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Author Topic: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects  (Read 13129 times)

2stepsback

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Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« on: February 24, 2007, 07:21:41 AM »
Hi all,
since Redhat mentioned that he sort of liked one particular blog post of mine at http://2stepsback.wordpress.com, I've got some confidence to post some ideas which *may* (a 1000 strings attached) eventually end up giving you income of some kind.

Anyway, enough rambling and onto the ideas:
1) Generically, every good, well-thought-out IDE grows a community of plugins and programs (naturally therefore programmers and users) around it.

Some such populous software ecosystems are :

Eclipse.org (EPIC, YOXOS/Innoopract, EasyEclipse, lots more....)
Chami.com HTMLKit (440+ plugins, plug-in generator!! )
Wordpress (my fav)
Movable Type,
Earlier Mambo, now forked to Joomla!(1400+ plugins and themes. like wow!)

This page gives a list of top ten PHP frameworks: http://www.phpdeveloper.org/news/6787

Now the fun part: all of those things need translations, plugins to manage common non-core tasks like
mailing-list-management,
shopping-carts,
blog tools,
image galleries,
forums,
live chats,
SMS integration,
MMS/Skype/GoogleTalk/Gizmo/(VOIP in general) integration,
talking characters,
flash animation frameworks,
javascript effects,
AJAX-ification,
VRML - 3D graphics modules

LOADS and LOADS of interoperation and interconversion with and between existing formats like pdf, png, bmp, tiff, jpg, doc, docbook(linux), XML, sql, etc

then there are multiple databases between which the sql formats are not compliant, so you need converters, patches, etc.

Looks like a lot of opportunity to me.

Specifically for web2.0, start here:
http://programmableweb.com

will put more into this list soon

-2stepsback

EDIT: changed the title for SEO. Shameless. I know.  :D :D
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 02:31:06 PM by 2stepsback »

2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs and websites
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 10:33:40 AM »
Hi all,
web2.0 throws up so many new ideas at such a furious pace, it's simply amazing.

this list:
http://www.readwrite...e_search_engines.php
of The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines is imposing to say the least.

(WARNING: I suggest not to get into the habit/addiction of admiring web2.0 sites/startups - it:
1. messes up your work schedule, at the very least ;)
2. shoots up your bills
3. does a world of good to your neighbourhood grocer or wherever you buy your biscuits/cookies/coffee from, and,
4. does a world of bad for your eyes, face and fingers (of course, the remedy for that is "Workrave" at http://www.workrave.org  -
++UPDATE++
I now use Ctrl+Ins, Shift+Del, Shift+Ins for ctrl+c, ctrl+x, ctrl+v respectively, as it is less harsh on the fingers. )

That should be a comprehensive list of web2.0 programs-to-do. Mind you, this list is only search engines! IMO, if you are serious about emulating/improving any of those ideas/sites, the ethical and least-effort way is to cooperate and co-author, not compete.

HTH

-2stepsback.

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« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 08:58:48 AM by 2stepsback »

mouser

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Re: Some ideas for programs and websites
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 01:48:38 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs and websites
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 05:49:19 AM »
Hi all,
a few sources where you could go, to quickly make good programs and sell them as well:

