August 28, 2006 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Software Pop Idol If you're a software developer, what happens when you run out of ideas? You ask the community of course! Then you sort, rate and have the ideas voted on. Make it a contest and give away prizes. And that's exactly what the Mac Programmers behind My Dream App have done. Entries are due by Sept 1st. Rules here. Idea Submission form here.
posted by filmgeek (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have an idea I've been working on for awhile now, but I'd rather not hand it over to someone else to make money from. I imagine that would be a concern to many developers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on August 28, 2006

Blazecock, I think it's more for guys (like myself) who aren't developers.

I think it's a really smart way to get an idea of what other users really want that their software isn't doing.
posted by filmgeek at 12:58 PM on August 28, 2006

"...what other users really want that their software isn't doing"

I want my software to take the .000001 cent in fractional interest from every bank transaction in the world and deposit it in an account for me. It's been used in enough movie plots that it ought to be doable by now.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:11 PM on August 28, 2006

I'll be really interested in how this goes. I have a feeling that when they remove all the duplicates, overly ambitious ides, underly ambitious ideas, and areas that are already well-served, they're going to have a tough time finding 24 reasonable finalists. But you never know.

(That, and how many of the good ideas are ripped off while the competition is in progress)
posted by cillit bang at 1:11 PM on August 28, 2006

"...what other users really want that their software isn't doing"

How about a computer that's, uh, intelligent and stuff? And learns from experience? So that every time you fight it, you have to use a different strategy?

That's not taken yet, is it?
posted by Iridic at 1:18 PM on August 28, 2006

I want a calculator function that shows commas between every third and fourth digit. That's it. Deep Blue can supposedly calculate how many grains of sand are in the folds of Karl Rove's chins, but I have to squint and count with my index finger to figure out if the result my calculator spit out is 10,000-something or 100,000-something. Stupid PC.

Wait, this is for mac? I don't use they have good calculators? Tell me macs have comma-using calculators and I'll switch tomorrow.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:30 PM on August 28, 2006

Macs have comma-using calculators. The calculator widget in the Dashboard, at least, has them.
posted by lackutrol at 1:35 PM on August 28, 2006

I need a program where there's this maze and you're in the maze and these spirit creatures are in the maze with you and you have to collect, no eat, you have to eat these things before the spirits get you.

It should make a Waka waka sound.

We could charge kids quarters to run this program, and they'd run it in science fiction themed stores, and occasionally bullies would take their quarters but the kids' mommies would tell them that it's okay, it's only a quarter, and that if they just did well in school that'd be the best way to get back at the bullies, but their daddies would say that quarters don't grow on trees and that maybe they shouldn't throw his quarters away on computer software that offered you only the slimmest possibility at best of eating the dot-thingies before the spirits capture you and what was the point of such a program any way? Learn the value of a dollar, the daddies would say.

They should write a program like that. I suspect there may be a number of intellectual property and technology transfer issues that would arise with such a development scheme, however.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:36 PM on August 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

While the dashboard calculator on a Mac does indeed use commas, the calculator app does not. Stupid, that.
posted by infidelpants at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2006

Apparently the winning app will be written under the direction of... the author of iClip.

A widget.

That stores copy/pastes.
posted by mmdei at 1:52 PM on August 28, 2006

On my Debian Sarge Linux desktop, running Gnome, the standard calculator (which has basic, financial and scientific modes) has a toggle for "show thousands separator" that commas every third digit.

It will be interesting to see if this will be enough for you to migrate to Linux, since it would be enough for you to migrate to a Mac.
posted by davejay at 1:54 PM on August 28, 2006

See also.
posted by runkelfinker at 2:42 PM on August 28, 2006

I want a calculator function that shows commas between every third and fourth digit. That's it.

If you're using Windows, your wish is granted.

View ... Digit Grouping.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:14 PM on August 28, 2006

Has anyone used a parametric sketcher, of the type found in high-end mcadd programs? (Pro/E, solidworks, etc) These allow you to sketch the shape of a drawing first, then adjust the dimensions later. The computer keeps track of the constraints (tangents, right angles etc), so you can quickly try out complicated geometries, without having to solve it all ahead of time (a-la autocad).

Someone should take the technology out of those full-blown 3D cad suites, and just release an intelligent vector drawing app. (the company that made solid-edge tried it on windows, but I want a mac version).

posted by Popular Ethics at 8:37 PM on August 28, 2006

d'oh. forgot to close the italics after shape. Someone make software to do that automatically too.
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:45 PM on August 28, 2006

Ideas for software is worthless. Implementation is all that matters.

And speculative work is just stupid.

And mmdel: not only is he the proud author of a copy/paste widget – he's selling a copy/paste widget. What a moron. From his app's page, he credits the icon design and the entire overly animated UI to two other people!
posted by blasdelf at 9:37 PM on August 28, 2006

Whoo, I'm glad to see this made it to my favorite website for lurking! I've had a hard time not self-linking. :)

I'm a developer-judge who'll be producing one of the three winning apps from this contest, so if anyone has any questions or comments, I'd love to answer them.

Also, the original post didn't mention that we've got some pretty spiffy guest judges lined up for the second phase of My Dream App. We've got Kevin Rose of Digg fame, David Pogue of the New York Times, and one of my all-time idols, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, as well as about 30 others, all very well known in their various spheres. So it should be quite the show!

In the meantime, submit those ideas! You've got till September 1st!
posted by smeger at 11:15 PM on August 28, 2006

me & my monkey:If you're using Windows, your wish is granted. View ... Digit Grouping.

How long has that been there? Sweet, thanks 3m.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2006

Just in case anybody would otherwise miss it: The voting has begun.
posted by sveskemus at 1:59 PM on September 21, 2006

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