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Querki is Go
It's actually been a week or so, but I've been busy enough that I hadn't dealt with posting yet. Kate and I sat down a week or two ago, and I presented her with my business plan: less about *what* I am building, but more the concrete assessment of when I'll be making how much money, and what is my minimum level of success before I give up. Within those parameters, she's given me the thumbs-up to go for it.

So: as of this month, I am now nearly-full-time on the Querki Project. This is a new garage startup, but a much more hard-headed one than CommYou ever was, with a fairly detailed business plan, expectations of what will be done when, and a self-imposed requirement that I actually start making money at this before *too* long. It's going to be a radically transparent open-source project (again, much moreso than CommYou was), but that's going to be paired with a real website that is expected to make some money.

I'm starting to move my pile of notes from Google Docs into the official-for-now Querki Wiki on GitHub. There isn't much there yet, but feel free to keep an eye on it -- I'll be moving files there steadily in the next couple of weeks. I'll also be burbling about it here: I'll be tagging all of it "querki", so if you really don't want to hear about it, filter out that tag. I'm hoping folks come along for the ride, though.

I hope you decide to join me on this. I need lots of help, not just on the programming side but even more on usage. This isn't a programmer's lark -- it's a tool designed to help people get things done. My Use Cases file is already stuffed with ideas from many of you, but I want every idea I can get, so that I can be building tools that people will actually use.

More info shortly...

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Huh. My attention to LJ has been sort of scattershot for a few months, so I may have missed relevant bits, but ... does this have hooks for processing/rendering the stored data by piping it through something else? I'm wondering whether it'd make a good personal music library similar to some of the huge, mostly genre-specific, public ABC repositories but with user-customizeable tags and my own selection of tunes. I'd want to edit and store the tunes in ABC (and be able to extract the ABC again!) but display them as PDF or SVG (or PNG if I have to) ... or as MIDI. All the more useful if (as I suspect) I'd be able to make a shared tunebook others could contribute to, or allow select others to edit specific tunes or categories (by tag) of tunes.

The way sites like thesession.org does this is to invoke abcm2ps and abc2midi behind the scenes. (Ideally I'd want abctab2ps and abcpp available, and to be able to specify rendering with make or something vaguely make-like. I won't insist on make's only-'friendly'-to-programmers syntax, as long as the tool's configuration is reasonably expressive and not based on a thousand and one mouse clicks.)

I'm sure I'll have other uses for it, but that's the first thing that came to mind.

Well, the answer to all "does it have" questions right now is, "nothing's been written yet". But yes, part of the plan is specifically an API layer -- probably something RESTful, with JSON as the interchange language, to make it easy for folks to build other apps around it. It'll probably be about a year before that's in place, but it'll depend on user demand; it's certainly part of the roadmap.

And yes, this is exactly the sort of application I have in mind. The point of the exercise is to make it relatively easy to build highly-customizeable apps. Tags will be built-in from the get-go (indeed, they're likely to be one of the main primitive types), but more importantly the point is to make it easy to add properties as you see fit, including adding new properties to existing Spaces.

(And of course, this is all going to be an open-source project. While I'm mostly focused on the public querki.net site, which will try to live on memberships of something like $20/year, I suspect some folks will come up with specialized variants that have domain-specific plugins.)

Okay with you if I add this to my Use Case collection? This is nicely different from anything currently in there, and underscores the desire for a good plugin architecture...

"Okay with you if I add this to my Use Case collection?"

Please do! And I'll let you know what else I come up with.

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