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Ask Slashdot: What Does the FOSS Community Currently Need?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the lend-a-hand dept.

Open Source 356

First time accepted submitter d33tah writes "In the summer term of my final year of IT's bachelor's course in my university, every student is obliged to develop his own project; the only requirement is that the application would use any kind of a database. While others are thinking of another useless system for an imaginary company that nobody would actually use, I'd rather hack up something the FL/OSS community actually needs. The problem is — how to figure out what it could be?"

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Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

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356 comments

Hmm... (4, Insightful)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year ago | (#42933713)

Better hygiene. Less beards. More women.

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#42933723)

Good set of requirements, but where's the database?

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

Garridan (597129) | about a year ago | (#42933935)

Idiot. Women are to be kept in binders, not databases.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934103)

Maybe he was going to 3d print one?
The robots [youtube.com] are getting close to crossing the uncanny valley.

begin sequence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934149)

nigger cock fist anus faggot faggot nigger anus faggot ballsack jew faggot cumdu
mpster ballsack nigger cunt cock balls jew nigger cumdumpster nigger fist jew ho
mosexual nigger anus balls fist ballsack jew whore fist balls fist ballsack fagg
ot cunt cumdumpster anus nigger fist fist nigger cock faggot cock cock faggot cu
nt

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Re:begin sequence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934155)

whore ballsack balls cock faggot faggot nigger anus nigger fist jew cock cock ba
lls balls balls whore homosexual whore fist cunt homosexual whore faggot cunt ba
llsack balls homosexual balls jew cunt whore anus cock cunt whore whore faggot j
ew jew cumdumpster fist nigger cock nigger nigger cumdumpster anus ballsack whor
e

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Re:begin sequence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934161)

nigger whore nigger anus anus cock nigger homosexual balls jew whore fist jew ni
gger cumdumpster jew anus balls whore nigger nigger balls jew anus cock fist bal
lsack faggot cunt homosexual cock cock whore ballsack balls homosexual ballsack
fist fist homosexual nigger homosexual cock balls faggot cunt anus whore cunt co
ck

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4 44938 65660 12681 42651 63348 99138 47714 45389 59613 78158 30802 86601 86965
55754 36859 64782 23851 51974 27259 20548 66553 64185 38640 50482 40554 64371 06
924 44752 52193 99435 01282 68034 27629 02862 72432 62761 37404 95401 00686 9118
3 20924 91450 58613 87985 79375 07512 70042 62274 50348 31024 94689 85970 36639

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933737)

Yeah, but RMS is still among the living.

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

ixarux (1652631) | about a year ago | (#42933757)

I second this. Hygienic unbearded ladies have always driven the motivations of men. (No offense to the bearded women...) We do need more of them.

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933765)

Fewer beards. Better grammar.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934089)

Fewer beards. Better grammer.

There, FTFY.

Re:Hmm... (3, Interesting)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year ago | (#42933917)

Better hygiene. Less beards. More women.

I'll wash off the stink and you can swamp me with women but you'll have to shave my manly beard off my pale dead face. There is no way you'll get us beardy weirdys to participate you strange metrosexual war on body hair, it's donwright unmanly.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934119)

There is no way you'll get us beardy weirdys to participate you strange metrosexual war on body hair, it's donwright unmanly.

You don't want to look 14 again? Whyever not?

Re:Hmm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934187)

There is no way you'll get us beardy weirdys to participate you strange metrosexual war on body hair, it's donwright unmanly.

Don't participate in the "strange metrosexual war on body hair" if you don't have to, for the pete of sake! But we're not all so lucky. No siree bob. See, way I figger it, city boys who want to compete, well, let's just say the knee occasionally bends under the weight of female persuasion ... and you wake up one morning a little less manly but at least you have company.

City life sucks. Ciao, Varangian. Frackin hipster!

If I knew this... (1)

jevring (618916) | about a year ago | (#42933717)

...I'd be working on it. Interesting question, though. Hopefully you'll get some good answers and not just an argument regarding the merits of one type of database versus another...

Matching contributors to needs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year ago | (#42934075)

If the OP really means what the community as a whole needs rather than one useful thing for part of that community, then ironically I think you've just nailed it: more than anything else, the community needs a way to match up willing and able contributors with projects that could benefit from their contributions.

