Developers Hub

James Westby jw+debian at
Wed Apr 7 12:32:19 BST 2010

On Tue, 6 Apr 2010 11:58:09 -0430, Caitlin Whisner <s_ckwhisner at> wrote:
> Hello, my name is Caitlin and I would like to provide more information about
> my proposed project, the Developer's Hub.  All the information is available
> on my wiki, at: .  I am
> particularly interested in any feedback that potential mentors can give me.
> From the wiki, this is the project description:

Hi Caitlin,

This is a very interesting project, thanks.

> The Developer's Hub will be a lightweight application that will connect
> Ubuntu developers to important resources sprawled across the web. It will be
> able to help out beginning Ubuntu developers find their place in Linux, as
> well as help from more experienced programmers. It can connect programmers
> to each other, helping spur more Open Source projects. It will interface
> with LaunchPad<>,
> Ubuntu One, and Ubuntu Forums to provide everything the user needs.
> It will be primarily based on a help and resource engine. What libraries do
> I need? Where I can find x snippet of code? These are the type of questions
> this application will help answer. It will also feature a custom
> Linux-related only search engine, providing fast and accurate information.
> The application can also be very helpful to new users. The power search will
> include Ubuntu Forums, Bug Reports, and other reputable how-to and
> troubleshooting sites, making an easy-to-use window to the depths of
> information available online.

I think this could be a very useful resource.

It's not clear to me what the benefits of having a desktop application
would be. What would it provide that a web browser and a custom google
search would not?

I see you mention file transfer and instant messaging, would the idea be
that there would be the chance to have discussions as well as just
search for things?

> I have also pro=ided an explanation of its architecture, and a tentative
> TODO list:
> The application will be split into two distinctive layers. The "bottom"
> layer will interface with the network and provide access to the online
> features. It will also be responsible for rendering the web features,
> including web pages and forums. Much of this will be created using the API's
> available. It can also be broken down further, into two sections: network
> interfaces, web rendering (including necessary languages, not just plain
> HTML), specific API's and instant messaging. The latter three will be based
> upon the network interface. Time permitting, it will also feature file
> transfers and possibly be made available for other environments.
> The "top" layer will be the user interface. It will create a platform for
> beginning developers to access Ubuntu Forums, tutorials, development guides
> and many web resources all in one place.

I'm not sure I see the need for that much complexity at the bottom layer
to just show the web pages of the forums etc. Do you have more
adventurous things in mind?

> Other aspects of the program will be web based. The Linux search, for
> example, will be hosted online and then rendered in the application. I plan
> on implementing basic help in the program using web pages. The basic help
> will expand on the already present Ubuntu help, as well as provide relevant
> linked in Ubuntu Forums and other help sites. It will be a very simple
> interface that can easily be used in a smaller-sized window.

Do you know about Dustin's custom Ubuntu search?

I think that your proposal would benefit from telling a couple of
stories. If you invent some people with certain tasks to complete, and
then explain how they might go about solving the problems using your app
that would be great.

Also a couple of drawings of what you imagine the app would look like
would help other people visualise it.

I think it's an interesting project, but unfortunately I won't be able
to mentor, as I already have one or two projects to mentor.



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