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For some super-quick off-the-shelf solutions to common software desires, see the "I want to" page of Phil Bradley. It includes things like “Share photographs with other people”, “Set up an online calendar”, “do podcasts”, etc.

If what you want to do isn’t listed there, feel free to add it to the list here:

Software someone here at Oddwiki Software Bazaar wants (followed by other people who want to hire programmers for money):

(FIXME: add more things from "many ways to make money with OSS/FS" ).

Other interesting lists of software that people elsewhere want:

shared calendaring on the net / time management software

moved to SharedCalendar

"just like what I have now, except fix this one annoying thing"

Many times people want something “just like what I have now, except fix this one annoying thing”:

(Idea: install Bugzilla and open it up to bug reports on all software, everywhere. Is this a good idea or a bad idea? Naturally we would try to track which software already has online, public, bug databases, and send people there when possible … so it would track the remaining software. What’s the Wiki:SimplestThing that could possibly work ? Set up a “everything_else” project on SourceForge?, and use its bug database?)

educational challenges with cash awards

sharpen the saw: better programming tools

Other than IDEs, what other sorts of tools would help people develop software? … program visualization tools … test harnesses … version control systems … ?

educational, non-monetary challenges

People learning a programming language often find it educational to write a bunch of programs “from scratch”, or “using only these libraries”, even though those programs have been written dozens of times by other students. It’s also educational to read well-written programs.

Here are some interesting challenges:

The article Favorite Programming Contests? lists several programming contests including


“Why reinvent the sink, when the sink is there for the taking? … If you plan to write your own blog engine, take a good hard look at the code for existing Open Source blog engines and ask yourself if your needs wouldn’t be better served by contributing to one of these projects. They could use your help and it gets you a lot of features for free. Just don’t use the ones you don’t need.” -- "Rolling Your Own Blog Engine" blog post by Phil Haack.

“… One of the barriers to creating good contracts is determining what the parties want in the first place. People tend to think in terms of standard or stereotyped conditions: payment in dollars, investing in stocks, etc. when there exist a far wider variety of alternative contractual structures that, combined properly, could better meet the parties’ needs. I’d like to see tools which allow parties to explore their desires interactively with the computer. In finance this might include interactive personal yield curves, determining the partial order of desires (as in decision theory) for particular alternate securities, derivatives, and synthetics; and so on. Software would then analyze this input, make recommendations, and even undertake automated contracting … a friendly front end to automated exchanges, auctions, and other online contracting mechanisms.

Currently budget programs (like Quicken) provide some of the metaphors, and financial analysis programs provide extensive feedback on the cash flow properties of particular contracts, but a potentially large untapped market lies between in a combination of these two technologies.”

-- "The Mental Accounting Barrier to Micropayments" by Nick Szabo 1996

“Are there any engineers which would be ready to take the challenges of designing an HTML 5 Tidy Library (and the canonic rules to fix the output) using the content model of HTML 5?” -- by Karl Dubost on September 26, 2008 "HTML 5 And The Hear-Write Web"

“Habari: the future of blogging … Get involved now and have the chance to shape the future of blogging.” -- as described at

The Linux Driver Project wiki helps organize the Linux Driver Project: people writing Linux drivers for companies for free. Started by Greg K-H.

“If you had $1 million to bestow on an educational institution, what would you want your money to fund? Tell us at .” – Harry Goldstein, in “California Dreamin’”, IEEE Spectrum 2009-03

Can software help cure cancer? caBIG?

Is this “Donation Coder” thing a good way for people to get the software they want, and a good way for programmers to get paid?

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