To do that, the OP could develop a simple database that understands things like:

  • different kinds of contribution ("I want to help with programming")
  • technical skills ("I program C++ pretty well, and a bit of Ruby")
  • application domains ("I like graphics-related projects")
  • levels of difficulty ("this is a million-lines project" => it will take a while to get into and might need significant infrastructure installed to work on it)
  • availability ("I can spare an hour or two a week" => probably better to help with small things on smaller, more accessible projects).

Provide some sort of keyword store (extension: recognise related entries/common aliases) or defined scale for each property, let projects say what they need and volunteers say what they're willing to contribute, and help people get matched up.

This has the handy advantage for the OP of being readily scalable from a simple proof of concept with a simple native or web-based UI right up to a full-blown and genuinely useful service if you can find a way of getting it hosted properly. It might help particularly with contribution in areas other than programming, which in practice is often where OSS projects run by volunteers for free start to fall behind commercial projects run by businesses with cross-disciplinary teams.

Re:Matching contributors to needs (2, Interesting)

jevring (618916) | about a year ago | (#42934113)

It's strange that such a site doesn't already exist. There are a bunch of hire-a-freelancer sites out there, but nothing for something like this. If you build it, I will come! :D

Re:Matching contributors to needs (2, Informative)

YttriumOxide (837412) | about a year ago | (#42934227)

I'd love to have something like this.

Many years ago I used to contribute to quite a few open source projects here and there; but now I'm married with a daughter and my job has become more demanding, I found the projects I was contributing to were taking up too much time that I'd rather spend with my family. I'd still really like to be able to contribute it some way, but finding things to do is the hardest part. With a system such as this, I could get matched up to projects that meet my time limitations, proficiencies and interests and then actually start making real contributions again.

What do YOU need. (2)

djsmiley (752149) | about a year ago | (#42933729)

What are we missing.... while its easy to ask what we need, what ever you've found lacking in the past is the best place for you to start.

Re:What do YOU need. (2)

jevring (618916) | about a year ago | (#42933739)

This is such a cop-out. Yes, we know that this should be high on the list for a project you want to do, but that's not what was asked...

Re:What do YOU need. (3, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | about a year ago | (#42933901)

I do not know what the question is, but the answer is clearly more pr0n.

Re:What do YOU need. (4, Interesting)

azalin (67640) | about a year ago | (#42933803)

What about an MP3 Database over removable drives, that lists duplicates and relatives (ie copies or same song - different sample rate, or same song live - studio version), allows mass renaming/updating (or even auto labeling from an online source) - Bonus feature: remember update for other copies of the file on external drives. Along with the option to label drives as "backup of x" (needs all songs in x), player (files may be removed if they exist elsewhere), storage or import (no changes to drive). Add a timestamp for last sync in the database for each drive.
This might not be the holy grail, and may even exist(?), but it would be useful and is the first thing that came to mind.

An answer to smartphone apps (4, Insightful)

zakkie (170306) | about a year ago | (#42933743)

And for that matter, the big social networks and their apps or app-like interfaces. These are two sides to a common threat: the partitioning of the internet into a device- or social network-delineated series of ecosystems.

Web framework (4, Funny)

dan_barrett (259964) | about a year ago | (#42933747)

Definitely need another web framework option

Re:Web framework (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#42933905)

... written in a new scripting language.

what i need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933755)

warehouse and inventory control. integration with commercial erp software

Coherence. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933759)

We're finally seeing sociologists and anthropologists and, AT LONG LAST programmers articulate the pathological brogrammer culture and the contempt for user concerns that it brings. The, in fact, glee and pride in being awkward and macho and making ocde that is awkward and clumsy.

So that being the case, work on bridging some FOSS codebase with modern UI and actual decent graphic design. Spend some time reading Hermann Zapf and Edward Tufte. And then come up with some way to smooth out the intentional bullshit that infests FOSS.

Or if you want a nice small app to do, create a version of Windowshade for OS X that works worth a damn.

dropbox replacement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933775)

Something like sparkleshare, bit with support for huge repos and without mono :)

Dynamic Question/Answer Quiz System (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933779)

Minimalist web based quiz system but with dynamic question and answer generation, for questions relating to engineering and mathematics etc. plus all the typical logging, trends etc.

