4 Replies - 813 Views - Last Post: 16 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

#1 Tbone McGruder  Icon User is offline

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Newb need advice on best way to build an app

Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:08 PM

Hello,

I am a NEWB. Trying to self-teach programing and understand what publishing an app entails.

I want to improve my limited programming knowledge.
I rate it a 3.5 out of 10. With 10 being a jedi master.
Experience using Visual Studio Express 2012, NetBeans, MySQl Workbench, C#, PHP, HTLM, CSS.


I want to build a Windows desktop application for my mom who can barely send an email. I would like to use C#/.NET, but I will use another language/platform if it's better suited.

Reasons for writing the application:

1) Increase my programing skills-- so I don't care if there is already a solution available.
2) Enable her to easily input and organize her 3,000+ digital photos (and scanned in paper ones.)
3) Enable her to easily search and display the images on screen.
4) If she later wants to do this...enable her to select/deselect certain images and post them on her personal website so others can search, select and display these images.

The main questions I have are:
(Maybe I should have more, but I am too ignorant to know.)

1) Should I embed a database? If so, which one should I choose as it relates to:
a. the programmer's work to seamlessly embed and potentially interface with her web database
b. my mom's install effort/requirements
c. licensing (probably not an issue for this, but for near future reference on other projects)
i. if I charge for the desktop app?
ii. if desktop app is free and I only charge for the website?
iii. if desktop and website are free and I generate ad revenue from the web site?



2) Regarding Reason 4) I bet just making the whole app web based is a better solution, but that is not going to happen- my mom only wants the images she chooses to be “outside” of what she considers her personal space.
a. How much of a problem is connecting her desktop database to her web site database?
b. If 4) is enabled, what the best way to reduce programing pain and/or ugly user experience at both the desktop and web?

Thank you for the time you spent reading and hopefully responding. All advice is very much appreciated.

Peace,

Tbone.

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Replies To: Newb need advice on best way to build an app

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Newb need advice on best way to build an app

Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:25 AM

This sounds like a good project that can grow as your skills grow.
It could grow into a large project so planning is critical. And don't get too upset when you reach a point in version 1.0 where you have painted yourself into a corner and realize you can't go any further with your current design and have to start over. That's part of the learning curve that just can't be taught-It has to be experienced as it is different for everyone. You'll find that version 2 is better than 1. And version 3 will be pretty nifty.

> 1) Should I embed a database?
Visual Studio will let you make use of Microsoft SQL build right in. So go with that.

> 2) Regarding Reason
Is there a question or even further statement in there someplace

> 3)
You don't have a 3. You might consider that you really need to work on your organization and planning skills. Frankly, if your mind is drifting off this badly going from question 1 to 4 I think you're going to have a real problem writing a program.

> 4) I bet just making the whole app web based is a better solution,
Photos tend to be huge. My camera shoots 18mb pictures. Dealing with thousands of 18mb photos means a LOT of drive space and would mean a slow user experience if all the photos are in the cloud while you are trying to edit them on your desktop. The only way that could really work is for the entire program to run on the server, and just send screen-resolution images back to the web browser.
Look around... You should notice that thousands of programs do this. Simple weather widgets on your desktop connect to weather services to get information from their database. Its not a difficult thing. It just has to be planned out well. Its a skill you'll learn as you work on this project. But "How do I do it?" is a much broader question than can be answered in a thread. The short answer is: You'll write a service to go on the site and send it commands, which it will reply to.


As a side note... Its hard to determine if you're really just wanting to make this for your mom, or if that's just blowing smoke up our skirt since you're clearly interested in the various ways you can monazite this. There's nothing wrong with wanting to do both. Making something that even your mom can use probably means you've created something other computer novices can use, and therefore might mean a marketable product. Just realize the market is already pretty full of photo browsing software that you'll be competing with.
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#3 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: Newb need advice on best way to build an app

Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:34 AM

Forget about trying to sell this. If this I a project to teach yourself programming then you really don't want to deal with the headache of trying to monetize it. Plus as tlhIn`toq said, there are hundreds of apps out there already that do the same thing. I recommend you accept the fact that this will just be a bespoke program for your mom to use, and will just be a learning experience for yourself.

If you want to try and commercialize this when you get more experience then by all means go ahead. But really don't get your mind caught on trying to make money out of it at this stage. You'll most probably be wasting your time.
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#4 Tbone McGruder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Newb need advice on best way to build an app

Posted 16 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

tlhIn`toq and Ryano121

Thanks for your advice.


tlhIn`toq
Responding to your comment:

> 2) Regarding Reason
Is there a question or even further statement in there someplace

and
> 3)
You don't have a 3. You might consider that you really need to work on your organization and planning skills. Frankly, if your mind is drifting off this badly going from question 1 to 4 I think you're going to have a real problem writing a program.


Please note that I gave 4 reasons for writing the program:

1) Increase my......
2) Enable her ......
3) Enable her ......
4) If she late......

And I had 2 questions.

1) Should I embed a database? Which had sub questions a b c and then i ii iii under c.
2) Regarding Reason 4) ---- this "Reason 4)" refers to Reason 4) above regarding my mom's future desire to use the web. I should have just wrote this extra text instead of pointing to Reason 4). I also could have clarified things by stating that I had 2 questions instead of writing "the main questions...."

Sorry if the close proximity use of "2)", which placed a position order on a Question and "4)", which referes to the position order of a Reason, was confusing. Thank you for plugging through and responding anyway.

I don't have plans to market this "Mom's Photo Organizer" project. My guess is that it will be way too weak to compete, but I do believe the things I learn and do with this project will be directly applicable in less trampled commercial markets. Hopefully just an insert "Mom's Photo Organizer" code here type effort on later commercial projects. Becuase of this hope, I wanted to have a clearer picture of the licensing issues.


Peace and thanks again.

Tbone.
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#5 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Newb need advice on best way to build an app

Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

As my closing remarks...

In English we read from left to right... from the top of the page to the bottom.

So when you post this:
Attached Image

People are going to read "My questions are..." then the itemized items that follow. In English, we don't read backwards from "My questions are..." upward to the previous items. You have one block that are you reasons for building the program, then the next block are your questions. That's just how it works in English.

I wish you the best of luck on your project, but I'm bowing out of this thread.
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