The purpose of this project page is to display some of the computer related ideas that I have. Some are still on the idea stage but others made it into projects that have been submitted. My goal of course is to turn all of them into a project in the future. Comments are welcome !

New Auction Website Concept

The purpose of this project is to create a new concept of online auction website built from the ground up with security and ease-of-use in mind. The testing strategy would be to open the site to college students first, and if successful to a broader audience. Two main reasons justify this choice.

First college students are more technologically involved and are more inclined to start experimenting with this new website/concept. Second because the way schools identify students can be used to make the site very secure.

By requiring the use of various unique student information such as school email addresses (.edu) and possibly student ID# to create a new account, this website would be able to provide a more secure environment to college staff, faculty and students, by avoiding fraudulent accounts. A similar concept was used on the Facebook website and the webmasters where able to limit the creation of accounts by forcing students to use these specific addresses. Ease-of-use is also at the heart of this concept.

Mainstream auction websites are today too complicated. This concept would introduce a very simple interface that would clearly present to the user auctions that he/she might be interested in based on items recently sold, bid on and purchased. Also the user would be helped in selling and buying items, by being presented a clear and optimal pricing information collected from relevant websites on the Internet or from similar items on the auction website. This would prevent the user from being bothered by not knowing which price is the most appropriate and would help him/her get/give the best deal. You can take a look at the formal proposal here: Auction Website Project.

Efficient and attractive GUI for Linux

Linux is a great operating system, first because it is open-source, therefore inherently more secure, and also because it contains all the features of an advanced operating system in terms of memory management and filesystem. Two drawbacks are its interface and the lack of mainstream applications support. Assuming that if Linux was able to get more marketshare many of the most common applications would be ported, I will only talk about the interface here. In my opinion, this is the main reason why people have been slow at adopting it. A Linux user is still very dependent on the command-line and people don't have the time nor the will to learn it. Therefore the first step toward a more general adoption of Linux would be to create a new and efficient GUI. The second step would be to include a complete suite of programs out of the box. And finally a new way of installing new software should be implemented to make the installation and the update of programs very easy for the users.

Taking notes efficiently with an easy document formatting language

The goal of this project is to provide a way to format notes without having to go through some of the disadvantages of common word processors.

Some of the problems that one might encounter while taking notes during a lecture or while reading a book might be the following: word processors format the text for you while you take notes, it is distracting. Most of the time the automatic formatting does not behave as you expect and can further distract you from your note-taking.

Solution: Create a simple note-taking language that would use very simple and easy-to-learn key combinations to describe the formatting.

I have recently started to use the wiki from WikiMedia to take notes. I found it surprisingly convenient for one particular reason. I am never bothered by formatting. I can format my notes while I am typing or later on if I want. I am not bothered by any automatic live formatting. When you use a word processor to take notes quickly, sometimes you are distracted by formatting that presents your notes in a way that is not expeceted. It creates lists, even if you don't want to, it fixes identation or margins even if you don't ask for it, all of this distracts you from your main goal which is to take notes. The Wiki makes it easy to take notes, because no formatting is going on when you type. But formatting is still possible by using simple combinations of keys that correspond to creating titles, sub-titles, lists, web links etc.. . My goal is therefore to create a new note-taking language that uses simple key combination, similar to the ones used in the Wiki, to make advanced formatting. The result could be output in all the common formats such as PDF, Word, HTML, Text, Rich text, LaTeX etc.. . Of course if too many formatting options are possible it would be confusing and hard to getting used to for the casual user. So the number of key combinations should be minimal, yet powerful and simple to remain attractive. An advanced version with more formatting options would still be possible but the simpler version should be the first and main focus.