Statistics (5, Interesting)

jevring (618916) | about a year ago | (#42933783)

How about something fun, like filesystem statistics? Keep track of the most used files to make sure you spread the disk and your mental load equally. Quite possibly useless, but could be fun to do. The hooks into the FS might be the hardest part about this, though.

Write a generic ETL app. Quite useful. Might be many out there, though. Probably few good free ones..

Or something that converts a (well known) log format into database entries for the purpose of easier statistics than what grep can provide?.
For instance, take a webserver log, dump it into the database and generate something like a visitation path..
The database isn't technically needed for this, of course, but with a large dataset, you can't keep it all in memory, so it would be useful..

Re:Statistics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934035)

Wow! You've managed to make programming as much fun as...doing your taxes!

Re:Statistics (3, Insightful)

bertok (226922) | about a year ago | (#42934041)

Write a generic ETL app. Quite useful. Might be many out there, though. Probably few good free ones..

That's actually a very good idea, because I've found the exact opposite of your suspicion: there's few out there and they're all bad!

The kind of insanity I see regularly:

* Visual programming languages, which are known to be inefficient and just all-round bad. They promise a lot, but fail to deliver.
* Poor re-use or re-factoring of common tasks, such as consistent handling of groups of columns from disparate sources.
* Poor parallelism. I suspect that there's no ETL tool out there that can parse a CSV file in parallel. It's hard, because all but the first thread has to "hold" its results and potentially back-track. There are organizations out there that import multi-gigabyte text files!
* Poor adherence to standards. For example, SQL Server 2008 R2 and earlier don't support the CSV standard. No joke!
* Poor scaffolding or get-started-quick importing. Lots of ETL tools make you drag & drop at least each table once. Performing an "upsert" merge (or similar) between a database and a subset involving many tables is almost always months of fiddly work. God help you if you need to perform more complex merges...

Essentially, writing an advanced ETL tool in a high-level and safe language like C# or Java wouldn't be too hard, and would be useful to a lot of people. There's also great tools [antlr.org] out there now for developing new Domain Specific Languages (DSLs), which would allow a full-fledged ETL language to be developed quickly.

Lots of good programming practice in a project like that: parallelism, databases, and parsers. Yet, it's easy to get started, and even a very simple version might be useful for some things!

Re:Statistics (1)

jevring (618916) | about a year ago | (#42934133)

I wrote half of an ETL tool at my previous employer for the same reason, there was nothing out there. Of course, I couldn't open-source that... By "half" I mean that, while it was certainly an ETL tool, it only supported the subset of operations we needed. This is also fun, because it teaches you things about databases that you might not encounter otherwise, as pushing millions of rows into a database isn't necessarily a "normal" use-case that you'd otherwise encounter. If you focus on the E and L parts, you can make the T part pluggable, if you like.

FOSS NEEDS WOMEN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933787)

Bad !!

And not the ugly ones !!

Porn App (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933789)

An app that streams free porn onto your computer as fast as possible.

DB can be used to rate/categorize the porn so that the user can choose to start off with donkey porn, midget porn etc

What OSS really needs... (2)

HEMI426 (715714) | about a year ago | (#42933797)

It's not really any particular project...There's tons of them out there. There are some areas that are lacking, though...QA, RE and documentation practices suck. The major projects tend to be better at them, but most of the smaller projects are pretty terrible at all three.

Re:What OSS really needs... (3, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#42933895)

I actually find the documentation of most projects to be quite good. And honestly it has to be because what the FOSS community really needs is some human interface design lessons.

Many of the apps are currently spread between the realms of so configurable and customisable that anyone but the smartest of power users can understand how to run the settings, and then on the opposite end of the spectrum with the whole uber user friend unconfigurable touch garbage like Unity.

Re:What OSS really needs... (1)

FBeans (2201802) | about a year ago | (#42933963)

^^Underrated. I agree, there must be some middle ground. Adding usability without losing configurability!

A database of applications that the FL/OSS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933799)

You've identified a problem, the FL/OSS community need a database of applications that the FL/OSS needs.

Build a... (1)

gef7 (1789448) | about a year ago | (#42933805)

...database for the useless systems for imaginary companies that nobody would actually use!