IMO, porting is a good source of work and possibly revenue. Porting from one code platform to another.
That the idea has immense value is proven by projects like:
  • Nant - from Java Ant
  • MsBuild - inspired by both Nant and Ant
  • ActivePerl - Perl for Windows
  • ScintillaNET - original Scintilla source code editing control ported to .Net
  • Mono - developed to run on both on Windows and Linux - it's Microsoft/Novell's shot at Java
  • Phalanger - PHP that compiles on .Net - yes you heard me right - the stated aim of the Project was to ensure that the tool one-click converted PHP source into running IL assemblies - to the extent that "at least one popular PHP opensource project should get correctly converted to .Net and can be run with ASP.Net". And, I tried it, it works!
  • Bambalam - convert PHP code into command line windows executables
  • Java2cpp - grab your Java source code and run a single build operation (one dos command) and your Java source code gets converted into C++ code - it has some limitations, but for most Java sources it should be OK. YMMV.
  • ScriptSharp - write code in C# and it compiles to make cross-browser Javascript source code which you can then include those in your web sites
  • Visual Webgui - similar to ScriptSharp, but the maker is a large organisation unlike Scriptsharp, which is a one-man effort, but he's a big man - M$ product manager or something
  • Quercus - PHP source compiles to Java bytecode - so if you are not happy learning Java and you want its stability, this is for you.
    NOTE: Mashups like these could present problems while debugging. I've yet to try out these myself. But I think if their makers have put so much effort into these things, they've likely got a set of tools for all the issues that such cross-compilation can produce.
  • IKVM.Net - allows Java to run on .Net. I've been reading all sorts of ads from apparently big companies like Grasshopper for example, saying that interop is the future - one server running multiple interacting platforms - for example, your awesome J2EE app that you coded last year will run on JBoss, your supercool ASP.Net Web app will run on IIS and these two will run on the same server machine, but using some kind of bridge technology (like Grasshopper) they will interact as well. So, there's great scope for porting as such. Enter Linux-migration (due to M$'s Vista blunders) and you will have more demand for porting.
    (OK, I know I'm sounding like those hyped-up marketing-types 8) 8) (which I'm farthest from, btw :) :) ) but these things could actually help someone looking for ideas to make new programs.
  • Then of course, there are virtual machines - M$ Virtual PC, VMWare, Parallels, and Linux related emulators like Qemu, Bochs, and Wine (winehq)
  • Now, go a little further and add Mozilla-based XUL to the whole picture and you get a superb bowlful of technology spaghetti. See "Mozilla Amazon Browser".
  • Still not dizzy? Then, take this: MozzIE - "It is a free plugin for Internet Explorer which adds the capability to display XHTML, CSS 2.1, XForms, SVG and MathML to the user"
  • When you've finished cursing or admiring me, or, suspecting my sanity, go to NanoHttp Server (web server written in PHP) and PriadoBlender (does the same as Bambalam above)

We still haven't come to Javascript/AJAX frameworks and cool web2.0 apps.
And flash seems to be about to make a smashing return in the form of Apollo and Flex.
There is also FlashDevelop which is *very* good, IMO.

So much for now. As usual, more to come.
-2stepsback

(Legal Note: It's essential that you respect the licenses of programs you intend to port. After all, it just attribution. Most of the above (not all) come with permissive MIT/X11/Apache/BSD/PHP licenses, which allow you to use them in your commercial applications without being bound by the GPL code revealing complusion, but subject to correct attribution. Respecting that is important and it differentiates a citizen ( or netizen, in this case) from a thief. Imagine the months of work the original programmer put in and then made it liberally licensed.)
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A good deed a day keeps the Devil away.
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« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 06:17:45 AM by 2stepsback »

2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs and websites
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2007, 03:27:12 PM »
In this age of mashups, we must also turn to a few not-so-obvious mashups which have tremendous potential for revenue, if you are willing to spend time first analysing the feasibility of the particular mashup, and next, implementing it if it's good.

See, we need file format convertors for almost everything.
More so if we think of linux and mono as the future

take images for instance:
png, bmp, gif, tiff, (not to mention the sub-varieties)

So we make a cartesian product of all known formats, fill in the blanks and then enjoy the fun:
Please go ahead and modify this table. [ed: is there a wiki-like page? eg see http://openrecord.org]
dochtmlxmldocbookpdfxls...
docx?????
html?x????
xml??x???
docbook???x??
pdf????x?
xls?????x
...

getting the idea?

lots of potential applications.

HTH
-2stepsback
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2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs and websites
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 02:13:07 PM »
Hi all,
This is a list of ideas I had given to an acquaintance who runs a web2.0 consulting startup (the site tells everyone how to make their site successful in the present web2.0 scenario). He also sells a fairly good CMS of his own written in PHP and MySQL. Unfortunately he did not feel like implementing any of these at that time, so I'm putting them up here so that if any of you folks own a CMS or are planning to start a hip new web2.0 site, maybe these things could help. He did mention that a couple of ideas were pretty good, but they were not implementable right now.

I'm putting down both sides here:

He felt that #1 , #2 and #4 were irrelevant or impractical (which I thoroughly disagree with, naturally :) ), #3 was OK and #5 was good.

Somehow, he just didn't get the idea of "mashup" and so, he said #6 was irrelevant.

I think, if done properly, and that's not soooo big an IF, all six can produce tangible benefits, if nothing else, sufficient hits to recover hosting fees.

YMMV.

Here they are:

Idea #1
-----------
Free QuickSearch for Mozilla Firefox plugins.

People are turning to Firefox on a large scale due to all the negative publicity received by Internet Explorer 7 and Vista. They now want an *easy* way of finding plugins, themes and extensions. See my page at http://2stepsback.co.nr/Firefox/

Idea #2
-----------
You could offer a free site analytics engine for any site, based on custom code written using the GData / Alexa / Urchin etc.

