hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    19 Nov 2013 Ask
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Ask HN: Why does being in an accelerator pre-YC lessen your YC chances?
4 points by stringbeans  22 minutes ago   discuss
Where do kickstarter projects find their engineers
4 points by smith11235  59 minutes ago   discuss
Ask HN: What's the safest/best site to buy a Bitcoin right now?
7 points by bgnm2000  2 hours ago   5 comments top 5
ferdo 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Buy gold at a coin store/jewelry store. Sell gold for btc to:


cstrat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
localbitcoins.com is always pretty good as long as you choose a safe payment method... i.e. not paypal or something easily reversible.
contingencies 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
veeti 2 hours ago 0 replies      
tekknolagi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Who's sold their Bitcoin?
10 points by markwakeford  4 hours ago   7 comments top 6
gesman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone (actually one of the biggest bitcoin mining equipment developer) donated me 10BTC back when they were about $1000 in total.

I tried to sell them but luckily almost got scammed, bank refused transaction and I didn't lose much. So i ended up keeping 8 BTC still :)

guiambros 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Sold at $220, for a 150%+ profit. Felt great, thinking it wouldn't get any higher this year.

Yeah, right.

markwakeford 2 hours ago 0 replies      
2250% Return on investment is rather nice. I wish I had bought more though haha.
2810 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I could say that I bought 1000 btc few years back and sold it for $900 yesterday.. but no
rafeed 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Holding onto mine until I see a dip; this is shooting straight to the moon right now.
phaed 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I sold my 10 at $309 :(, bought 3 back at $400 the next day.
Ask HN: I'm 15, won a grant to develop a suicide prevention app, what next?
228 points by krrishd  12 hours ago   153 comments top 62
tokenadult 11 hours ago 3 replies      
You are working on something important, and I was glad to read (and upvote) a lot of the other comments you received, and especially the offers for pro-bono help. One comment below suggested that you read the literature (I presume that means the literature about suicide prevention) and I would second that advice. To expand that advice a bit, I'll note that Martin E. P. Seligman and some other psychologists who have studied depression and suicide think that the "self esteem" movement that took over United States schools after I graduated from high school may have actually INCREASED risk of suicide in the United States--certainly the rates of both attempted and completed suicide, and the rate of diagnosed youth depression, went up over the years when those school programs were put in place. In other words, don't just rely on intuition about what would be helpful, but look into actual research. Seligman's books Learned Optimism[1] and The Optimistic Child[2] are both helpful, although there should be some even newer research out by now. Reading those books may help you deal with the challenges of working on this interesting project while keeping up with your school work. Best wishes.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Learned-Optimism-Change-Your-Mind/dp/1...

[2] http://www.amazon.com/The-Optimistic-Child-Depression-Resili...

liyanchang 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I would encourage you to write the entire thing, frontend, backend, content, PR releases, etc.

Two reasons:

1. You're young and still figuring out what you love doing; no better time to experiment and learn. I still have fond memories over the php site I wrote in high school. You could visible tell which functions were written at the beginning of the project versus the end because you'll improve drastically. [1]

2. The project will be more successful with someone who cares for it. Hiring a contractor will make it difficult for you to maintain and improve. Contractors will also expect a specification with penalties if you need to change it. My guess is that you're still experimenting with what can best serve the community so this probably isn't a good fit for contracting as well.

[1] Recommended tech stack (optimizing for documentation and availability of help). Ruby, MongoDB, Heroku (or if ambitious, Linux on Amazon EC2 + nginx). Everything else is pretty similar so once you learn these, the concepts apply reasonably well.

p.s. If money is a concern, you should look into contacting some companies PR/DevRel people and see if they are willing to donate some compute time or services to your cause. (It's probably doing this after launch and getting a better sense of usage and will be easier to convince them that you're legit).

simonw 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a likely to be a very challenging project. A few things to consider:

* Anonymity is vitally important, especially since you are an inexperienced programmer with a high risk of introducing security holes. Don't collect any personal details (including email addresses) that could cause problems for people if they were leaked. Don't implement Facebook or Google signin!

* If there are any social components at all, consider the potential impact of trolls. This project may require 24/7 moderation.

* This is a major emotional commitment. Talking down suicidal strangers is not something to go in to lightly! Make sure you have a professional advisory network in place.

Since lots of people have offered to help, I suggest getting them added to a mailing list ASAP while they are interested.

You could consider building the project in public on GitHub - that would allow technical advisors to review your code for you and use the issue tracker to discuss features.

TelmoMenezes 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats man, well done!

This list of cognitive distortions and how to fix them might be relevant:http://www.apsu.edu/sites/apsu.edu/files/counseling/COGNITIV...

This was created by Dr. David Burns and is supported by research in cognitive therapy. The full information is available in his book "Feeling Good". The interactive medium could afford some interesting possibilities.

Another thing that I remember reading is that tracking your happiness level and sharing that information with others seems to improve mood. Somebody was experimenting with this on the web. Seems like a perfect fit for a social app.

I second the opinion that you should make sure that you pay attention to research. Some common sense approaches might be counter-productive. For example, the clich: "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem" can make suicide sound even better to the seriously depressed. Be suspicious of common sense here.

bartonfink 12 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm quite interested in suicide prevention, having lost several friends to suicide over the years. I'd do it pro bono. If you're interested, let me know - my e-mail is in my profile.
beloch 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 1: Get help. Start figuring out what you don't know.

An app like this, especially if it were wildly successful in attracting users, could do a lot of harm if the underlying idea isn't thought out well and based on good ideas. You're 15. You love your idea and the competition judges did too. Great! Are you or them experts on suicide prevention?

Fortunately, your goal isn't to make money or something similarly self-serving. You're trying to save lives. That opens up tremendous resources to you what would be denied to most trying to make their first app. Psychologists, doctors, professors, etc. will all be happy to help you get the idea right, free of charge, because it could save lives.

If you see a psychologist, ask them for their input and ask them for contacts. Go to your local university and knock on doors. Find people who teach or do research in the field and ask for their input. Make some phone-calls. Email professors at other universities.

I know your instinct is to immediately try to advance your idea towards a working app, but a great app based on a faulty idea is usually pretty useless and this one could actually be dangerous. Get help immediately.

lifeisstillgood 10 hours ago 1 reply      
One other thing, no matter what, this is your project.

All the advice you get here, much of it good, and all the advice you will get throughout the project (especially if you open source it on github which I highly recommend) is for you to assimilate and then build into your opinion.

Listen to experienced dev's telling you why and why not a particular course will work, listen to people here on the research and the unintuitive nature of suicide, but in the end this grant was given because you seemed to have an insight or a gleam in your eye.

Trust that gleam, and tell us lot to go hang, if you think you are being pushed into something that in your informed opinion is not the best for the app.

And remember, Its not the only suicide prevention work out there, so the weight of the world is not on your shoulders - your job is to do a good job and be proud of the work. Let the world decide if thats going to solve its problems or not.

Good luck and all the best

gohrt 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a serious project. Please find a licensed psychologist to partner with as you develop and test your app and prepare it for release.
hosh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! I know other folks here question whether your approach actually prevents suicide. Personally, I respect your gumption and initiative to carry this out.

I hope you get offers to work on the backend with you. If not, here are some ideas:

(1) Find a like-minded person at meetup groups. The Atlanta Ruby User Group, for example, has a contingent actively working on public good kind of apps, things more for non-profit work than for-profit work. While your local technical meetup group is a good place to start, there is nothing stopping you from emailing the ATLRUG mailing list and asking. There are other platform meetups you can try, like ones for Node.js, Erlang/Elixir, various Python groups, etc.