No way to know... (1)

pjstevns (232439) | about a year ago | (#42933811)

    "another useless system for an imaginary company that nobody would actually use"

is what everyone I know thought of twitter.com when it was first appearing on the radar.

Also, writing such a 'useless' system might actually be what your professors are looking for, since it's what you are likely going to work on much of your time as a corporate code monkey. 'Useless' here meaning: in your perception, not to the corporate bottom line.

Re:No way to know... (2, Funny)

unix_core (943019) | about a year ago | (#42933835)

Also, writing such a 'useless' system might actually be what your professors are looking for, since it's what you are likely going to work on much of your time as a corporate code monkey. 'Useless' here meaning: in your perception, not to the corporate bottom line.

Sounds highly unlikely, that would imply the professors are actually aware of the outside world.

You should think of what your teachers expect (5, Insightful)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | about a year ago | (#42933843)

You should really be thinking of what your course teachers expect from this project. From their point of view they are likely after their students building a basic CRUD program (create, retrieve, update, delete) to show that they understand the basics of designing and implementing a system and have some basic database skills.

The thing is, CRUD programs are not really that interesting or really, that difficult to make. There will be dozens of them available open source, and these will likely cover all the high impact general cases. What you could contribute relatively easily is a a program for a specific case.

For example: I play around with 3D printing, and I have lots of various coloured filament in varying quantities. I want to know how much I have of each so that I can use up the scraps on little prints, and save the longer lengths of filament for bigger prints. At present this means a little guesswork and some time with a tape measure.

This problem could lead to a nice simple project: build a simple database backed system to monitor filament stock levels, which allows putting in info, saying "I have used x much of this spool to print" and asking "which is the shortest spool with enough for this print?". If you kept it to the assumption that it would be a light weight program not requiring an existing database environment that would make it easy to demo as well - jsut use one of those lightweight DBMSs that dumps it's stuff in a single file. Nice and simple, but extensible.

The extensible bit is important, since it means if you get the basics done you can add on some features for extra credit. I don't mean shiny to the user features, but rather shiny to the markers features.

For example: you could make it pseudo distributed, so that I could have it running on two machines independently and synch them at will; this would mean you could look into transaction systems where you store what was done on each and synch them by applying in time order (something that is useful in big commercial database setups such as retail management systems).

Another example: you could have it capable of generating QR code labels linked to the particular spools records, and have a mobile app. Scan the QR code and have the phone call a web service front end to the database and look up exactly how much is left, and offer the option to mark it as printed with.

Basicly: pick something which is simple, but lets you show off your technical skills. If you can help the OSS movement now that's just icing, but you're better off looking after yourself at the moment so that later you can help with less constrained projects.

Re:You should think of what your teachers expect (3, Interesting)

LSDelirious (1569065) | about a year ago | (#42933899)

Instead of guessing or tape measuring remaining filament lengths, is there some reason you can't weigh the remaining materials? Seems like the filament would be a consistent diameter and density that with a scale of decent precision you could weigh a known length and have a fairly accurate idea of the remaining length.

Re:You should think of what your teachers expect (1)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | about a year ago | (#42933945)

Not a bad idea. It would depend on how accurately I could weight it though: it works out as about 3g per meter, and I would ideally like to know to the resolution of 10's of centimeters.

Re:You should think of what your teachers expect (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year ago | (#42934251)

> It would depend on how accurately I could weight it...

I think that any digital kitchen scale should work. You don't really need accuracy: just reproducibility.

OpenStreetMap (3, Interesting)

Max_W (812974) | about a year ago | (#42933845)

Mapping tools for mobile devices. Like "OSMPad", but better, if it possible at all.

Quality Media Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933847)

Take your pick among media apps; good image, video, animation, composition editors would all be needed. Some commercial ones do exists, of course, but the trick is the "quality" and that would be hard to produce in short amount of time.

Scope (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#42933851)

Probably the target is something that can be done by you alone and resulting in something functional in short term, then kick it into open source (not sure if could be considered yours for the course if had major contributions from a community).

A web app or a webservice to be used by a mobile app could be popular. Think in something in that categories that you could need (so you'll be your own client, knowing the requirements), and don't find in F/OSS (or what you found don't match your exact needs).

