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Auction Software Project

by CodeJunkie (Monk)
on Jul 08, 2003 at 11:46 UTC ( #272243=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi,

I'm really just looking for advice about my project.

I have written some online auction software in Perl. http://www.webchalkboard.com/auction/index.shtml

I think it's pretty good... I mean i'm not the best Perl programmer in the world! :-) but the fundamentals are pretty sound and it works great!

The problem is, the project is getting too big for me to handle by myself. At the moment this is something I am doing in my free time and I just don't have the time to spend on it. I want to continue to improve it, at the moment i'm going through a major re-write to make the software interface with a MySQL database, rather than just plain text files.

As you can imagine this will take me a VERY long time by myself, I am also slightly concerned that all my efforts will not be worth while... is there really the demand out there for more auction software... that I am not sure. I also don't really know how to market it properly to generate interest in the software?

So basically i'm interested in hearing from other people who have started projects of their own. How did you manage? Was it worthwhile, i.e. did you make a few 's.

I'm also interested in hearing from people who might want to help out, particularly with the marketting and promotion of the software, but also with the coding and maintainence of it. I'm not looking to go completely open source here, because, to be honest, i've put in a LOT of time in the software over the past couple of years...

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Many thanks, Tom

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Auction Software Project
by Purdy (Hermit) on Jul 08, 2003 at 14:06 UTC
    My first thought was that your software, while written by you, looks eerily similiar to those covered by defended patents (#5,845,265, #6,085,176 and #6,202,051). While I hope nothing Bad™ happens to you or this effort, I thought I would point this out, in case you haven't heard about this.

    Peace,

    Purdy

      Hi,

      Thanks for your reponse thats very interesting... I was not aware of this particularly although I have heard rumours about some dodgy patent rules in the US. However i'm not sure how US patent law affects me, i'm English and based in England... Do I need to worry about US patents, what about UK ones?

      Tom
        Sorry for the late response here, but I did want to reply. Let me first disclaim: IANAL - you should really get solid advice from someone in the know.

        In my search, I believe that anyone who's a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property respects any other member's patents. I also found this neat article, that while it talks about the EU (though with a .uk DN), it does shed some light on patents as well.

        HTH,

        Purdy

Re: Auction Software Project
by nysus (Vicar) on Jul 08, 2003 at 16:11 UTC
    VERY impressive. The interface is sweet and the amount of coding that went into the site must have been tremendous. Good work.

    I'm interested in writing software programs and marketing them, too. I've an idea for a niche web-based application that I think would sell well and for big bucks. Problem is, I don't know if I have the skill to do it right. I can just imagine myself spending endless hours agonizing over the project and rewriting it from scratch several times. It's more than a little intimidating.

    So how much experience did you code/program web applications before writing your auction software?

    $PM = "Perl Monk's";
    $MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot Bishop Pontiff";
    $nysus = $PM . $MCF;
    Click here if you love Perl Monks

      Thanks :-) I'm glad you like it!

      Yeah it has taken me a long time to get it to where it is!

      Well to be honest I started writing the software way back in 2001. I was still a student then, just in the middle of a years work experience from my uni course (as a web developer). The software originally came about because a friends company contacted me and asked if I could write them some custom auction software. I said, no problem, and it went from there!

      The original code was a little dodgy (looking back at it now :-) ) but it worked fine! Since then i've done a major re-write of the code (earlier this year) and improved the interface.

      I have been working as a web developer now for a couple of years, so I do have a certain amount of experience, although I don't claim to be as good at Perl as many of the guys on Perl Monks!

      The main problem i've found with writting software applications, is there are so many free scripts out there, its hard to compete! Why pay for something, when you can get it for free!

      I'm sure that a lot of people could make serious money by using my software to sell their products... if only I had products to sell I would use it myself! :-) But it is hard to get people to realise this.

      I would be interested in hearing more about your nice web based application idea though... I know what you mean about being more than a little intimidating! :-)

        My idea for marketing web apps in general is to cater to a niche market so there is unlikely to be any competition for it. To write a discussion board program would be suicidal because they are a dime a dozen.

        I've got a background in another field and have some ideas about using that special knowledge I have to help me put useful features into the software. I doubt that a web-based application in this field exists (at least I didn't find it on the web a couple of years ago when I last looked). I think if it was marketed well, it could definitely sell for a handsome profit. The target audience is underserved but still has plenty of money to throw around. But I'd be more interested in doing it for the challenge than the money.

        $PM = "Perl Monk's";
        $MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot Bishop Pontiff";
        $nysus = $PM . $MCF;
        Click here if you love Perl Monks

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