(2) Use the Tim Ferris method of calling up famous people. You never know. Being someone versed in JS, you could try Resig, or Katz, or the AngularJS core folks. You could also try one of the startup CEOs/CTOs you admire. I don't think someone's work should be judged on the novelty of being young, but it happens (people think, could I have pulled it off at your age?) Older folks who have amassed experience and power like teaching and mentoring young people, as it is not as threatening to one's power base as young competition. You might not necessarily get such a person to work directly with you on the code, but you're likely to get access to a network that you normally would not have access to.

(3) Scour the web for other similar competitions and contact the winners. Maybe you can trade.

Good luck!

ancarda 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've lost people to suicide and I've felt suicidal myself so I'm very interested to know what the app does. What will it do to reduce suicides?
tenpoundhammer 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Idea( you have ) -> Stakeholders -> Requirements -> Features -> Evaluate -> Repeat

Considering the fact that you already received a grant, I would imagine you have a few details of what you want to build, but you will find the real tangles in the details.

I would greatly advise that you dive deeply into the various requirements and untangle the details and drive clarity throughout the design, before you start writing a lot of code.

Once you feel comfortable that you won't run into any big surprises and you understand your general feature set you should prioritize these features, I like to do the most risky and difficult features first, and then get started. You will of course have a lot of ground work to lay, but that could be counted as a feature.

After you have your first shippable set of code done, should take between 2 weeks and 2 months, shouldn't be perfect. Get it in front of someone that's relevant. As it will be hard to find somebody suicidal that also wants to review an app, probably somebody at a crisis center or a counselor that helps people in this situation.

After a few demos you should find plenty of improvements and features you never thought of, as well as defects. Now it's time to add these into your priorities and start over.

Good Luck, I hope this goes well for you. Let me know if you would like any further advisement, I would be glad to take emails and what not. I have been developing software professionally for the past 3 years.

aestra 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe some of the comments here. I admit I haven't read them all yet, but come on...

Background, I've been suicidal many times in my life, having spent >3 weeks in the psychiatric hospital. Been in the mental health system for YEARS. Been around many many many suicidal people in that time.

This seems so naive. You have a lot of legal issues here, and also social and ethical. You want to make sure you are cleared legally, you want to make sure you are not violating HIPPA. You want to make DAMN sure you are doing the right thing, and not encouraging the behavior you are trying to prevent. You are describing this as some kinda "social network" and there are studies that social networks can make you MORE lonely and depressed.



You want the help of a trained psychiatrist for god's sake.

You want to be damn sure you "suicide prevention" app doesn't get overwhelmed by trolls and well meaning people giving bad advice, and if it does, you aren't legally on the hook.

This is just way too big. This isn't some weekend project. This really really is serious business. Don't do it. It's way too risky.

leoedin 11 hours ago 1 reply      
liyanchang's suggestion is bang on. Even if you never touch on it again, if you actually force yourself (by working on an interesting project) to touch on the full stack of an app you will benefit from it for years.

So many of the little hobby projects I've worked on over the years (long since abandoned) have provided a fantastic base for something else. A website I managed when I was a teenager taught me all sorts of server admin skills that still pay off 5 years later. When you're 15 you have absolutely oodles of free time (it might not seem that way now, but it will when you're working full time!). Make use of it!

car 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what exactly your idea is, but may I suggest you partner with experts in the field?

I'd recommend you ping Prof. Joshi at Stanford, who was involved with a suicide prevention program in Palo Alto. And if only to run your idea by him and solicit some feedback.

This is a video of him talking about suicide risk factors in teens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lIqp6odvp0

Good luck!

C1D 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I too am 15 years old. I'm currently working on a secure chat alternative to things like kik, what's app and skype. I've been coding the backend in node.js and the frontend in jQuery.

I suggest you check out node.JS, it's easy to learn since you have a JS background and it should handle well with what you're doing.

Also if you're intrested, I'm willing to help out for free, you can contact me at: c1d@mypin.im.

rickyc091 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Since you seem to have a good grasp of frontend, I would definitely checkout https://parse.com/products/data as a backend solution.
xenophanes 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What I would recommend next is recognizing that suicide is a complicated and controversial issue, and there are differing attitudes and approaches towards it. Your app, like it or not, will be opinionated. Have informed opinions. For example, read this:


If you disagree, fine, but have an informed opinion.

mdisraeli 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Another offer of support - drop me a line if you want a hand with not just technical security, but Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) aspects to such a project.

I suspect a project like this has more complex Governance, Risk and Compliance issues than most. Where possible, work with an existing charity working in this area, as they should already have practices in place to manage this.

harvestmoon 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The response to this post surprises me a bit. Suicide prevention is a great idea. But as described, it really isn't explained well enough to capture my imagination.

There's very little description of what it would do beyond that it's an app and it prevents suicide. And that it's a social network. That really isn't enough to describe the idea.

I can see the possibility of a social network site for depressed people.

Dunno. It's a big goal, but very hard, and I think it's extremely important to take into consideration the mentality of someone who is considering suicide.

Good luck.

baby 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Try to do it yourself. Don't be afraid of "failure" because there is none here, you are not getting paid to realize something, people saw someone ambitious and willing to try so they "gave" you the money.

Now whatever happens next, it will only be valuable. You will only learn things from that point, outsourcing is not an option when you're willing to learn. Because this is an opportunity to learn, it is not an opportunity to succeed.

smoyer 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The steps that I'd take in your position:

1) Determine how much back-end I really need (or whether I need one at all). I'm going to assume your grant proposal contains use-cases (or user stories) that describe the interaction with the back-end.

2) Decide what framework(s) your front-end will be using and make a list of the back-ends that you believe would work with the front-end.

3) Define the interface between the front-end and back-end ... an ICD or API document will help you with both sides of the connection.

4) Find a mentor who can get you started with your chosen back-end technology as well as help you out when you get stuck.

I'd use this as a means to learn at least a little about back-end architecture. On the other hand, you could ignore the typical back-end development and go with something you know - e.g. CouchDB uses a RESTful API to store JSON documents, provides facilities for making views, lists (an HTML transformation of a view) and shows (an HTML transformation of a JSON document.

4) Find a mentor who can get you started on the chosen back-end, and help when you get stuck.

vdaniuk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! This is an absolutely great opportunity for you to learn useful skills, make the world better and significantly improve your resume.

I think you should spend a grant on your education and skills related to the app. This is a sustainable approach given that the grant is not really large and you are in the exploratory phase of your project.

Do everything yourself while consulting with the community non-stop, lots of people will be eager to help you.

Btw, I consult startups on marketing and I think your story is straight techcrunch/mashable/thenextweb material, ready to inspire other young people to learn programming. If you need any help spreading your mission, this app or teen2geek, for the greater good, just drop me an note, I'll be eager to help you pro bono. My e-mail is in the profile.

fleitz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you should reach out to those who are experts in the field and find out what they think would work, then build something that does that.

As an example my partner volunteers with a suicide prevention hotline that also has a chat client, I'm sure they'd love something mobile that works with their chat system, etc.

throwsaway 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Suicide prevention /app/?You don't stop suicide with an app. You're 15 and you have a grant for a gimmick. I'm 22 and I'm unemployed. I'm already depressed but this makes me angry, too, so I just made an account to let you know that this disgusts me.Empty words. At least your resume looks better with this.
DavidWanjiru 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm probably wrong about this, and I know very little psychology, but I am under the impression that suicidal people don't admit to having a problem. Also, they don't hope to find help, either coz they think or know it's out of reach, or don't know help is available. If this was not so, I would imagine they'd seek this help rather than take their lives, which is a sign of someone giving up hope.Now, installing an app for suicide prevention looks to me like an act by someone who HASN'T given up hope. And if you haven't given up hope, you are already walking away from the brink. And if you're already walking away from the brink, maybe you're not suicidal?My feeling here is that an app for reaching out or talking someone out of taking their life may not be the best approach to reaching such a person to make them pull back. Of course the journey to suicide is long and complex, and there must be many points at which an intervention is useful and where your app will play a part, but I just feel like there might be a disconnect between the people who should use your app and those who would use your app.Be that as it may, like I said, I'm not a psychologist, and most likely my assumptions are wrong. I imagine the literature on suicide being mentioned talks about this in detail and from a professional point of view. All the same, I wish you all the best in your project and hope it succeeds.
naunga 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As a developer who has struggled with depression, I really dig this.

