27 Jun 2009 forrest   » (Journeyer)

Hello, Advogatans! Long time, no post. Maybe I can get to meet some of you at OSCON this year.

My new project -- which is no more than an idea at this point -- is inspired by my older son, who at 4 years old is confidently navigating to bookmarked websites to play flash games.

What better way to establish a "point system" to reward him for the things he should be doing than with a web app? I think it's time for me to write the "Helper to Establish and Nurture Responsibility in Youth", or "HENRY".

The basic features would be

  • a web page for the child which can be easily bookmarked, and shows the accumulation of points towards some pre-established goal in some easily understandable (and hopefully, inspiring) fashion
  • multiple administrators (e.g. both parents) with password-protected logins
  • an administrator interface to add tasks and assign point values to them
  • an administrator interface to mark tasks as being done, and so award points, which shows what tasks have been recently marked done by other administrators
  • all the administrator pages will point out in a hard-to-miss manner when the child has reached the goal
That's about it ... I can think of some advanced features I might like (for instance, tasks made out of sub-tasks) but starting with the basics and getting to "works" is good for now.

I do want to think about multi-lingual support in the design, though, so that if I could get my wife to enter the task translations in Chinese (a big if), Henry's grandparents could also be administrators.

I think this would be a nice little project for me to learn Ruby on Rails, but I'd also like to try to learn something else ... how to get help, and cooperate with other developers. I can't be the only geek who would want or use such a system, but how can I interest other developers? That's a mystery to me -- perhaps more difficult, and more rewarding, than learning the latest hot new web framework / language.

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