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:
- "20 Smart Companies to Start Now" By Michael V. Copeland and Susanna Hamner, Business 2.0 Magazine, 2006-10-05. “Howard Schultz, Steve Case, Vinod Khosla, and other major investors are sharing their best startup ideas. And they’re willing to give a collective $100 Million to the entrepreneurs who can make them happen.”
- $5 million: an in-dash computer with a keyboard built into the steering wheel and a full-screen heads-up display projected on the windshield.
- $3 million: a flyweight database company
- $5 million: A Web-based platform to make company spreadsheets [including formulas] – for revenue forecasting and other analytical chores – more easily viewed, updated, and shared by managers … rather than e-mailing Excel files around the office to share data forecasts. Doesn’t Google spreadsheets already do this?
- $6 million: An online marketplace that automates the sale of product placement for Hollywood studios. … BMW buying into James Bond or Pottery Barn placing furniture in a sitcom, there’s still no efficient way for brand managers to see what’s available and buy on the spot. … develop an online auction site that would aggregate product-placement opportunities and put them in front of advertisers the instant they emerge - often when scripts are finalized by writers and producers. … “There are opportunities for dozens of product placements in every show,” Lee says. “The studios and writers just need the right vehicle for selling them.” matching producers with advertisers … in some ways similar to the SoftwareBazaar matching users with programmers
- $10 million: The Social Marketplace … build a prototype using a peer-to-peer structure that would reduce bandwidth costs, and to identify core groups of users that would get traffic moving to the site.
- $4 million: building a video-editing program that’s as easy to use with a browser as iMovie is with a Mac, and licensing deals to create a video library big enough to get the concept off the ground.
- $5 million: Concierge-grade trip planning over the Web: software that taps into travel-industry databases - of hotel chains, restaurants, limo services, amusement parks - to assemble smarter, more personalized itineraries
- $10 million: for patent-protected research. Standard procedure for dealing with hospital-borne infections is to order a culture … [to get] test results. “I want a device that can identify the pathogen, tell me what it is resistant to, and do it in a matter of hours,”
- $5 million: The next massively multiplayer online hit, whether it’s built around a core game like World of Warcraft or a virtual community like Neopets. “Anything,” Gurley says, “where people are entertained massively together.”
- Xiph Bounties – people want certain pieces of open-source software, and are willing to pay for it.
- I want my OpenID: OpenID Code Bounty: “US$5,000 will be donated to the first ten software projects that … Have at least 200,000 public internet users … [and] … Implement OpenID? 2.0 … [and] other requirements …”
- Wikia wants to hire a PHP programmers to work on the popular MediaWiki? software.
- spot.com/2005_07_01_cockamamieideasinc_archive.html blog public service announcements for missing persons: “My ultimate goal (with which I need help, since I have no idea how to do this myself) is for bloggers to be able to register somewhere so they can place missing person PSAs on their blog that will be generated randomly to rotate those currently on police/FBI blotters as missing persons. Yep, I’m thinking national: a blogger can input a zipcode that will autogenerate 2 or 3 local/regional missing persons + one from outside their region to maximize coverage.”
- “Create a Drobo Dashboard management application for Linux. Bounty: $2000 USD"
- US$1000: Fix Mozilla so it shows local images.
- Mozilla Security Bug Bounty Program: “Reporters of valid critical security bugs will receive a $500 (US) cash reward and a Mozilla T-shirt. – http://www.mozilla.org/security/bug-bounty.html
- “our “bug bounty” program. Basically, for each bug you fix [in Ghostscript], you get $500.” – http://www.ghostscript.com/ ; http://ghostscript.com/article/58.html
- “I would pay money for …” http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?CrushInternetAdvertising
- $100 Bounty offered for development of Apple TV utilities; original post by Huibert
- ProductivitySoftware?: 43folders: productivity software wishlist
- Getting Students To Do Useful Stuff by François-René Rideau has some interesting projects – Content-addressed Data Store … Distributed Versioning Software … – with a suggest to write them in Lisp. (Would this Distributed Versioning Software be useful in implementing a Feature:FailSafeWiki ?
- http://bugzilla.gnome.org/ ; http://www.gnome.org/bounties/ : Desktop Integration Bounty Hunt: bounties up to $4000 …
- http://slax.org/get-paid.php : Get paid for developing free open source software for SLAX : a $1000 project.
- GNU help wanted http://savannah.gnu.org/people/?group=tasklist
- “What I really want for Christmas is for MoinMoin? wiki to incorporate GraphViz?.” – http://speakeasy.org/~lion/
- open-source grammar checker.
- BioInformatics algorithms (It looks like http://biowiki.org/ is offline at the moment … 2005-04-13: online today)
- open-source video game engines
- Khronos Developer University OpenGL ES 1.1 Coding Challenge: write an “educational demo that helps other developers learn how to code in OpenGL?”, a game, or a demo – win PDAs, video cards, coding classes. are coding challenges appropriate for this Software Bazaar?
- “The Software Carpentry project has announced its first Open Source design competition. They offer prizes totaling $100,000 for people who come up with good design for tools that replace autoconf, make, as well as a bug tracking system and a regression testing suite. Good luck!”
- DragonFly BSD Code Bounties has a bunch of small projects, each one with a bounty of around 100 euros.