I've got a lot of years doing backend work, and I'd be more than happy to help pro bono.

I personally would not get too hung up on the stack you use. Find something that will get you up and writing tests and building pages as quickly as possible.

Discussions about various stacks usually have to do with scaling and scaling usually is a problem after the prototype stage (which is the goal I'm guessing).

Up and coding.

I also agree that you should do the bulk of the work yourself. The knowledge you gain will be priceless, and in today's software development world, it is helpful for front-end guys to know what the backend guys do and vice-versa.

Certainly lean on people here for help and advice, but I wouldn't have someone do all the backend work for you.

Good luck to you!

ma2rten 12 hours ago 1 reply      
You'd have to be more specific about how the app is supposed to work. For instance maybe it can be accomplished with the Facebook javascript api, implementing it on top of Facebook. Maybe not.

Anyway, I wish you good luck.

DanBC 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Good Luck OP. It's fantastic to see that you're getting many offers of help. I really look forward to seeing what is created.

Some people are suggesting research. I'd be interested in suitable papers and organisations.

One good place is the University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research:


shittyanalogy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My biggest piece of advice: Don't consider the money an investment in you App. Consider it a form of encouragement to keep you thinking and working in general.

Whoever gave you this money isn't expecting you to build a suicide prevention app directly. They are saying that they like your idea, they like you, and they want you to keep at it. It's a grant, not a loan so don't worry about treating it as a loan.

Use it to get some training you might want, use it to set up a business and learn about business, use it to buy a piece of hardware you might otherwise not be able to afford. Use it to further your chances of eventually being able to make a difference, don't put pressure on yourself to make the absolute most of it.

Lastly, put it on your resume.

acoleman616 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great. First off, congrats.

As others have mentioned, due to the sensitive nature of a project along these lines, I would strongly recommend finding a mentor in the psychology realm. You'll want to make sure that you carefully consider some of the functionality aspects of the app to make sure things won't be unnecessarily/accidentally harmful.

noveltysystems 12 hours ago 1 reply      
How about a native app for iOS & Android with a big red button that, if they click it and confirm, puts the user immediately on the phone with a suicide prevention counselor.
VMG 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Do research, read the literature.
muxxa 12 hours ago 1 reply      
My favorite anti-suicide advice is 'Never commit suicide when hungover'.It sounds subversive but I think it gets the message across by first not discounting that the other person may have valid and important problems, and then emphasizing that all states of mind are subject to improvement.

You could (carefully) curate a list of this sort of advice from people who have actually felt suicidal at one point or another and pop up a random message on demand in the app. Carefully, as most cheerful advice does not sound so good when you are depressed.

thom 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A company local to me worked[1] on a similar idea[2] for Mind, a mental health charity in the UK. Might be some inspiration there. As for the technical side, you'll only learn by doing, and other posters have provided some fine ideas.

[1] http://www.yoomee.com/elefriends

[2] http://elefriends.org.uk/

codezero 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Get in touch with someone from here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

They do a lot of work in this area and will have the best advice on what things you can do to help.

ojr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You should use http://ionicframework.com when it is ready, for storage use ngStorage https://github.com/gsklee/ngStorage, and a guide for starting with angular and phonegap/cordova is here http://devgirl.org/2013/06/10/quick-start-guide-phonegap-and...
cliftonk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You should try using a backend-as-a-service if you aren't comfortable with databases/scaling/etc and would like to get the app out. Parse (parse.com) would probably work great for you. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get them to sponsor your application / company (assuming you create a non-profit).

Best of luck.

palidanx 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A little tangential, but listening to this might help out with perspective:


And maybe reach out to other suicide prevention non profits?

endophage 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of people have given you very specific advice about what frameworks to use, how to approach the problem, etc...

Take it all with a grain of salt. What I'd suggest to get started is create a public github project for it, put together some wireframes and sequence diagrams (publish them in the github project) so that people can see what it's meant to look like and how it's mean to work. Then just start coding.

Post the github project here on HN and ask for contributors. Keep a curated list of features, tasks and bugs in the github project and let people pick them up and help you build it.

Rule #1 though, don't let people get you down. Everyone has an opinion and we software people can be pretty harsh, especially when, frankly, we're just arguing our opinion rather than fact.

Rule #2, done is better than perfect. What's your Minimum Viable Product? Build that, maintain tunnel vision on completing that, then worry about everything else it could do.

diminoten 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What is a "front-end developer"?

I can do the literal translation, and I can surmise that it means a person who builds and designs UIs, but I always thought that was a designer, not a developer.

Javascript is the only thing on what you've just listed that's Turing complete, so look into Node.js, in addition to all the other Buzz Words you see in the rest of the comments.

I also think you should come at this with a dark sense of humor. You're not going to save many lives if you don't get attention, and you're not going to get anyone's attention if it's Just Another Web App. Tasteful gallows humor is a good way to grab the audience you're looking for.

adamqureshi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude. make a mobile web app. Hook up with a clinical psychologist. Also focus on a target age / market. Get some data going. Hit me up i can see what to do about a clinical psychologist hook up in NYC. There are several scales psychologist use to narrow down a specific condition and you can incorporate those scales into the app via logic tree / branching based on the input a user submits to the Q&A. you can hit me on twitter @adamqureshi
genwin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You'll go far, kid! Glad you found someone here who can help you with the back-end.
matthewcford 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Figure out who are the users, research what people are already doing in this space (Samaritans) and test your ideas before building anything with paper prototypes.
kneisley 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I have to +1 the parse.com suggestion. Their API has an Angular wrapper if you really know it well. Or, if you haven't hit the 'Angular Wall' (meaning you haven't built something of real-world complexity with it), you can use their JS SDK, which is a backbone fork.

I suggest you open source all of it, and keep HN up to date on progress. List out what the product should do, and how you want to design your models. You'll get some solid feedback.

Web iterates fast, so I'd use web rather than jumping right into native. You'll be able to show your code to coders, and show your product to social workers and those who support at-risk people.

gtt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think a more detailed description of things app ought to do would be very helpful.
L3monPi3 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you should learn how to use a version control system in an efficient way, in github you have days with >20 commits of css in a row...
prateekj 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you to learn how to build the entire thing yourself. This is a great opportunity to get your hands dirty and understand the nitty-gritty of web development. Very useful in the long run!

Having said that, I am not sure about the time constraints you are working with. If the timeline is tight and you have never done this before, it's better to outsource it as opposed to building a sub-standard app yourself.

d_j_s 12 hours ago 1 reply      
You may find https://www.firebase.com/ or http://www.meteor.com/ allow you to do it all on the frontend
vikp 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I think the main thing I did when I was 15 was sleep....

I'm actually working on an application (www.happsee.com) for tracking happiness. Somewhat similar, but not exactly. It's already had some huge benefits for me as far as understanding my own emotions.

If you want to chat more about making an app (mine is for android), machine learning (predicting stuff from other stuff), or building a backend, let me know. Email is in my profile.

