging in and taking screenshots of the top 10 posts on a public Facebook page?

I've been working on a space invaders style game in javascript. I'm hoping to release it sometime in the next two weeks.

pangrid, a crossword file format interconversion and publishing tool (the name is a tribute to pandoc). no repo up yet because I need to get approval from work first, but it works nicely for a few text and binary formats, and I'm working on extracting grids from images in PDF files and on webpages to reexport into some interactive format.

Mount Vista - An Ipad app for travel enthusiasts


A new TV Guide


a chatroom website chatleap.com and yahoo stock api to learn golang https://github.com/TrevorDev/go-finance


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