- GPL Electronic Design Automation: gEDA Tasklist
- Software to convert handwriting (on a Palm Pilot or tablet) into the standard mathematical equation format, MathML?. ``Handwriting Recognition for Math'' Jeff Breidenbach
- Improve the cLIeNUX "distribution" by Rick Hohensee. Make Linux more Forth-friendly. (( Oh yeah? Email me: email@example.com www.myspace.com/presidentbyamendment ))
- “program that takes XML tree data (or database data, but XML seems ideal for this project) and displays the tree diagram graphically.” – Noreen Whysel
- a tool that lets companies/people post text they want translated into another language, and allows translators to bid on projects they want to do. (Or do the companies / people bid on translator time ?). Perhaps this is the SoftwareBazaarSoftware, installed on a different web server with a few tweaks? One big difference: A piece of documentation often needs to be translated into lots of natural languages. A piece of software usually only needs to be written once, so the programmer can arbitrarily pick whichever programming language makes it easiest. – DavidCary
- Free Pascal Bounties lists ideas for improving this open-source tool, many of them with bounties of around $200.
- AsteroidMeta:PlanetMath?_Feature_Requests includes several ideas. One of them: “A tip-based question-answering system … would give users a chance to pick up some money by answering math questions. The content of these answers would be available under the FDL and could be used in the encyclopedia.” This might be yet another installation of the SoftwareBazaarSoftware, installed on a different web server with a few more tweaks.
- InkScape is asking for programmers to clean up a few things; see Inkscape Janitors, Inkscape Needs, Inkscape SVG compliance, etc.
- It's time to integrate open source graphic applications article by Jozsef Mak 2005-02-04 suggests “a package of three applications that target desktop publishers and graphic artists – the GIMP, Inkscape, and Scribus – would make a strong ensemble if their developers could be enticed to create a common interface and integrate their features.” Consider yourself enticed.
- "Opinion: A call for code" by Richard Murray 2000-10-29
- Tim Berners-Lee wants a better HTML editor
- FreeVo Help Wanted Freevo is an open-source home theatre PC platform … Personal Video Recorder.
- The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group ( http://whatwg.org/ ) wants to make “web applications development” easier.
- Add code to GIMP to import OpenOffice Draw (*.sxd) files.
- project help wanted ads -- at java.net
- "Transcode" wants good/fast/efficient code, to optimize some software that must run at video speed.
- KnoppixWiki: wish list lists a few more features people want to cram into the Knoppix bootable CD / bootable Keydrive.
- http://netflixprize.com/ : The Netflix Prize seeks to substantially improve the accuracy of predictions about how much someone is going to love a movie based on their movie preferences. Improve it enough and you win one (or more) Prizes. To qualify for the $1,000,000 Grand Prize, the accuracy of your submitted predictions on the qualifying set must be at least 10% better than the accuracy Cinematch can achieve on the same training data set at the start of the Contest. To qualify for a $50,000 Progress Prize (one offered each year), the accuracy of any of your submitted predictions that year must better than the best accuracy value established by the judges the preceding year.
- Wanted: 2D Sprite-Based Game Programmer (Ben Heck)
- UbuntuWiki:BountyProposals has a list of things people want improved in Ubuntu – many of them with $100 pledges.
- The new Ricochet Robot site will be open source and collaborative. If you would like to spend some of your spare time assisting in the programming or graphics creation, please let me know.
- the Midi to Keyboard (Midi2Kb) project (also MidiToKb). A piece of software, that allows a touch-sensitive (piano-style) Midi keyboard to enhance or even replace the (typewriter-style) PC-keyboard.
- Scott Moschella requests "Firefox Plugin Writer Needed"
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
- "The Woes of IDEs" by Jef Raskin 2003 “integrated development environments (IDEs) … improvements would increase the quality and speed of programming, clearly a desirable end. … More modern languages, instead of becoming more maintainable, have gotten less so. This … should upset anybody working on or managing a project involving programming today. … Another impediment to learning to program is the startling lack of manuals. … it is hard to go back and forth between an online guide and the IDE you are trying to use. … And just try to fix a system when the IDE itself is having problems and you can’t access the IDE’s help system. There are good reasons for having paper manuals, spiral-bound so they lay flat. … The design of IDEs is a problem begging for repair.”
- mentions many IDEs, including some “visual” IDEs nice for setting up user interfaces, and also some IDEs designed for beginning programmers.
- Wikipedia:BlueJ “objects can be interactively created and tested.”
- The Unix command line is often thought of as a kind of IDE
- The Forth command line is often thought of as a kind of IDE
Other than IDEs, what other sorts of tools would help people develop software? … program visualization tools … test harnesses … version control systems … ?
- “Tigris.org is a mid-sized open source community focused on building better tools for collaborative software development.” “The Tigris Mission: Building Open Source Software Engineering Tools”. Tigris also supports converting student “senior projects” into open source projects.
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.” http://habariproject.org -- as described at http://putthingsoff.com/etiquette-to-netiquette/
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 http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/milliondollarideas .” – Harry Goldstein, in “California Dreamin’”, IEEE Spectrum 2009-03
Can software help cure cancer? caBIG? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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? http://www.donationcoder.com/