Freeboots 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Im not sure if it would be helpful for your exact vision, but there are several open source social network platforms like www.elgg.org which could give you a jumpstart on the backend to get underway.
gprasanth 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Build it. There are a lot of tutorials out there to quickly build stuff in any technology you choose. Reaching out through this question - "What do I do?" Is what you should advice suicidal people to do. There is always help if you ask for it.
gremlinsinc 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't know what your idea is.. but a thought or plugin is what about an anonymous place for people to vent or answer the question.. Why I wish I were dead: I have 6 toes on my left foot. others can respond anonymously..about that... some sort of peer group online/ facilitated instant support group.
jason_slack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Way to go! Can I send you any books via Amazon to help you out?
s_dev 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You could use this app for inspiration or research:http://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/item/34863-tech-sta...
f7t7ft7 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not learn Node.js? You learned almost everything else Javascript. There's got to be some decent ORM for it. How much time do you have to do this?
captainbenises 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ignore the crazy motherfuckers in this thread, jesus. Like I said on reddit, use phonegap, angular and maybe a simple ruby on rails backend if you need something on the server. That'll be the easiest way to build the app, and you'll develop great marketable skills.
martylauders 12 hours ago 0 replies      
On the development side: I'd go for firebase, frontender myself and the docs are pretty easy to follow. Since you know angular, you can use angularfire to easily get you started. If you have experience with yeoman you can try out this generator (https://github.com/dsimard/generator-angular-phonegap) which gives you an emulator to phonegap. Didn't try it myself, but seems interesting.

On the projectside: Cool that you would take your time and skills to work on a project like that. I had the sad experience of losing someone close through suicide, so... yeah. Thanks.

buremba 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You're just started, do it yourself.
dutchblacksmith 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello, I would try to write the entire app myself. You will learn so much from it. That will benifit you forever. If you get stuck, just put another ask at hacker news. If you just help one person who is depressed, its worth ten times the effort.I have been there. Thanks for taking part in the competition and good luck to you.
docforeman 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I happen to know the President of the American Association of Suicidology. Email me and I'll put you in touch. I also mod a Twitter chat on Suicide Prevention and Social Media. Would love to support you.
docforeman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I happen to know the President of the American Association of Suicidology. Email me and I'll put you in touch. Acf@docforeman.com
snoopybbt 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Develop a suicide prevention app.
Ask HN: Do you see a bright future for Litecoin?
2 points by cdvonstinkpot  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
a3voices 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would stick with Bitcoin. Litecoin is more controlled by pump & dumpers, giving it much less stability. It also has a far smaller community. I predict both will grow, but Litecoin more slowly. Also the person who works on Litecoin doesn't even do it full-time.
dylanhassinger 1 hour ago 0 replies      
sounds like yesterday was a better time to start getting into it
Ask HN: What's to stop the US Government from buying 51% of Bitcoin?
5 points by vinchuco  4 hours ago   6 comments top 5
dragonwriter 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Why would you buy 51% of BTC? What you really want to buy is 51% of the hashing power in the BTC network.

And the correct answer is nothing stops them from doing that (or even stops them from having done that in the past).

Its generally presumed that they haven't and won't because it is presumed the cost to do so would exceed the value to the government of doing so.

bmelton 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not an expert at all, but right now, I think the only thing stopping them from buying large quantities of Bitcoin is availability. Throwing money at a problem is sort of a unique proposition when the problem is money, and everybody else is doing the same.

The question I would have is what objective would that satisfy? Is there some power in holding a slight majority of the currency? I mean, they already hold quite a lot of regular cash (or at least do transiently), but that doesn't seem to be affecting dollars in the same way that shares in a corporation does.

Perhaps I'm missing it, but I don't know what significance would arise from a single entity holding a majority of the currency. If there is, and I'm clueless, my apologies.

hkarthik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Because quite simply, they can't.

To buy it, they would borrow the money from China. China would provide it by using the BTC they own at whatever price they choose to sell it at.

bottled_poe 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Obviously this wouldn't work as bitcoin clones will just pop up.
zbtc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Even if they did, it wouldn't matter. They need 51% of the _hashing power_, not 51% of bitcoins, to be able to manipulate the blockchain.
Ask HN: How do I go about getting T&C's for my new startup?
2 points by aagha  3 hours ago   1 comment top
anigbrowl 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Consult a lawyer, of course. You could pull in the T&Cs from firms that seem similar to yours, analyze them, learn a bit about contract law, and aggregate them to match your preferences, but the cost of the time you'll have to spend is quite likely to exceed the cost of getting a lawyer to modify some boilerplate to your particular needs.

You could also consider looking for a legal team member or mentor that could either contribute directly or steer you towards an attorney experienced in this space. As I've said for a while, having a plan for your legal needs is just as important as having one for server infrastructure etc. There are more legal grads than there are legal jobs at present so this might a good time to seek a business-minded cofounder with legal training.

If you're not sure where to start, call the bar association in your state and ask for a referral. You could also consult DIY legal texts such as the NOLO series, which are often quite well written and helpful, but knowing nothing about your business it's very hard to say how well or badly they'd fit your needs. Also, they're mainly aimed at consumers so I don't know if they'll cut it for B2B stuff.

The Small Business Administration has general resources: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-ma... or this affordable book provides an excellent introduction to the general principles of business law and the sort of situations any business owner should be prepared to encounter (the whole series is good in fact): http://www.amazon.com/Business-Law-Barrons-Review-Series/dp/...

Ask HN: What should I ask Jason Fried?
2 points by WilliamChanner  3 hours ago   1 comment top
tarr11 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm curious what he thinks of sites like Sqwiggle and if that is a good idea for Remote Work
Ask HN: Are you selling, holding, or buying your Bitcoins? Why?
13 points by austenallred  10 hours ago   10 comments top 9
Spendar89 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Holding, but growing skeptical that this sort of growth is sustainable. It currently makes no sense to purchase anything with Bitcoins, when one will certainly be worth more tomorrow than it is worth today.
hkarthik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Holding right now, but if I see a correction over the next few days I will buy more. My goal is to get to 100BTC and then just sit on it for a while, with some slow withdrawals as needed.
seiji 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You left out the most common way: stealing your way to the top by breaking into insecure centrally managed wallet sites.
taternuts 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought .2 BTC just for shits and gigs in May, and I guess I'll be holding on to it. If there is ever another huge downswing in value then I might buy up some more (depending on how low it goes)
jaxn 10 hours ago 0 replies      

Why, because I had $30 to waste and wanted to learn about it. Bought a simple USB miner. Using a pool at at 0.00063331 BTC since Saturday morning. Pretty sure I am never going to break-even, but it was just an experiment to try and understand Bitcoin.

RougeFemme 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Holding. With its recent growth, I view Bitcoin as much more of a (highly) speculative investment than a form of currency. Curious to see how Bitcoin's rivals fare and how they impact Bitcoin.
a3voices 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Holding. They've had 10x growth per year roughly. It would be smartest to hold them long term, in my opinion.
ratsimihah 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm holding on to them because coinbase is taking forever to validate my bank account.
wozniacki 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I fully expect it to go to the low $4000s by the beginning of the holiday season, perhaps even by early December.
Ask HN: What should every software engineer know?
5 points by jmau5  6 hours ago   12 comments top 5
memracom 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The IEEE would say that everything a software ENGINEER should know is in their SWEBOK guide here http://www.computer.org/portal/web/swebok/htmlformat

If the date 2004 worries you, then download a draft of version 3 of SWEBOK here http://computer.centraldesktop.com/swebokv3review/ and click on SWEBOKV3_Ballot_public.pdf on the left sidebar of the page.

Actually, if you want to put together a plan for self study, then work through SWEBOK and Google for papers on the various sub topics covered. One thing about software engineering is that just about all research is published openly on the web particulary in CiteSeerX.

bmelton 6 hours ago 2 replies      
If I were limited to the one most important thing, it would be "How to handle user credentials and data securely."

Your app can fuck up a LOT of things, and maybe you'll lose users, or maybe you'll lose marketshare... but the one thing you shouldn't lose is user data.

hcarvalhoalves 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You can formulate a list of best practices and advice, but I'm afraid this is the kind of situation where experience is the best school. It's hard to talk about solutions to pain points when the person hasn't experienced them personally. Consider this on your project.
eddyparkinson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
+ Top down and Bottom up: In other words, work out "What is wanted" and "What is possible".

