I’m expecting some heat about my latest SD Times column, where I talk about my experiences working on 3 airline reservation systems: one written in J2EE, one written in J2SE, and one written in .NET.
Smart: utility software linked to a hardware device. The Migo is a $150 128MB USB chipdisk. That’s about a $100 premium over what at first glance appears to be a similar device. But the Migo has a custom driver that grabs your Outlook settings, your Favorites folder, etc. Now, let’s just say that you wrote a utility program that allows you to zip up your /Local Settings folder and carry it around with you. Think you could sell it for $100 and say “Just use it with your $50 chipdisk”? Of course not. You might get a handful of registrations if you made it $30 shareware. But probably not.
I hard-coded a link to InkPositive into the tablet blogging tool I’ve been hacking on in the evenings and Scoble picked up on it. Here’s the deal: I want to do a community site dedicated to Tablet PC software, not hardware. But the site has to be optimized for the Tablet PC, which means there has to be a lot of ink-y stuff on it. I’ve got that wired — I’ve got usable prototypes of an ink blogging tool and an inked discussion board (I’m getting SecurityExceptions when I try to do a “smart client” style Web Install of the client-side editing tools, but I’m sure I’ll figure that out) , and the solution I’m working on for adding links to inked blog items should enable me to pull off an ink wiki.
But what I’ve had difficulty doing is finding a community framework that allows for the type of layout customization that I absolutely need. I’ve played with both the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit and DotNetNuke and neither fits my mental “object model” of a community framework, leading to the temptation to roll my own. The mental tension between “Login management is, like, four ASPX pages and then Bob’s your Uncle,” and “You’ve got to be nuts to consider reinventing the wheel” has kept me paralyzed for five months.
Anyway, InkPositive is a secondary priority behind an educational resource that I’m hoping to roll out soon that I think will be extraordinarily useful and that might (just might) generate enough income to pay for the time invested.