5 Ideas for Open Source Projects

I love open source. I’ve a project over at sourceforge, doing moderately well. Life is still short however, so here are a few projects that I’d love to do myself if there were more hours in a day:

  1. Textmate clone for Windows: There a couple of $$$ ones: E-TextEditor and InType. However, with a high-quality text editing component like Scintilla, which has nearly all that you can wish from a source code editor component, there really is no excuse for not adding a bundle feature support and rolling up a full-fledged editor. Scintilla also provides support for call tips and intellisense, so that should be easy to do too. A tree pane that can display any directory and it’s children, explorer-like; SVN-awareness and build-output windows would be killer additions.
  2. Generic Backend for Duck-typed Languages: This one’s a bit of having-fun-reinventing-the-wheel thing. Rather than having stack/register based VMs that eat bytecode (CLR, JVM, YARV, parrot), probably we could have a nice C library with APIs allow creation and manipulation of objects? With the caller managing namespaces, symbol tables, the scope in which methods would execute?
  3. A Helper Library in C/C++ for Apache Modules: The regular Apache/APR APIs are the minimal required, and is good in that respect. However, all I want to do 99% of the time is to have a content handler, and for that I also need the parsed query string and POST data. libapreq is there, but is a pain to use. Moreover, the helper library, or rather a base-class-module should already parse the input and the actual module should be able to just fill in the content handler, which can access the parsed input. And please, don’t expose those buckets and brigades and pools.
  4. Embeddable Apache: Apache is quite a decent piece of software. Can’t it be made embeddable? A nice library? We’ll provide the configuration info programmatically. And once we have this, let’s throw out those BaseHTTPServer, wsgiref.simple_server, mongrel implementations and put in an embedded Apache!
  5. A Decent Network Client Library in C: One stop-shop for base64, qp, uu encoding/decoding, rfc2822 headers, MIME messages, HTTP Cookie jars; alongwith HTTP, NNTP, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP clients.

Yeah well. Have fun.

Oh and don’t pull the anti-Microsoft crap because of TextMate. After all, I’m writing this post from a Gutsy Gibbon.


  1. Orlando said,

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:07 am

    Have you tried PSPad?

  2. Rob Loach said,

    Oct 25, 2007 at 9:42 am

    PSPad isn’t open source. I use Scite (http://www.scintilla.org/SciTE.html) or Notepad+ (http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net).

  3. Sam said,

    Oct 25, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Need an open source XMLSpy!

  4. hobo said,

    Oct 25, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    notepad++ (search at sourceforge) is pretty nice. I switched over from pspad. and it uses scintilla I believe… the website’s pretty strange, but don’t let that deter you from trying it out. the app itself looks and behaves professionally (whatever that means :-)

  5. Alex Miller said,

    Oct 25, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    +1 for notepad++ – my free text editor of choice on Windows.

    Also, the Multi-Language VM project (mlvm) is starting up in the OpenJDK world to investigate changes to the JVM to better support languages like JRuby, Jython, Groovy, Scala, etc. See John Rose’s blog for more.

  6. BJ Upton said,

    Oct 25, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Add another vote for notepad++!

    Agree, the website was a bit confusing, but it is a pretty nice product.

  7. Oct 26, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    What great ideas! And how exciting to have new ideas for Open Source rather than refining what’s already there.

  8. RN said,

    Nov 10, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    BTW, Can you mail me the Open Source that you have developed? I would like to know more about it. Thanks.

  9. Pete said,

    Feb 16, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I want that Helper Library in C/C++ for Apache Modules, too.

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