If there was a single application making someone use MacOSX full time, that application would be Watson. This application is possibly the most awarded in the MacOSX world, and it is the best idea for an application that I saw the last few years. Despite the idea being dead simple, and even seem redundant at first, Watson is an excellent, original and handy tool. I would like to initiate an open source project for a multi-platform clone of Watson (Karelia say that they have no plans for any ports – with only a remote possibility for a Windows port). I will start by putting $100 USD on the table while readers are most welcome to co-sponsor the project as well. What we really need though, is willing and capable C++ developers.If you are interested to develop the app, please send us an email or reply into the forum about your intentions.
If you would like to contribute money for project, please add as much money you are willing to by sending us an email and telling us about it.
The reason why the Qt API was picked is that it is truly multi-platform (providing better native support under Windows and Mac than GTK+ or even wxWindows), and it is able to run on many embedded platforms. Being very portable is a key part of this project. (QNX, OS/2 and BeOS users should also be able to run the app through Qt and an X server; while not as good as a native port, it’s better than nothing).
The developer(s) can pick whatever name they want for the application. Some ideas: WhatsOn (as opposed to ‘Watson’ – but this is probably not a good idea, plus there are no domain names available for it) or WebLeech (freaky, but accurate).
1. The application must be written in Qt 3.x and C++. It should be as OS-independent as possible; OS-dependant code should be clearly seperated from the core of the program. For example, you can use the KDE libs only in places where they are really needed.
2. The application must be also developed, or at least written in such a way that it will be easily ported (possibly by third parties at a later time) to Windows, MacOSX, Unix/KDE and plain framebuffer Qt (for the embedded devices, eg. Zaurus) platforms. In short, wherever Qt is available.
3. The application must allow the use of modules or plugins, so other programmers can write their own services. For example, another third party could develop a module that is able to leech the French telephone directory and then easily install it by either placing it in a subdirectory of the app, or installing it automatically through the web.
4. The application must be under an open source license: BSD, MIT/X, GPL, LGPL, Public Domain, Artistic License, OSI Approved, Mozilla, zlib/png, Apache. Pick one, I don’t care which one. However, please note that if you prefer GPL/LGPL, given the multi-platform nature of this project, you must be aware of the Visual Studio.NET issue. So please decide wisely.
5. The money collected will be given to the developer or to the leader of a team of developers through Paypal after they have completed at least 3 modules and the plugin engine is ready to be used by other third parties to write additional modules. The modules should be full-featured, fully-working and their subject must be 3 of these.
6. OSNews will be able to provide web space to the project, at least for its first steps, or you could use SourceForge or an equivelant freely available service. If you are a single developer, you are free to develop it locally on your PC, but it would be nice if you could post a source snapshot each week, until the app is ready for release.
7. Only genuinely interested developers please proceed. You may use our forums to find partners and consist a team if you do not want to work alone.
8. The application is to follow the Linux versioning model. 0.x for the alpha and beta versions, and then, 1.x versions for the stable ones.
9. OSNews will promote the project by freely providing ad space for 10,000 ad views per month, for 3 months. News items on the development effort will be posted every now and then, to further strengthen the project’s publicity.
10. The interface must be created fully with C++ and Qt. No HTML/DHTML interfaces via the Mozilla/IE/Konqueror/etc engines please.