Application idea?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Monkaaay, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Monkaaay macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #1
    I’ve been reading my Objective-C and Cocoa books lately. It would be a great learning experience to create something half useful using these technologies. Of course, I’m not very creative in coming up with ideas. :)

    I’m looking for something needed on OS X. A lot of the common ideas, like RSS readers, chat clients, etc, have been done. Perhaps a port of a Windows or Linux only application? Anyone have any ideas???
     
  2. EricBrian macrumors 6502a

    EricBrian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    #2
    How about a folder diff tool? I needed one badly yesterday and so, I wrote one using python. But, something graphical would be nice. :)
     
  3. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    #3
    I get ideas by trying to improve on what I use most often and by examining repetitive tasks I perform frequently.

    For example, I am often checking the hour-by-hour weather forecasts on weather.com but I do this manually in the browser. I was thinking it would be cool to write an app that notifies me via Growl if there's a chance it might rain in the next few hours.

    File Merge.app does this (included in the Xcode installation).
     
  4. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    It is not entirely clear from your post, but I am assuming that this is your first major foray into programming on any platform. Were it not, you would already have access to a stable of your own code on some other platform you could try to port, and this would be a fair way to get experience on a new platform. Furthermore, you wouldn't have to ask here were that the case. :)

    Since you presumptively don't have that experience and code available, porting is not a good way to start. That would just force you to learn two platforms at once.

    Frankly, I'd suggest you suck it up and stick with the drudgery of the examples until you have the fundamentals nailed down. Drudgery is a bigger part of software development than anybody realizes at first, and getting comfortable with doing work that doesn't blow anybody's socks off is a lesson in itself. Once you've done the examples, think of minor changes you might make to improve them and figure out how to make that happen, then try to come up with some minor thing that would be useful to you personally. That's way more realistic than trying to write something that scratches a global itch right out of the gate.

    At least you aren't starting out wanting to know how to make some great OS or MMORPG you're imagining. That happens a lot, and it always ends in tears. The problem with anything even remotely complex is that it requires picking up several discrete areas of expertise when you really need to be focusing on one.

    To write your chat client, for instance, first you need to be comfortable enough with general application programming that you don't have to think about it too much while you focus either on network programming followed by the specific IM protocol you're interested in, or on figuring out how to integrate libpurple into your project. You don't want to be taking all of that on at once.

    I'm not trying to be discouraging, and I hope I'm not. The major source of discouragement for new programmers is getting too ambitious too soon. Start small and add one new trick at a time, and you'll get where you want to be.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #5
    Awesome idea! I might give that a try.
     
  6. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #6
    I've been employed as a developer for about 7 years now. :) OS X has not been my platform, nor has desktop development been my target. It's really always been web based stuff.

    It's not that I'd consider porting _code_, but rather port an _idea_ that may exist on Windows or Linux that hasn't been created on OS X yet. I only brought up a chat client as an example of something that could exist on one platform but not another.

    Asking here has nothing to do with my programming background. Some of the best programmers in the world couldn't give you a good idea for an application.

    I'm just looking for things that people tend to want in their daily life but haven't found on OS X yet.
     
  7. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #7
    I wrote a program in applescript that quickly escalated out of my skills and applescript. Basically it was a droplet that would accept files and folders. Wait for a key press which would determine a folder to which they would get sent. It would then move then to that folder and add spotlight comments. So basically an organizational application. I was thinking about offering it to someone to develop.
     
  8. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #8
    A utility I would really like to see is something to better manage using OS X with multiple and/or large screens.

    The details I haven't figured out yet, but it would be able to tile windows (side-by-side, for example) so that on a widescreen display you could quickly put a few windows next to each other, perfectly sized. Doing this manually is kind of tedious on a big monitor and as soon as you want to move something around you have to do it all over again.

    Another feature would be the ability to move a window to another monitor and maximize it (in the windows sense fo the word). This could be assigned to a middle click or some other random button.

    I've actually thought about trying to build something like this myself, but I'm not sure how easy it is to to move around another Application's windows...still I think it would be a successful shareware product. People are starting to buy bigger screens and hook them up to their laptops, and there just aren't good tools on Mac to maximize your usage of the huge screen area.
     
  9. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #9
    My apologies for presuming wrongly. You wouldn't be needing the newbie stuff. Still, desktop application development is significantly different in many ways, and things that don't already exist will require picking up some parallel skills that will interfere with getting comfortable with core app stuff.

    Honestly, if you already grok RSS and XSLT, doing the RSS reader is the sort of thing I would build to in your position, even if there is no screaming immediate need for it.
     
  10. Fairbrother macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #10
    I have a little program I would love to have written. If you're still looking for a program to write to help your skillset let me know. Basically it's for calucations in terms of home theater screen sizing, seating position and lumens along with aspect ratios etc.

    Simple math really but I'd love to be able to set a few parameters of a room and find out minimum seating distance, maximum screen size 2.35:1 or 16:9, etc.

    There are many small apps for the PC but I walk into work with my Mac and want to be able to use them on the Mac side.

    Richard
     
  11. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #11
    Can you give me more detail? Get with me over email (cstewart913 AT gmail). :)
     
  12. Fairbrother macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #12
    Email sent. I forgot to say I work on the PPC platform and I have a G5 notebook but if it could be done universally for Intel that would be cool as I'll eventually upgrade.

    Also I can get the graphics and layout done in terms of the look and feel of it but you can tell me more about that as I don't know a lick about programming, just home theater.

    Richard
     

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