So, you could offer the service free to track and display information about subscribers' websites, maybe
plotting a few graphs of traffic, requests, specific pages etc.

Idea #3
------------
Using one of the several Apache/BSD/MIT licensed Javascript / AJAX frameworks, make a few really hip
modules for your CMS - like Online Workflow graphs for your CMS to be used as a Collaborative editing tool.
See Zoho Virtual Office and MS Office Live - I'm not hinting that you take up something as ambitious as a
complete online collaboration tool, but just a module for simple folks to remember and manage workflows or process flows or even idea flows.

If you already have a CMS, moving all the data from PHPNuke, PostNuke, PHP-BB to your CMS are really important applications as they remove the entry barrier of the loss of existing data your potential customers may face -

The rationale: Everyone first starts out with a free forum or CMS software, then finds the bugs and patches too complicated and then wants to move to a supported version. Then, finding that moving to another CMS means losing a lot of data, they get a freelancer to do the job.

If you put a module into your CMS, you've opened entry points for several users of PHPNuke, PHP-BB etc. to convert to your CMS.

Idea #4
----------
"My-surfing-history"
A small Firefox plugin and a small Internet Explorer Add-on to send a user's current URL to your server (or a nice domain name like surf-memory.com or surfistory.com ) and then make some or all of it available to be shared or automatically posted to multiple social bookmarking sites.
There can be a nice trail graph than you could generate using GD, or a simple set of breadcrumbs text links for those on low-speed or dial-up connections

Idea #5
---------
Porting the MySQL backend of your CMS to PostgreSQL, Oracle.

Idea #6
----------
I've been going around a lot of sites concerning VOIP integration, SMS integration and EPABX-on-PC ( eg.
Asterisk), for my latest local project. I can confidently state that if your CMS gets an SMS/MMS/VOIP interface, it should stand out as a unique selling point for your CMS. This market is new and hot. Not many around here (India) are into this. There is Skype/Gizmo for traditional VOIP and there is Truphone for MOIP.

IMO, this will give your CMS a huge marketing advantage over others.

-2stepsback
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2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs and websites
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007, 02:27:16 PM »
Some possible AJAXy upgrades for all forum software:

NOTE:
This is a brainstormed list, not evaluated for practical necessity or ease of implementation.

1. tick some posts and put them into a place of my choice for later reading - like into my bookmarks

2. make a web port of a popular opensource PIM GUI as a module of a forum program - also taking care that everybody's work can be synchronized  - eg. copy Keynote or WikidPad GUI to SimpleMachines

3. some kind of VOIP setup - could be even Gizmo or SKype conferencing!

4. tagging of posts - see communityserver @ the sharpdevelop web site - it has a tree view on the left and selected posts appear on the right much like wikidpad or treepad or Keynote on the desktop.
also, adding "notes" or "comments" to posts so that they stick around or float around here and there.

5. bookmarks should show in categories and categories should show up as rectangular blocks - see http://protopage.com/
In fact a lot of things should show in a rectangular blocks fashion.
If you think carefully, that calls for a browser plugin which can make in to blocks *any* page - maybe with a little tweaking with some intermediate script language or so.

6. Also, making available a tiddlywiki page and filling it up from a simple xml file which can be hand edited as well if need be.

More later,
2stepsback

EDIT:
See this thread: http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=3689.0
It gives a lot of good ideas and opinions.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A good deed a day keeps the Devil away.
See http://www.codinghor...archives/000735.html
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<a href="http://www.w3schools.com/">W3Schools</a> - A collection of free HTML, CSS, JavaScript, DHTML, XML, XHTML, WAP, ASP, SQL tutorials with lots of working examples and source code.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 02:28:55 PM by 2stepsback »

justice

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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 10:12:43 AM »
Document management system for the end user: tracks duplicates, copies, moves of user documents + versioned backup. Linking in with contact management facilities so you can see who/where there are copies of which versions of your documents.

Seeing as all documents not attended to eventually get lost.