+ Over 20 Quality control innovations exist, use at least 1/2 of them.

gcatalfamo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Rephrase: What should every software engineer know?
As Bitcoin nears $700, Coinbase out of coins to sell
46 points by johnyzee  9 hours ago   66 comments top 11
jscheel 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm pretty sure I have a wallet that I dumped a couple of bucks into when bitcoin was first starting out. Problem is, I have no clue where it might be, or even what computer it might be on. Laaaame.
makomk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not that they've run out of coins to sell, it's that by the time the transaction completes they'll potentially be selling the Bitcoins for far less than they're worth - it's an artifact of Coinbase's business model. (Part of the problem IIRC is that people can back out of transactions after Coinbase have quoted them a price, meaning they can make a profit from a rising market at Coinbase's expense.) Same happened last time a bubble blew up in the Bitcoin price.
DonGateley 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The 30 day delay in effect at the time I bought at $125 to test my first use of the system is the only reason I have three Bitcoin instead of 20. By the time I was approved for quicker purchase the booster rocket had kicked in and I simply couldn't believe the price increase to $200 could last. Ah, well. Story of my life.
gphil 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I just sold my pet Bitcoin that I bought for $80 a while back. This is getting crazy, I wonder who the buyers are?
sliverstorm 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Where has it been nearing $700? https://btc-e.com/ reports a high of $595
altero 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps it is time to roll out alternative crypto-currency. Bitcoin has way too much attention and speculation.
emrikol 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I've splurged on tiny things and donations over the years with my old CPU-mined bitcoins. I'd completely forgotten about my wallet until things started getting crazy at $300 a week or so ago (was it that short?).

I was lucky enough to find 1.02BTC still sitting there, and now I can only hope that I can get Coinbase to verify my bank account before anything pops.

BlackDeath3 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You can cancel on Coinbase? Why was I never able to find this option?
andreipop 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is anyone operating a reliable bitcoin options market?
doggy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on the huge discrepancy between the supply of bitcoin (which is algorithmically regulated) and the demand (China, institutional investors, etc), some have predicted that the price of Bitcoin will increase to between $500,000 and $5,000,000 per unit within a three-year time frame. Whether this will happen or not, only time will tell. But what its telling us now is that Bitcoin has already increased 50x over the last 12 month.
lupinglade 8 hours ago 7 replies      
Anyone want to sell me 1 BTC over PayPal? Its really hard for us Canadians to purchase bitcoin here :( The hoops are ridiculous.
Ask HN: I need some help with an investing-based startup
4 points by Legend  9 hours ago   7 comments top 3
beat 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As others have pointed out, blogging is absolutely essential to a product like this. Free content for conversion is also really valuable.

Don't be too wedded to your initial revenue model. There are lots of ways you can make money here - subscription, ads, etc. The middle-class investment industry relies heavily on getting a finger on the pulse of the cash flow for ordinary people. If you're deliberately avoiding touching that pulse, and deliberately avoiding remarketing to investment businesses, you may have a hard time getting reasonable return for your work from subscriptions or whatever.

You might want to look into investment clubs and how they work, not as a market but rather as an insight into your customers.

sharemywin 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I read an interesting article about Mint.com. I think your product could follow a similar marketing path. It revolved around a blog to establish credibility first.


staunch 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sure there are many people working on this stuff, but this one I came across recently and it looks good: https://www.wealthfront.com/questions
Ask HN: Will Ghost be the next Wordpress?
2 points by filipedeschamps  6 hours ago   2 comments top
ericosperrella 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Best place to learn front-end coding/design
2 points by sixQuarks  3 hours ago   1 comment top
Strategist 2 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.codecademy.com <-- Pretty decent resource for learning HTML/CSS/Javascript/PHP etc.

I've not seen any lessons on frameworks or responsive design though, but still a good resource in my opinion.

It's also not video learning, but the interactive courses are pretty nice. Learn by doing philosophy.

Ask HN: What do you wish you knew when you were 25?
7 points by ratsimihah  8 hours ago   22 comments top 13
mililani 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Whenever I hear about young people asking for advice, it invariably turns into a conversation about regret, etc... And, in hindsight, yes, I wish there were LOTS of things I knew when I was 25. However, I wouldn't have learned any of those things unless I went through the process. At nearly 40 y.o. and back in school, I shoulda, coulda, woulda many times over. But, I also have, done, and did lots of things that I also regretted or turned out to be disappointments. I followed my childhood dreams, in fact, and that turned out to be a nightmare. I also saw this happen to a few friends who pined to work in the video game industry since their youth only to be so severely burnt out several years later to vow off programming forever.

So, all I can at this point it, you won't know what you want to know until you go through those experiences. And, stop listening to everyone else. We're all different and have different values and beliefs. What works for me probably won't work for you. I can say follow your passion, and that may just completely backfire like it did me. I can say save all of your money and be frugal, look at what's happening to most Americans! But, you could end up with cancer and die in your 30's without having truly lived. I guess what I'm saying is, 15 years from now, when you look back at your life, and you think, "Man, I shoulda, coulda, woulda..." Realize, your decisions are half chanced. Just like everybody else's...

ctdonath 8 hours ago 1 reply      
How to buy stocks. Didn't buy just-issued Microsoft stock because the mysterious "how" was just daunting enough. (You had to actually go to a brick-and-mortar broker office; no such thing as "online trading".)
hkarthik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I had lived in an urban area like SF, Chicago, or NY at 25 and then settled down in the suburbs a few years later. Instead, I've spent almost my entire career in the burbs or burb-like centers.
cprncus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
When in doubt, don't park there. (Even for a second)
mxxx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"yes, you should throw a few grand into bitcoin..."
davidsmith8900 6 hours ago 0 replies      
- I wish I knew about https://news.ycombinator.com and startups. Back then I knew you could build your own company but not like this. Most importantly, I wish I knew about how life is made up of your choices and how you can control how your life turns out.
jacobquick 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not nighttime panic attacks, it's severe sleep apnea. Get to an ENT specialist and save yourself 12 years of hell.
jamram82 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting read - http://hbs1963.com/
ScottWhigham 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a whole lot, actually. I think by 25 most of the "core" of me was developed. The things after 24/25 came as a result of the experiences I had. That can't be taught. For example, I could tell you 1,000,000 things on how to be a father and you could totally buy into it. None of that is a substitute for learning how to deal with a brooding 8yo prodigy though. It might help, but it isn't a substitute for how that specific kid reacts to anything.
vfulco 7 hours ago 2 replies      
loyalty to a corporation or even an smaller LP doesn't count for anything. always ruthlessly cultivate your career, growth & salary potential. And always be looking for a better environment. The "organization" will take everything from you it can to your personal & health detriment.
bcheung 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have told myself to stop trying to figure out how other people become successful and trust yourself more. What works for others might not work for me.
heathlilley 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish I knew how much I didn't know. Self-awareness for the win.
NAFV_P 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A programming language.
Ask HN: Is YC turning into the next Google, Microsoft, and IBM?
14 points by uionmf  10 hours ago   9 comments top 7
OmarIsmail 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The other thing to keep in mind is that YC has an upper bound on the number of companies they accept. Just because a team doesn't get in doesn't mean they're bad, it just means that YC partners saw other teams they felt were even better.

You can see the evidence of this by the fact that companies going through YC are getting better and better. They're better at the start of YC, and they're better at the end of YC (than previous batches).

Is this a good thing or bad thing? For YC - definitely a good thing.

bmelton 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't think of a single season in which they haven't "left money on the table" by denying one group or another that ultimately proved to be successful. Similarly, there hasn't been a single season in which there wasn't at least one failure.

