I realized today that I need a single place to store, save, and refer to lots of little tiny bits of information... things like notes to self, lists of movies, lists of books, things I don't want to forget, birthdays, etc. It's irritating as fuck when i write something down and lose the paper, or when I'm curious what my to-do list was like a year ago so that I can compare it to how busy I am during my senior year. So... I have a feeling that I need to get smart with database programming and php like... yesterday.
Idea for a web app:
It would basically be a running list of anything you want, with a ton of meta-data that could be added quickly. The interface would be simple containing (ideally for people like me who want it fast, now, simple, etc) a textbox where you could basically type your item with some kind of syntax that would tell the app that this is the item (maybe put it in [brackets]). Then you could have simple syntax that would quickly tag the item... The trick would be the ability to add all kinds of meta-data and tag each short entry with as many terms or types of information as you'd like.
For example, I could enter:
[revise wr327 paper] cat:assignment due:20060317 cat:writing cat:school.wr327
('cat' means 'category' btw. I could replace it with 'tag' but i want something descriptive so I can have 'due' and the potential for 'name' or 'date' or something at the "level" of category)
and it would store all that info including a date-timestamp or various other types of automated data like ip address, browser, etc. It would be REALLY spiffy if the app would suggest tags based on ones you already have (like gmail's auto-complete of email addresses... sounds like I need to learn ajax.)
Then, I'd have a nice shiny published interface that would let me sort my list by any of those categories or tags or other data that I've created, quickly generate html ordered lists so that I can copy/paste that into my blog to share with others, etc etc.
This wouldn't be a social-networking tool or group-aggregate-data networking at all. this would be a personal application, ideally web-based and public in order to be easily accessible from any location, and it would be used as a feature-enhanced book of post-it notes or pocket-notebook.
I'm sure that this could be done! I'd like to learn how to create a tool like this. Can anyone here see problems with my idea or forsee things that I may need to learn that I probably haven't thought about? I'm one of those girls who has crazy big ideas and doesn't realize that they're way over my head. From what I understand, I could do this (minus the auto-complete stuff) in php and mysql... and a lot of hard newb-destroying work.
Also, is it weird that I think of my ideas all from a "user" and "this is what I want it to do and result in" standpoint and not from a "hey I know how to program this, maybe I can program something else that's cool"?