2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 11:42:23 AM »
Phew! Thanks a million, justice! I was getting more and more worried that this entire thread was rapidly receding from public memory with a classification like "God knows what he writes... It seems to be something - whatever..... "
So, thanks a million! ( that's 2 million so far)
Following are my extensions of your ideas. ( NOTE: "you" = reader, and "you" != "justice")
Document management system for the end user: tracks duplicates, copies, moves of user documents + versioned backup.
SFFS Pro in the other thread (http://www.donationc...pic=7714.0;topicseen) seems to be doing something similar to this already.
Quote
Linking in with contact management facilities so you can see who/where there are copies of which versions of your documents.
Is the explorer context menu a good place? Also, who ever said that there should only be a context *menu* when you right-click? Why can't there be a context run dialog or a context voice message or a context listview pop-up? And y'know what, these may or may not be easily doable in Windows Explorer per se, but they sure are easy (peanuts, in fact) in a web based explorer - things like webdesktop, eyeos, xcerion, lots more. If and when Google releases their much awaited next-gen internet-booting LiveUSB GoogOS, they'll have *web search* and *web services* included in the "explorer right-click". Greasemonkey may be doing this already If it's difficult to visualize such a dynamic UI, I'd refer you to the demo video for Scrybe. It's not yet released and they haven't replied to my application for a beta testing account for over three weeks now(which probably means that the number of beta testers is sufficient), but it seems they're releasing it soon. Let's see.
Quote
Seeing as all documents not attended to eventually get lost.
IMO, for large volume text entries (= lots of words/phrases/links/addresses) the craigslist UI is best, as also is the delicious "tag-cloud" UI. That should really make its way into the plethora of explorers on windows like XYPlorer, Magellan Explorer, etc.
The explorer or shell should also "ruminate" .... er .... like indexing done by desktop search programs, but tag based rumination and maybe occasionally asking the user intelligent questions like
"I'm about to tag the whole bunch of mp3s you got from Napster with *DRM* and *illegal* ( ;) ), should I continue? Yes/No/Cancel" ....
so that's one more thing that desktop taggers can do - Tag2find is the only one I know.

(running out of steam... er.... stuff .... especially in the stomach ;) )
More later,
2stepsback

PS: everyone else: this thread isn't my exclusive property..... trespassing welcome! ..... unless it's very boring......

License(!!): Ideas released in "public domain" <-- which means when someone makes money by adding these features or making these programs, I'm saying that even my fourth generation descendant who will rule this planet in 2200 will have no legal claim to the money made from use of this idea.
hohohahahahahahehehehe......
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app103

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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 03:31:30 PM »
OK...idea was originally conceived with a sense of humor, but could actually be a good one...could be profitable...who knows?

People are really into the social stuff...look at blogs, live journal, myspace, digg, etc.

People love drama...they like creating it, being part of it, observing it. (refer to the drama created in flame wars in almost any socially interactive site)

Combine that with the drama created in real life that finds its way online. (refer to all the teens on sites like LiveJournal and MySpace)

Then there is chatroom drama that finds its way to forums. (take a look at any forum related to the winmx chat network)

There is a never ending supply of drama.

Why not create something that takes advantage of it and welcomes visitors to bring their drama to your site? Visitors can create it, participate in it, observe it...and you can monetize it.

The full idea came to me as I was waking from a semi-sound sleep.

I discussed it with a few others in 2 chatrooms. They found the idea funny, but did almost take me seriously. If you want all the details of what I am talking about, refer to the logs of those 2 conversations here:

http://omgplzstfukth.../2006/12/drama2.html

I still think it's a great idea, even if it is funny, and it just might be a good money maker. I am not going to use the idea myself, so you are welcome to it.

Just don't forget to thank me if you make a million...and give me a link to the site so I can see what became of my insane thought.  :D

2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2007, 12:54:05 AM »
I discussed it with a few others in 2 chatrooms. They found the idea funny, but did almost take me seriously. If you want all the details of what I am talking about, refer to the logs of those 2 conversations here:
http://omgplzstfukth.../2006/12/drama2.html
Cool. Actually pretty cool. But for the one big possibility of it spilling out to serious topics and mainstream media getting involved, it's an excellent idea! So, if you can somehow keep the content under control, you're through.
BTW, ppl see http://urbandictionary.com .... humor + smart observations, crowdsourced (http://en.wikipedia....owdsourcing#Overview).

Other such things that come to mind are
a spoofing site: SpoofIt,
a humorous futuristic site: iron.ical.ly,
a sarcastic take on political or social happenings which could be satir.ical.ly and
plain good humor at com.ical.ly ......

On closer thought, these could be search engines specific to those fields - and that's certainly doable by one person with good knowledge of GData API or similar API from Y/M/Ask/A9.
This last thing is really practical, or probably it's already out there. (I didn't look)

Quote
Just don't forget to thank me if you make a million...and give me a link to the site so I can see what became of my insane thought.  :D
Since I added a few lines, remember me as well ;) , especially so if G/Y/M acquire you! :D
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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2007, 01:21:02 AM »
Cool. Actually pretty cool. But for the one big possibility of it spilling out to serious topics and mainstream media getting involved, it's an excellent idea! So, if you can somehow keep the content under control, you're through.
BTW, ppl see http://urbandictionary.com .... humor + smart observations, crowdsourced (http://en.wikipedia....owdsourcing#Overview).

serious topics...mainstream media...sounds great!  :D

Keep it under control? Now why would you want to do that?