Venture Capital is, at its very best, a gamble, and it's a gamble in which there are a near infinite amount of variables. Product, team, market, vision, future, government regulations, etc.

I don't really know how this would equate them to Google, Microsoft or IBM, especially as except at a very surface level, those companies aren't really all that alike. If the accusation is just that they're slow moving giants incapable of innovating, I'd warn that 1) that accusation isn't fairly applied to the references, and 2) that even if that were the case, isn't really a critique, except where it might be applied in the context of failing to make money.

Seeing the recent batches, it appears that the money-making focus has definitely been more B2B than in earlier batches, but that's likely as a result of B2B proving more profitable over the long run than it is to be attributed to a lack of innovation. As a money-making endeavor, I'd wager that betting for more companies to make less profit than in the hopes of finding one Facebook amongst a bunch of flops is the more humanitarian path of funding as well, but that's another topic altogether.

davidgerard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The goal of YC is to make money. It's possible they now know a bit more about what they're doing.
mathattack 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A few thoughts as an outside observer...

- You won't know until 10 years from now. Even still, it won't be enough to say they missed a lot of firms. Of course they will. They can't possibly have 100% market share. A sign of the them turning into a large boring behemoth is if they miss all of them.

- If they are too worried about missing a Dropbox, then that risk taking will cause them to miss the next big thing.

- As long as it's entrepreneurs making the decision on who gets into YC, they have a big shot of taking risks. My sense is most of the YC crew is independently wealthy, and are keeping score by "great companies" rather than "minimizing variance of returns".

- All this said, the amount of YC firms acquired by larger tech companies suggest that they are filling an important niche of being the R&D investment arm of large firms who aren't structured to chase ideas that seem too crazy.

stevenameyer 7 hours ago 0 replies      
They need to keep the number of companies to a reasonable amount in order to give the companies that do get significant value out of the program. So until they manage to figure out a way to scale the YC program to be able to accommodate more companies (which I'm not necessarily sure is possible) some good companies that could have been very good fits with YC will be passed on.

They will inevitably miss some awesome companies as well as select some companies which wont amount to much. This is just part of doing something that is speculative. But they need to limit the number of companies in order to actually help the ones they do accept.

YC is a good program that certainly helps a lot of companies, but by no means is it the be all end all. There are many very successful startups that didn't go through YC and many not very successful startups that do go through YC. So if a company doesn't get into YC it's not the end of the world. There are plenty of paths to success that don't go through YC.

jmau5 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Just because someone is passionate doesn't mean they will do a good job. It is much more likely that you don't understand what makes a startup successful and thats why you don't understand why certain companies are rejected.
kangaroo5383 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's possible that because YC is now a recognized brand, it has access to lower-risk companies - i.e. those that have pretty much everything figured out. As such, that will increase their success because a. self-fulfilling prophesy of more leverage in the future by being associated with YC, b. they are already low risk to start with. IMO, they are the next Sequoia, not so much Google/Microsoft/IMB.

Contradictory, however, is these lower risk, already figured out, companies are not really in need of an incubator as much as some younger companies. Anyways, I'm really interested in seeing the next batch of YC companies and where they are going with that.

Ask HN: What are your top tips for leading a software development team?
5 points by smiler  12 hours ago   3 comments top 3
blooberr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the team lead role!

What's your management style like? What do you like and not like about your previous bosses?

Here's a few questions to consider:

How proactive are your reports? You might notice individuals on your team fall into two camps. One group will keep you updated at all times. That's good. The other won't say anything unless asked. They only do what they're told and stay under the radar. You'll have to figure out what works best for you to have an idea what everyone is up to.

How do you listen to them? Not all my teammates speak English as their first language so initially I had a lot of trouble. I learned over time to just shut up and let them work out their thoughts.

How do you grow your team? I encourage them to explore side projects and I ask what they want out of their careers. Not everyone is the same - some want to eventually run their own companies, others want to stay purely technical. Some just want to tag along. Doesn't matter if they're being 100% honest or not. Just go the distance and help them grow, whatever resources they need. I've always been pleasantly surprised when I genuinely invest in someone.

How do you win over your team? I have never, ever been able to successfully drive an agenda long-term by twisting someone's arm. It's far easier for me to take the time and persuade rather than bark orders.

For reading - Effective Executive and How to Win Friends and Influence People are two books that come to mind. One of my management mentors also recommended reading fiction as a way to understand motivations. Here's an article on this: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/04/229190837/want-to...

I've only been managing for a few years. Maybe everything's still rosy. I see management as achieving results, not controlling people. Management is a way to multiply my effectiveness and accomplish more than a group of individuals.

Let me know if you want to discuss anything else.

shock 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't hire "rockstar" developers. The ones I've worked with ended up being toxic to the team: withholding details from their peers/managers, acting passive/aggressive when asked what they were working on, etc. It's not worth it in the long run, as time progresses the effort need to manage them starts to outweigh the benefits.
wattson12 11 hours ago 0 replies      
http://randsinrepose.com, who wrote Managing Humans[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159059844X?ie=UTF8&tag=beig...] (not updated all that often but good content usually)
Ask HN: How can I run an effective code review?
4 points by maerek  7 hours ago   2 comments top 2
acomjean 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a bunch of methods I've used over my software career. The one I found most effective was:

1)Create a review package with the code and a brief discussion of what it does. (if its an update then we'd provide code diffs).

2) Have reviewers (at least 3) submit a list of bugs to the person holding the review.

3)The reviewer could accept the comment or flag it to discuss.

4) Then everyone got together (meeting) and discussed the ones that where flagged to discuss. Generally this made the reviews themselves not last too long (going through every line of code thats fine is boring) and some interesting discussion could be had and a conclusion reached.

5)The moderator would write a ticket in the bug tracker for the items and then when the updates are made the moderator would verify the changes were made a close out the ticket.

eddyparkinson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How and why: Read "Software Inspection" by Tom Gilb

Learn by doing: Read "A Discipline for Software Engineering" by Watts S. Humphrey. Skip to the exercises at the back, as 95% of the value is in the exercises, the main book is not that good (wants a re-write).

Often, people make the mistake of only doing a code review. While this helps, much better is possible. A review will typically remove 60-80% of the bugs, but to hit 99%, you need to compound your reviews. Capers Jones shows it is easy to hit 99% bug removal if you combine several quality control reviews, such as requirements, design and code reviews.

Quality control is not one innovation, it is a combination of several innovations. Several innovations that improve quality and there are many such innovations, more than 20.

Ask Bitcoin Exchanges: Where are the IPs of the buyers/sellers from?
2 points by ryan_j_naughton  8 hours ago   discuss
YC Interview Feedback - What Next?
4 points by jaggill  11 hours ago   2 comments top 2
man_bear_pig 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
i have a private equity background in retail / online retail and have experience in startup space in retail. i can help analyze but need more background story to help out. let me know how i can reach you if you want my take.
michaeldhopkins 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Two possibilities:

1. You didn't say your third paragraph or didn't say it loudly/clearly/often enough. If this is the case, be more clear about it next time.

2. You said it but they disagree with you. If this is the case, maybe they are right, or maybe you need to find a way to prove the adaptability. Keep in mind everyone thinks their startup is adaptable to a huge market to a degree. You need to be relatively more able to develop a huge market than other interviewees.

How do you go about contributing to open source projects?
6 points by joeldidit  19 hours ago   3 comments top 3
bendmorris 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Just do it; the project will be grateful to receive your contribution. Find something that needs to be done, fork the project, do it, test it, and submit a pull request. Many medium to large projects will have lists of things that need to be done, and will usually have many more tasks than they have manpower to complete in a timely manner, so pick one that matches your skillset and have at it. You can also take a look at their issue tracker for ideas. It's probably worth coordinating with the other developers to make sure you're not duplicating effort, but feel free to just jump in there and start contributing.
horofx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I maintain the carrierwave, minimagick & memcached-manager ruby gems. If you are interested in any and has a decent knowledge of ruby I can help you to get you going(or anyone interested from HN).