Another alternative would be extending an existing open source program with a plugin or extension with a functionality that it don't have currently (it could be implemented already in alternative, maybe commercial, software) and you would like and understand (but must to be one that actually uses a database). CMSs and similar are good candidates for that.

Todo list designed for programmers (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#42933861)

Specifically, taking into account the high incidence of atypical neurologies, and the problems caused by things like "but I *really really* need to concentrate so only interrupt me if it's genuinely that important", stuff like that. But underneath it all, that implies a pretty solid database of items.

bioinformatics (4, Interesting)

tloh (451585) | about a year ago | (#42933863)

If your comfort zone can be stretched into biotechnology, there are many opportunities for analyzing huge volumes of data in genomics/proteomics. As one modest example: a select number of model organisms are commonly used for basic research. Is it feasible to build an app/tool that can gauge the suitability of an experiment subject for a particular scientific inquiry based on available genomic data? Recently, I heard a talk by a researcher in autism attempt to find a mouse model of the disorder based on observed behavior in cognitive experiments across many different laboratory strains that have been inbreed to very exacting parameters for other experiments. Given the level of detailed information on these particular strains, it is easy to see how convenient it would be to have a tool that can mine their genomes for a particular trait or set of traits or perhaps even do an in silico genetic engineering experiment before any resources are physically committed. Even if hardcore biology isn't your forte, you might maybe talk to someone who teaches the subject and ask what tools can be developed to help visualize or otherwise communicate conceptual information that derive from databases of the type kept by organizations like NCBI [nih.gov] .

copyright (4, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#42933883)

Double check your university's policy on copyright of student work.

Re:copyright (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#42934203)

You should care less what your university thinks their policy is on a copyright of a students work. Unless you signed them away when you registered, you own your own copyright. just because the university thinks they own it, doesn't mean anything.

Re:copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934225)

This. Students are not serfs, no matter what universities think (or in many cases, write). If you didn't sign away your soul, they can't do shit.

A lawyer once explained it like this: having a sign "I'm not responsible when I hit you" on your car doesn't do squat when you do hit someone.

That is: the law is the law, and the driver can't remove rights from a stranger just because he feels like it.

Re:copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934245)

And you want to spend months in court arguing about that?

Worse, do you want to take what you did at Uni, invest lots of time making it good, release it as a good open source project / profitable commercial project, and THEN have the Universities lawyers come and take it away?

IPR ownership clauses are standard in all University rules nowadays. If you want an exception, ask and get it in writing.

How about a system (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933885)

That takes an ean-code (bar code) for a movie and creates a database entry of the movie with information from imdb. I would love such a concept and hook it up with a bar code scanner app on my phone so I could easily catalog my movies. If you create this as a REST-service it can be used on any platform. As for database anything doing replication or using something you haven't used before could be a very interesting experience. I'd also suggest creating a wiki for yourself so that you can keep track of what you do for later reference. I did it after finding that I spent time looking up pages I've looked up before because I didn't remember the steps.

Peer Code Review Software (4, Interesting)

Cory Fisher (2844357) | about a year ago | (#42933893)

Write a cross platform easy to set up and use peer code review software (take hints from CodeCollaborator theirs is good but expensive). It should have hooks into Git/SVN and be easily extended in the future to include other version control systems. It would also be cool if it had the ability to have source code scanning plugins like phpcs (code sniffer) or phpmd(mess detector)... I'm a PHP guy you can tell, but I'm sure the guys from the java, c++, and other communities could use similar tools. Make sure it has an easy to set up web interface (you could package a webserver into the deal that listens on whatever port is configured during the setup process).

Write some documentation (5, Insightful)

Makali (13158) | about a year ago | (#42933913)

If you want to learn a lot about code, really help out the community, and get a lot of love, write some documentation for other people's code.

Now how you work the database requirement into that, I don't know. Perhaps you could write a documentation request tracker for ReadTheDocs.org - their site is on GitHub at https://github.com/rtfd/readthedocs.org so you can fork it, write something that lets people request and prioritise projects that need docs, then submit a pull request.

If you're really ambitious, write a web-based environment for writing, editing, and submitting documentation to projects on GitHub, BitBucket, etc.