I believe in the stupidity of crowds. The whole point is for them to be stupid...on your site instead of some place else, like they are already doing...and for them to enjoy it...and you to make money off it.  :P

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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2007, 01:24:11 AM »
serious topics...mainstream media...sounds great!  :D

Keep it under control? Now why would you want to do that?

I believe in the stupidity of crowds. The whole point is for them to be stupid...on your site instead of some place else, like they are already doing...and for them to enjoy it...and you to make money off it.  :P
ROFL. hahahahahahahaha!
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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2007, 10:35:14 AM »
Hi all,
See HTML-Kit at http://www.htmlkit.com/ or at http://www.chami.com/html-kit/
It is a goooooood editor. Not only that, you can make plugins.

Importantly, you do not need to write a single line of code to make a plugin. Yup!   8) 8) 8)

It's all visual. And tell you what, it's awesome!
There's this plugin generator program which has a well thought-out UI and extremely simple commands.

See this:
http://www.chami.com...-kit/devtools/start/

Now, once you have been through the process of creating a simple plugin, and you have used the editor to make about 5-6 pages using the toolbar and the tags, you should realize the IMMENSE potential that this thing has.

Now go to http://www.hotscripts.com/  (PHP: http://www.phpclasses.org/ or http://www.phpfreaks.com/ ) and see the number of scripts over there. Each of them has functions, variables, keywords, what not. Pick up any framework you like, any language you like, and make a plugin dedicated to it. More, go to http://programmableweb.com , ajaxian, AJAXpatterns, "100 web2.0 search engines", yubnub, etc. etc. and make plugins for instant search from inside HTML-Kit

There's truckloads of work, just waiting to be done. All without writing a line of code!!

HTH
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A good deed a day keeps the Devil away.
See http://www.codinghor...archives/000735.html
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« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 10:54:33 AM by 2stepsback »

2stepsback

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Re: Some ideas for programs, websites, mashups and software projects
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2007, 04:07:13 AM »
this is sort of bigger.

Now, FOSS is going to spread all over the place with Redhat and Sourceforge.net opening their FOSS exchanges.

A sharware author who is just starting out or is small (just one or two small programs) has two options:
1. Opensource the program, get people involved, get publicity and therefore make money.
2. Remain closed source, shareware, fight, invent and market the new features to keep up with the fiery pace of code perfection that FOSS is all about (many minds solving the problem, instead of one person)
3. Develop a loyal user base and keep them always interested.

The first two are already well-studied methods.

The third is what I'm talking of: Plugins

Write (or rewrite) your applications so that people can contribute with *minimum* effort.
Markup of any kind, preferably XML, seems to be the best bet.

If your users are typically non-technical, as in, "Do you have to actually learn a programming language to add a feature ?!?!" or "XML, yeah! I've heard it's hot, but I don't know when I'll get around to actually learning it", then maybe you should be using .ini files.

You then have to do some marketing
1. free licenses or discounts for the best plugins
2. let your user community earn from the plugins they make
3. Ask your users openly, to submit plugin ideas and feature requests
..........[your novel ideas here]
and so on.

I personally prefer FOSS, but it's quite obvious that the *dominant* Windows world has a ton of shareware programs, authors, professional organisations and so on. Naturally, they aren't going to make money if there is free software available to do just what their product is doing, but better.

As an afterthought, Donationcoder is probably an experiment in just this.

Ideally, FOSS should have run on donations and all would be well. But people will happily use your programs to make a huge difference in their computer productivity, but won't donate. That's the unfair part. But that's how it is.

Although my strong bias is towards a free, open culture and open source software, the hard fact is that people with money do not donate fairly. In fact I would go as far as to say that the richer you are, the lesser you donate, because in today's economic scenario, only those who are unfair become rich quickly.

Fair, straight good guys almost always just manage.

So, your best friend is the small user with a bigger heart. Notice him, pamper him. He will probably support you far more effectively than the rich user.

Just my opinions. YMMV.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A good deed a day keeps the Devil away.
See http://www.codinghor...archives/000735.html
------------
<a href="http://www.w3schools.com/">W3Schools</a> - A collection of free HTML, CSS, JavaScript, DHTML, XML, XHTML, WAP, ASP, SQL tutorials with lots of working examples and source code.