This is in reply to a comment posted in an article. I thought it would be a lot more appropriate to discuss it here:
Re:Money goes where money wants to go (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Wed April 24, 2013 14:52 (#43538657)
I just took a look at your idea. On the whole - it's good! I'll try to be quick but the problem is outside the idea. It's execution.
1) As a senior dev with some 20 years of experience, I can say for certain that if you intend to complete this after only 1 year, then some of the key requirements are out of reach. Period. The discussion of which and why is a long conversation, but let's just say you're not yet aware of certain stumbling blocks for this type of project. Regardless of how motivated and smart you are, it's going to take longer than what you are proposing.
2) This means that some of what you're doing will have to be cut. It's going to take for you time to discover what those parts are. You may abandon the project because of these set backs.
3) A picture is worth a thousand words. If you only do a mock-up, it will still show that you actually do something. A prototype would be better. Regardless, without it, you're just talking and there is no indication you have what it takes to do even the parts which will be relatively easy.
You are in good company, however. I taught a university course in software design a few years ago. The final project for the course was to put all the principles taught in class into action. So, they had to come up with an idea and produce prototypes that could be iteratively improved on. Sadly, most projects contained plans for impossible leaps in development, and the students had no idea the leaps were there. Chalk it up to a completely reasonable lack of experience and a lack of time.
Back to you. Obviously you can't know what you don't know. But this isn't a class project, this is life. In proposing a project, if you want it to fly then you have to manage the unknown leaps. They don't have to be worked out right away, but they have to be realistically charted so they won't block you, kill your project, and make a mess of *everything*.
Word to the wise. As it stands, your project won't fly and you're better off not trying to make it work. Don't give up. Build prototypes - mockups - whatever. You will discover the unknowns. You will change the project. Build something, show it, and if it's good, sure, I'll drop kickstarter type money for you to go after those unknowns, because at that point there's something I already like and there's an assurance that you can deliver.
Like I said at the top, you have a good idea. Go for it.
Thank you for the comment!
I will not try to contradict you in general, but I think it's only fair and just that I explain why the project would work, contrary to your beliefs:
1) None of what I have proposed is out of reach in 1 year. I am in fact planning to finish almost all of it in 6 to 8 months, taking into account that I may take rather 10 to 12 months TOPS. I know because I have most of the functionality figured out.
There is some part of the story I didn't tell, but I will tell it now. I have been trying to make this editor for NINE YEARS. What has prevented me? Simple: it requires a lot of concentration and - this is key - continuity. It just does not work when I am digging deep in the code for one or two days then I have to interrupt it for several days because a client is contacting me with paid work. After 3, 4, 6, maybe even 10 days doing something else, I don't remember anymore what the hell I was doing in the code. So I would spend one entire day just reading my own code and figuring out where I was, and how all the things were supposed to work together.
I insisted, but the interruptions would happen over and over. I eventually gave up for months. Then I would give it another go, and it would all happen again. I felt discouraged, so I gave up again for weeks or months. Then I tried again. Then I would lose focus again because of my work. Again and again and again. I eventually gave up for years.
Another part of the story: I had two other more important applications to make, for my own interest, related to my work. They would help me greatly. But they involved some of the most complicated concepts and some even more complicated than the ones I intend to include in the editor. Guess what, I never finished any of them, for the same reasons stated above.
However, in the midst of these many attempts, I protoyped pretty much ALL of the functionality I intend to include in the editor. They just weren't well implemented because, you know, of the trouble I described before. But it was clear that I could handle them. And each one of them cost me a week or less. Changing the color of EVERYTHING (background, fonts, widgets, title bar etc.) and saving it all in like "themes" cost me two or three days. One of the features I needed involved something I don't want to specify here, but it somewhat resembled syntax highlighting. That was by far the most difficult one, I couldn't really finish it after a week, but please notice in my indiegogo project page that I mention that syntax highlighting will be left for the later stages of the project. That's because I KNOW what I am talking about. I know that will be difficult. I am honest. I am responsible. The rest no, the rest will not be difficult and I know it. I have prototypes. Poorly written ones, incomplete, but that's because I lacked the one thing I am trying to obtain: peace. Peace and quiet and ability to focus on nothing but coding for many months straight, without worrying that bills have to be paid so I have to stop coding and do something else that supports me. When I have that, my production will fly and 1 year will be plenty of time.
3) A picture. I've been asked that before, but what good would a picture do? If people keep insisting on that, I will have to post a white rectangle with some black text that reads "Hello, world" because that's what it's going to look like. Unless the user changes the background and font colors. What else? A fake toolbar? What for? Toolbars all look alike, I am not going to innovate in that part. The app will be innovative in behavior, usability, fine details that can be described very well in words (which I think I have done), but cannot be described in a picture. Not all pictures are worth a thousand words. Some pictures aren't worth a whisper.
At any rate, thank you for the comments. At least now I know that someone has seen it. I was feeling invisible, like a ghost or something...