They need patches! (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#42933919)

Apparently, as long as it's a patch, it's a positive contribution. I learnt that from: https://twitter.com/zeenix/status/303136468627509248

You're foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933923)

Just give them what they want and move on.

If you want to "change the world", do it in your own time because the academic and work world, its all bullshit anyway and about just getting your promotion (even in academia).

Debugging, documentations and GUIs. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933925)

Debugging, documentations and GUIs is what most FOSS projects out there are lacking. Sadly, you're expected to actually write code so this isn't going to fly.
The next best thing you can do is re-writes:
1. You could find some old yet still in common use python2 \ bash scripts that uses deprecated libraries and update it to python3. I'm not you can actually "sell" this as a legitimate project though...
2. Find an old \ undocumented but still commonly used non-C code and rewrite it in modern C. This is essentially the same as the python2 to python3 idea but it should be an easier sell and if done properly would be brought into common use very quickly.

Just thinking about all the ugly pointer tricks people used to do just a decade ago before compilers were any good and now deprecated... And all those pascal programs that are now mostly abandoned... Just stat with something like that.

What it doesn't need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933939)

Is another arrogant shithead who thinks he's better than everyone else. Looks like it's too late for you, welcome, you'll fit right in.

video editing (2)

mug funky (910186) | about a year ago | (#42933943)

the free software world needs a good video editor.

a database would be very helpful in the editing workflow - strangely enough no edit suites have it but most photo programs do.

to be able to assign tags to clips and subclips and all media, sort by timecode, sort by who is in it, sort by how good a take it is, right-click a shot in the sequence and be able to see a list of things relevant to that particular clip would be amazing.

of course, there's way more than a bachelor's in a project like this.

you could always just make an innovative xmms plugin that implements a database of the tags in your music library, and maybe helps you to choose what to play next...

Re:video editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934151)

a database would be very helpful in the editing workflow - strangely enough no edit suites have it

One of the major beefs with FCPX is the way it utilizes a database and keyword tagging instead of a traditional directory structure for its media bin. Having media imported to the event library based on file timestamp and then having to manually add the meta data to each clip is such a poor workflow that it doesn't even compare favorably to directories and symlinks.

"Flexible" database keys (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42933951)

What I've been planning to look into as a project is the following problem:

I have several instances of a platform, each with several customers. I'd like to be able to move customers around, but this would cause all kinds of problems with primary keys and foreign key relations in our database. To make matters worse, the database doesn't contain actual foreign keys all the foreign key relationships that are used and it contains a few text-fields which would require search-and-replace on some of the foreign keys.

I know of no standard solution to fix this, but it should be possible to do. It should be possible to make a tool, feed it with a configuration file that maps out all the relationships (ideally this could be generated from the database meta-data itself) and search&replace actions. Supply it with a list of "start" keys (in my example, this would be a customerid) from which it would scan all linked records. Have it export a file format which can be imported using the tool on a different database, generating new keys and properly setting foreign keys to the new keys. For bonus points, have it de-duplicate records as specified in that configuration file.

Such a tool would probably be very interresting to a lot of people.

Benefits of the project is that (AFAIK) it's not been done before, it's quite technical in nature (no need to understand non-IT stuff) and would produce code that would be useful after it is no longer a school project. Down side is that it's going to take quite some effort to make it truely effective. Also, as of now, you can't patent it ;)

A Microsoft(r) Exchange(r) clone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933969)

Complete.

Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933973)

If you have to ask, it's pretty obvious that there isn't any need for anything right now.

OBD reader/logger (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42933981)

I could use a nice native Linux program with a good GUI to read, set and LOG data from my cars ECU with OBD.

The possibility to read and write ECU maps (with right checksums generated) would be higlhy appriciated too!

Tell me when it's ready!

Thanks!

Re:OBD reader/logger (2)

jevring (618916) | about a year ago | (#42933989)

Actually, just the logger for this might not be a bad idea. The concept of a "good gui" goes infinitely further than "something with a database", but I think a lot of people would be interested in this. Ask people in the autocross/gymkhana communities. You'll want to correlated it to things like GPS and g-force sensors. Could be very interesting. I've seen real-time systems like this, but it might be VERY interesting to do this for a complete analysis after a run.

