Hack Week 2023 Ideas
Where I work we have our annual hack week. AKA Innovation Time Off. Time to work on something and learn along the way.
Here are some ideas I collected over the last months. High time to try prototype some of them.
Album Board / Visio for Music
Learn: Modern frontend libraries and frameworks, maybe TypeScript I hate finding and playing albums on Spotify. I never find what I want, when I want. Playlists are weird for playing albums.
I would love to have something that is like a whiteboard or diagram software. Perhaps like a visual programming system.
Have cover art blocks. Arranged, piled, scaled, whatnot. Have text, other images, lines, drawings, background.
Possible interactions: Click to play. Draw arrows between the albums to chain play them.
Challenge: Finding a good library to do the heavy lifting frontend work.
Distraction: Spotify API authentication.
Learn: Frontend things.
Recipe Recommendations with Ingredient Optimization
Feels like a theoretical computer science problem. Linear Programming? I want recipe management systems to recommend me recipes based on selected recipes. Optimize ingredient container use.
Example: If I have a recipe selected that needs half a can of tomato, suggest me recipes that use up the other half.
Challenge: The CS problem.
Distraction: Is there a database of typical container sizes or would this require scraping a supermarket site? Needs recipes and a management software with good database layout or plugin interface.
MQTT Distributed SQLite
Learn SQLite internals and MQTT along the way. MQTT fan out topics with retained messages could be something to build SQLite replication on top of.
SQLite replication is non-standard AFAIK, but there are projects that add this feature.
Distraction: Setting up MQTT and tooling to make sense of the messages flying around.
Challenge: Finding and understanding a fitting SQLite replication system
Analysis Tool for my Workspace Logger
Maybe learn https://datasette.io along the way? As a personal feedback mechanism I used to have a tool that gave me some stats about what I did on my computer during the week.
There are lots of applications like it, especially for the Mac. Nothing me and Linux/X11 compatible last time I checked.
Examples: Software most in active focus. Emacs file edited the most. Time system was unlocked / locked. Screen most active.
I left the code at $previous_employer, rewrote and activated the capture part about a year ago. Never got around writing the analysis part.
Research Server Design Patterns
📚 Proactor, Reactor, Classic Threaded, etc. How does Go servers work, Java Netty, Boost Asio?
LED Day Status Bar
No idea how useful this could be Use an LED strip to visualize the day. In intervals of half hours perhaps. Use calendar, org-mode, etc. to visualize the past. Highlight certain times in the future. Mark the present.
It should answer questions like: How much deep work today? When is lunch? Is it time to wind down, take a break?
Half hardware / software.
I already have the hardware lying around: programmable RGB LED strip, NodeMCUs.
Distraction: Soldering, firmware building, etc.
Open Source that Feed Reader I Work On Since 2017
My daily driver. Started during a sabbatical. Learned Clojure on the way. Grew to about 10kSLOC over the years. A bit weird. Scratches an itch software.
Challenge: Hard to let go. Hard to come to terms with the feeling of not good enough.
It could use a proper way to configure feeds, more testing, proper containers, etc.
This feels hard when distributed. Probably needs consensus. Big fan of https://github.com/defnull/pixelflut.
I don't think there is an online version of this (things like Miro don't count). Maybe WebRTC?