I got started by writing PR's, reading the codebase of the projects and making myself helpful whenever I could.

Ask HN: Thoughts on Meteor.js?
66 points by karlcoelho1  2 days ago   60 comments top 30
napoleond 2 days ago 5 replies      
Meteor is good, but not at everything, so it's very important to understand the trade-offs.


0. Obviously, its major strength is its "real-time"[0] nature: I have built multiple chat systems (and presumably so has anyone else who's used Meteor, because it's an example of something that's fun and easy with Meteor but relatively hard with a traditional stack) as well as a map application that tracked the motion of a company's employees in relation to their destination (as part of a dispatching system).

1. It's also the least complicated way of sharing code between the browser and the server that I've seen to date.


0. It's non-npm package manager feels like NIH to me (although I'm sure the team had valid reasons, I've never looked into it). Apparently it's still possible to require npm modules[1], although I've never tried it.

1. You're more or less stuck with MongoDB for the time being, which I guess a lot of people like but it's not really my thing.

2. There's not really any SEO capability, but that's sort of a given. Just don't use Javascript frameworks for that sort of project (or do, and do all sorts of weird shit to help Google).

3. It's kind of too auto-magic for me sometimes. The documentation is generally very good, but I occasionally run into weird variable scoping issues and the like, without any way of really figuring out what's happening. Of course, the source code is available[2] if I had time to read it. (Well-written, but big, and I find reading Node code to be mentally more taxing because of all the callbacks.)

4. The biggest con, for me, is that Meteor is basically limited to web applications. I really enjoy the typical single-page web app approach of building an API first, which you can access from other apps later (ie. mobile/tablet). I have no idea how I'd do that with Meteor. I'm experimenting with bundling a Meteor project and inserting the client-side code into a Phonegap app, for a mobile chat thing I'm working on, but that's obviously not ideal.

Generally, I love working with Meteor. I know I've written more cons than pros, but the pros I've listed are huge, and they've allowed me to work on cool stuff. You just need to know what you're getting into.


0. The scare quotes are for the people familiar with embedded real-time systems who seem to always find these comments and complain about how that word has an entirely different meaning when it comes to web applications.

1. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10165978/how-do-we-or-can...

2. https://github.com/meteor/meteor

harrylove 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using Meteor in paid gigs for over a year now. I don't regret giving it a try. It was hard to get my mind around for a few weeks. But then it clicked and I saw a lot of possibilities. I've never been happier as a developer. But that's me. It fits me.

I started using Rails in professional work in late 2005. That turned out to be a good decision. There is hype around Meteor in the same way there was hype around Rails in 2004/2005. The praise and objections are similar. Meteor is not Rails, so don't go looking for too many parallels. And the development climate in 2013 is not the same as 2005. You won't be able to predict Meteor's success or failure in five years, so it's not worth speculating.

When Rails came out, I was ready for it, technically speaking. My skills were in the right place and I was ready for a change. Similarly, I felt I was in a good spot to learn Meteor last year.

So the real question is, are you excited, ready, and able to learn it? If so, go for it. The worst that will happen is you will learn a new programming paradigm (perhaps) and it will inform any other development work you do.

gerrys0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Our company has doubled down on Meteor. We start all greenfield apps in meteor now.

The biggest negative is simply the immaturity of the ecosystem. Everyone has different standards. There are no de facto standard packages (yet). Everything is changing rapidly. What worked well last week may not work well this week. The bleeding edge truly bleeds.

From a pure technology perspective, I'm excited about meteor because (to use a clich) it shifts the paradigm. I wouldn't compare it to Rails/Ember/Backbone/etc because meteor is full-stack. There is no client/server. There's no ajax. Everything is one codebase. Even though it's built on top of node, it doesn't even feel like node because of the reasons above, and most of meteor is synchronous.

We wrote a couple blog posts about making the jump to meteor. I think the 1st one directly answers your question. The 2nd caused quite a stir here on HN.



jasoncrawford 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote about Meteor here: http://blog.jasoncrawford.org/meteor-demystified

Bottom line: Very interesting platform; nicely done in many ways; some concerns about architectural choices; not quite ready for prime time (production use) but probably will be soon.

hannibalhorn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I looked at it pretty heavily about 6 months ago (version 0.6.3 I think), so things have certainly changed some, but my thoughts were:

- It's nice that it comes with pretty much all the grunt work done, out of the box (asset packaging, live reload, deployment bundles, even the database!)

- It reminds me of early Rails, as it is still in a bit of a "hacky" phase. The level of commenting in the code is very low, there's TODO's everywhere, lots of things are shoved into the global namespace, etc. This is a sharp contrast with Angular or Ember, which have codebases I'd be proud to have my name on.

- The template binding is done in a simple-yet-effective way, which works without being too complicated but if your data isn't just a simple key/value map you'll need to learn a bit about it.

- Perhaps due to the simple binding, it's possible to use legacy code (e.g., jQuery plugins) in a lot of places where it would be tricky with Angular/Ember.

- It's very opinionated and you certainly wouldn't want to stray from the "happy path" of what's included in the stack (e.g., mongodb.) This was pretty much a deal killer for my app, though every case is different.

ezequiel-garzon 2 days ago 0 replies      
... or Derby [1]. I'm curious about things the HN crowd has been building with this kind of stack.

[1] http://derbyjs.com

camus2 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Do you think it's worth learning?

Everything(almost) is worth learning , the question is , is it worth using ? you give 0 clue as to why you'd need that stuff.

lampe3 2 days ago 1 reply      
I want to clear some things:

0. Meteor is in version so there are things not as good as they could/will be.

1. scaling: meteor is 100% scalable. There are meteor smartcollections which use the MongoDB optlog. Nice read: http://meteorhacks.com/lets-scale-meteor.html .

2. Right now you have to stick to MongoDB this will change in a later version.

3. Meteor will get a new rendering engine which will allow you to put angularjs( god only knows why ) or haml or some other templating thingy in meteor.

4. You can use meteor with phonegap right now.

Will meteor solve all your problems? No!

Will meteor will make you not think? No!

It's a great new piece of technology and you will learn new pattern and things. the livedata package and ddp package are great packages on their own.

Tarang 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its lots of fun learning with it. It tries to remove as much boilerplate as possible.

They have packages to take care of most of the stuff for you such as their accounts-ui package.

One helpful place to learn meteor from beginner to advanced is via the screencasts on.


tobinharris 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'd recommend writing a few sample apps just to get a peek in to the awesomeness of where web technology could be going. It's hugely different to the Rails, .NET and Node stuff I've worked with to date.

Meteor buzzed me out - the auto-updating views, syncing data across client & server. Your app can achieve amazing real-time capabilities with very little code.

But now I'm a few thousand LOC into an application, admittedly I've pretty much hit the "wall". The magic baffles me. I'm struggling to solve problems in performance, code organisation and security.

I've been disappointed by the progress and the team behind it. All that funding and I can't see it progressing quickly. The docs are quite weak, there's not many example apps, progress seems slow.

So... on one hand it's awesome and well worth learning. But I'm reluctant to back it for the long term, as I don't see the team/framework moving in the right direction.


arunoda 2 days ago 1 reply      
Of Course Yes.Just spend few hours with DiscoverMeteor[0] book. You'll be amazed.

[0] - http://www.discovermeteor.com/

ollymorgs 2 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest issue with all of the frameworks is their lack of maturity. If you're working on a large platform with a team of people, you're going to want database migrations, localisation/i18n, asset management, proper testing framework, continuous integration and general proof of scale.