Database of database usage in FOSS projects? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#42933985)

Why not set up a database system which can be used to keep track of which database systems are used (mysql, postgresql, etc) in which opensource projects and which version of the database is used along with the table/memory/thread-usage limitations of each instance?
.
Example: firefox uses sqlite for its internal database needs. What do others use? You can populate your database with info like that, and perhaps build a good LAMP/web based front end to allow more entries to be collaboratively updated.

Re:Database of database usage in FOSS projects? (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42934043)

Xzibit, is that you?

Re:Database of database usage in FOSS projects? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#42934217)

re Xzibit, is that you?:
.
Had to hook it up, dude!
.
HaHaw! Well, I didn't start that database of databases statement with a "Yo Dawg!" [wikipedia.org] , so I'm probably not Xzibiting! It's either turtles all the way down, databases all the way down, zero-one-bits all the way down, or hypercubes all the way down, eh? Or is that a false equivalency to say turtles and hypercubes are the same thing? ? ?

Emerging market expansion (1)

Technician (215283) | about a year ago | (#42933995)

Knowing your potential customers is essential. A databse of neighborhoods and survey results could be used to expand FIOS offerings to include more potential customers.

For example, how many people want Internet and NOT the bundled Telephone and Subscription TV packages? This package is hard for customers to obtain at reasonable prices due to the pushing of Value Added services the customer does not want or wish to pay for.

ISP phone packages for example are $30 + with taxes in the US. Great you can call all of the US. Big deal. My current VOIP with Google Talk I can call all of the US and Canada for FREE. Out of area callers can have the same package with their cell phone or Google Voice to call me free.

If I want unlimited calling to overseas numbers, there are packages out there for under $10/month which includes 40 countries, + low rates to other countries.

For TV I have great over the air for local news. I care less about armchair quarterback sports, so Netflix is fine.

I just want Internet at reasonable speed, low latency, and no throttling or blocked ports. I can block ports I need blocked at the router firewall.

If a bundled FIOS solution is $150, and no unbundled Internet for a reasonable price, I'll stick with other broadband solutions.

Use gathered data to increase your market penetration, instead of maintaining a high average selling price with poor market penetration.

Remember when the market went crazy a few years ago when Intel released the Atom? TM on Intel and Atom.. because it would canabilize the desktop market?
Intel had a record year, and has continued to grow year over year. They prevented greater market loss to tablets by competing in the sub laptop market. Now they are in the Ultrabook market with high performance chips drawing low power.

If an ISP does not grow with the market and sticks with only high end bundles, they will leave open a hole for competion to grow.

Use the database to optimize your market offerings. Be aware that your competion will also be adjusting to market threats, which includes your offerings. Plan for it. The pool is limited in scope. Are you planning on serving the under employed who drop the ISP and only use a smart phone because of high broadband cost?

Survey your market..

Do you have a smart phone?
Do you have home Broadband?
If yes, DSL, Cable, WiMax, Fiber?
Is your broadband speed OK?
Is your internet Bundled?
Are you using a VOIP device or service such as Google Talk, Magic Jack, Skype, etc?

Further questions can define price points for various package offerings. Try to meet most of the market segments as possible.

OSM could need your help (2)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about a year ago | (#42934001)

OSM is now growing. There is tonnes of mapping data available,
How about improving offline navigation capabilities.
For example, currently OSM AND simply does offline navigation based on POIs. How about integrating an offline address search.

Tabular data app. (1)

Barryke (772876) | about a year ago | (#42934023)

A tabular data app. Think MS Access, but without the hassle of having to set up tables or fields beforehand. Actually, forget MS Access. Its just a white graph-paper canvas, and you control it using your digitizer/tablet pen.
The ideal tool no more complicated as sketch paper, enabling to quickly count inventory in your tablet (handwriting recognition and tally) the way you always have, but it understands and helps to plot your data if you decide to do so afterwards. It would also work if you start with a photo of your (actual paper) sketch.

This idea is mine (but have no time to build it according to my vision) and the idea may be freely used IF open source and not developed commercially.
I see practical uses for people who do dislike computers, but need something slightly more faster/powerful than wielding a notepad and calculator while on the go.

