February 25, 2010

The Grand App Writing Challenge

Yesterday I gave my talk on opportunistic developers on ustream.tv (which I plan on repeating next week). In that session I floated the idea of having a fun challenge next week when Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week happens. The idea was pretty popular, so I wanted to share it here.

The idea is simple:

Think of a fun program to write, and see how much you can get completed by the end of the week, Fri 5th March 2010. On Friday I will write a blog entry that showcases screenshots of your progress and (if possible) a PPA where people can download a package to try.

Getting Started

Getting started with this is simple. First think of something that would be fun to write. This could be a GUI front-end to a command line tool, a simple app that does something useful for you that will improve your life, a game or anything else. Pick something that isn’t too hard: something that is a good first step to dip your feet into development. Folks, do share ideas for apps in the comments here so those people who can’t think of something have a pool of ideas available.

When you have idea you can create your app really easily with Quickly. You can first install Quickly from the Ubuntu Software Center by clicking Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center and search for quickly.

When it is installed, just run:

quickly create ubuntu-project <yourprojectname>

As an example:

quickly create ubuntu-project mycoolapp

Now run:

quickly tutorial

This will explain how to get started working on your application. If you have questions related to using quickly, you can join #quickly on freenode. If you have general software development questions, you can join #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Sharing Your Progress

When you have something you would like me to blog, send an email no later than the end of the day Pacific time on Thu 4th March 2010 to me at jono AT ubuntu DOT com and include:

  • The name of your program and a brief description of what it does.
  • A link to a screenshot online that shows your new app running.
  • If available, tell me the name of the Launchpad project where it is hosted and the PPA with the package. This is a great way for people to try your program and possibly join the project and contribute to it!

I will send a t-shirt out to the three app authors who made the most interesting apps with the most progress.

Start your engines folks, let’s see what we can do! I can’t wait to see how you folks get on!

Click Here!