An interactive database of FLOSS software, (1)

linuxiac (1831824) | about a year ago | (#42934037)

I really need an interactive web based database of software, such as is on distrowatch.com, but, that updates itself with the use of web crawlers. (And, does ballistics for the Mosin Nagant 1891/30 using the various loads and bullet weights that are available to buy or load in the 7.62x54r cartridge! Or, a one click movie/book/music database? ) Does abc programs work with, supported in, the XYZ OS? If I give Jane her Linux Mint 13 program, will it function to output viable info that is readable in the abc program on the XYZ OS of Bob, Jim, Pat, and Carol? Does 48 grains of AA powder cause excessive pressures if behind a .3105" Boat Tail jacketed bullet, in a 28.7 inch barrel? Can the range increase from a useable 2000 meters to the 3000 meters the bullet is capable of traveling? Owners/users of 42.5 million Rifles/Carbines, might want to know!

git extension for large files (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934049)

git handling for big files.
It is really difficult to use git with large assets (i.e. in the video game industry) because it stores all history, whereas it would be better to store those assets outside (some of them are really assets, and some of them can be auto-generated but take long time).
Existing solutions are:
- git annex (seems good but linux only, rely on symlink)
- git media (ruby so hard to make it a default module, and not so maintained)
Ideally, it should be along the lines to http://mercurial.selenic.com/wiki/BigfilesExtension or http://www.plasticscm.com/features/archiving.aspx.
Seems quite related to database. Would be very helpful for many open-source git projects!
Kudo and many thanks if you would consider it!

OSS project idea's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934051)

There's a few idea's I have:

1) Open Sourced risk management tool. Add in the risks, controls, and likelihoods - store to a database (allows for risk templates like PCI/DSS) and output a report. As far as I know this is only available as commercial software.
2) Open Sourced approach for home finances - like a quicken or the like.
3) A simple open replacement for evernote - with a database as the backend. i.e. something like Evernote 2.2, back before it became cloud - perhaps with greater emphasis on text - and searching information.

Offline CMS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934057)

A simple database driven offline content management system, i.e. a CMS which generates static HTML from content in a database, with a (local) web interface for editing content and regenerating modified pages.

Static web pages are easy to host, the hosting is cheap because they don't demand much from the server, and they're almost inherently secure because they don't process data on the server.

Log Analyzer (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42934059)

There are a lot of utilities that convert log files (from Apache for instance) to databases and perform data mining on them but there are still a lot of services that do not yet have these tools. This would make for an interresting database project as you could do a lot of really complex queries and have it create human readable reports.

Nice idea, wrong target (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#42934079)

The FOSS community rarely needs anything. At least in terms of tools. they're the sort of people who are willing to make tools themselves if they have an itch to scratch.

But there are all sorts of utilities you could produce that will be useful to someone. Maybe a free utility that handles mp3s allows the user to add tags, and create a playlist based on arbitrary searches. Or something that manages photos. Or a recipe app that can find a recipe for the ingredients you have

Don't make new dependencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42934199)

If you want to help the FLOSS community, you might convert all the various databases to one type, so we can reduce the number of libraries we need.

Basically, if your assignment is to write a basic tool, We don't need it unless you have done something really cool with it, and preferably it's compatible with something else that has a decent market share already.

So, either you find a database performance problem that you need to write your own to get the level of performance you need, (or better yet, you modify, or add a mode to an existing database)

Or you just make something and keep it to yourself. Write you fancy application that we need to work on something that we already have, rather than introducing new dependancies

How about a replacement for Slashdot? (4, Interesting)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about a year ago | (#42934241)

Semi-serious. I think Slashdot's got one of the best content/comment/moderation systems around - certainly better than Reddit, way better than the ashes of Digg, and more useful than Usenet.

Build a FOSS database with whatever improvements you design, as the underpinnings for a new Slashdot not owned by some mega-corporation intent on shoveling crap articles at us, like "how to get employed by RedHat" or video interviews about random horse crap?

Idea storm platform for OS ideas (2)

Simon Schneebeli (2844479) | about a year ago | (#42934247)

I love what Ubuntu has done with the idea brainstorm (http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/). But I would love to see a similar platform but in general for open source ideas. I'd be happy to offer web hosting for this. An additional feature could indeed be matching savvy people with projects, but we need to identify great ideas first.
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