Meteor.js seems great but is still a bit of a gimmick in my eyes. But If I'm pressed to pick one, I have to say I'm much more interested to see what happens with Go and web frameworks like martini.

christian_fei 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reading 'Discover Meteor' and consulting the docs will give you all you need to create a great realtime application in short time. It's a real pleasure to work with Meteor and the realtime web feels just a few steps away.

I built http://opentalk.me with it

possibilistic 2 days ago 0 replies      
How well does Meteor scale? Could a multiplayer game written with Meteor handle the HN crowd hitting it? I'm thinking of writing something like this and Meteor would be perfect if it's amenable to authoritatively sharing state between thousands of connections.
jbuzbee 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've played with meteor a bit and and also hacked on drorm's mysql back-end:


It works for some cases, but it quite limited in the type of database tables it will support. And in the end it's polling mysql for changes to feed to meteor clients.

I also added meteor support to a leaflet-draw package to allow users to share drawing on a map:


Powerful and fun!

wavesounds 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's really great technology and a lot of fun to program in! My only problem with it is its so closely tied to Mongo. There are ways around this already I believe. However official SQL support is coming soon, which I'm very excited about.

If real time collaboration is at the core of your web app, then you'll love Meteor.js.

bhurlow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Meteor is one of the most comprehensive and smooth frameworks for making web applications available today. It solves a ton of problems with a few overarching concepts: http://docs.meteor.com/#sevenprinciples
mmgutz 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a developer I think "Wow, impressive". They have serious creativity and brainpower on that team. But, as a developer I also think how much magic must be going on there. I've always been a lightweight framework kind of guy Sinatra over Rails, Backbone over Angular. I'm not their target.
Sewdn 2 days ago 2 replies      
Yes, it's worth learning.

3 good reasons why:

1. It's ambitious.

Meteor is not yet another nodeJS web-framework or client side JS framework. It also doesn't stop at combining the both (with a beautiful DDP to share data between C/S). Meteor' s architecture will make it possible to use it's components for all sorts of applications (other then the obvious web-apps).

2. It's as easy or as complex as you want it to be.

You can write a meteor app in 4 files or in a complex packaged structure. No need to overcomplexify, if you dont't want to. But you cn write large, complex, stable and maintainable code.

3. It embraces the eco-system.

You can rely on all of the NPM packages out there for your serverside logic and use all of the available frontend UI libraries and scripts. It will also enable writing complete reusable components in 1 package: servers-side logic, data-model, client-side logic, UI, ... all in one.

Biggest upcoming updates:

* Meteor UI.Better approach then any other UI framework out there (including Facebook's react or FTLab's fruitmachine)

* Galaxy.Deploy and scale your app on your own infrastructure or in the cloud by pressing a few buttons.

To counter a few of the cons in this thread:

* It's not reached 1.0 and it is therefor not production ready. I'd suggest writing your new applications in meteor anyway. Meteor matures quicker then any other framework out there. Is is well funded and here to stay.

* It is not scalable. Maybe not easy right now to make it scalable. But it certainly will be soon, when using mongodb oplog and galaxy will make it really easy to scale your service.

I run an agency in Belgium (redandivory.com) and we switched completely to meteor for all of our new projects. I think it's the framework of the near future.

leke 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would like it to be supported on my RaspberryPi, but it isn't (apparently), so I don't use it. There are other nodey frameworks out there that just require node itself, so I'm looking at those for the moment.
jorganisak 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are familiar with front-end JS frameworks like Backbone/Ember/Angular, then learning Meteor is as simple as a read through the docs and building a sample app.

If not, then learning Meteor would be a great way to become familiar with JS frameworks, and make the move to more complex frameworks (Angular FTW!) in the future.

Either way, awesome tool!

reustle 2 days ago 0 replies      
As other have hinted at, it's definitely worth learning, like most things. Get roughly familiar with it and other projects, that way when it comes time to pick a tool for a project, you'll have a better set of options to pick from.
enay 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Meteor for a dashboard app and this seems to be the ideal use case for this stack: take JSON documents via third-party APIs, aggregate them (hence MongoDB is fine for the job) and push to clients.

Was it worth learning? I'd say yes, it has a low barrier to entry and is great for practicing front-end development.

seniorsassycat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have dabbled in it. I found it hard to learn and mysterious, but when things work it is amazing.

Meteor is a combination of handlebars, jquery, mongo, sockets, and a handful of other technologies. It can be hard to debug or develop unless you are familiar with those technologies. I think meteor would benefit from more transparency, make it clear which frameworks provide which features.

You will find more applicable documentation by searching "Handlebars Templates" instead of "Meteor Templates".

albiabia 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for an alternative thats much more versatile and less opinionated I would recommend Sails.js http://sailsjs.org/ which is basically Rails for JS based on Express.
filipedeschamps 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel scared to how incredible this framework is. It's magic that scares me the most.
laughfactory 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hard as hell to learn, IMHO.
tel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can anyone compare it to Opa?
igl 2 days ago 1 reply      
after reading some github issues and some source code... There is also sails, and probably tons of other express/socker-io boilerplate frameworks. But meteor has this facebook guy on the homepage. Your boss will love it.
shire 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is the big difference between Meteor and Express?
Ask HN: Do you name Markdown files .md or .markdown? Why?
2 points by iamvery  12 hours ago   5 comments top 2
lmm 12 hours ago 3 replies      
.md in github because it's shorter. .markdown when using jekyll because it doesn't recognise .md.
roybarberuk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
.md for me, no idea why just saves keyboard taps i suppose :)
Ask HN: What tools or frameworks needed to make a Pocket Trains Style App
2 points by buraksarica  13 hours ago   2 comments top 2
mscottmcbee 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for an engine for mobile games, checkout Unity3D and Corona
edwardg 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Chris Sawyer wrote Rollercoaster Tycoon in Assembly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RollerCoaster_Tycoon). I don't think even he would recommend this though...
Ask HN: Most interesting events and conferences 2014 in the USA?
3 points by raminassemi  19 hours ago   2 comments top
digitalquacks 19 hours ago 1 reply      
In which area?
Ask HN: What is Google.com/domains?
8 points by justinwr  1 day ago   2 comments top
wrongc0ntinent 1 day ago 1 reply      
"How is Charleston Road Registry related to Google?

Charleston Road Registry (CRR) is a subsidiary of Google. Because ICANN requires that registrars and registries remain separate entities, and Google is already an ICANN-accredited registrar, CRR exists as a separate company from Google. We don't favor any registrar over any others in terms of pricing, awarding domains, or any other domain operations; we'll partner with any ICANN-accredited registrars that are interested in our domains"

From http://charlestonroadregistry.com/faqs.html

Why do yo use JavaScript-Libraries like jQuery?
10 points by barnslig  1 day ago   16 comments top 12
mschuster91 1 day ago 0 replies      
The biggest reason to use jQuery is the extensive ecosystem. Nearly every JS problem has a jQuery extension-based solution.
smoyer 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Selecting DOM elements isn't an argument"

I think this is actually the remaining argument. JQuery was the best at selecting DOM elements and grew from there. I think the question now is whether you find enough value in the other parts of JQuery to include its (rather massive) .js file.

esailija 1 day ago 1 reply      
You are mistaking jQuery for a querySelectorAll alias, I have no words for how wrong that is.
justbaker 5 hours ago 0 replies      
gpsarakis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Taking a quick look at the source code directory structure https://github.com/jquery/jquery/tree/master/src, I believe that you could create a minimal, customized build containing only features that you actually want. For example only element selection (which is very convenient and fast IMO) and AJAX.
27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
Practically everything I can think of needing on a daily basis has a solution already made and tested in jQuery. Very rarely do I have to reinvent the wheel, be it tablesorting, an AJAX-sourced type-ahead box, or a nicer date widget. That saves time and effort.

Its ubiquity also means that problems are often already solved in it. Every time I've run into a jQuery bug there has been discussion and work-arounds already posted online by people much smarter than myself.

borplk 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are underestimating how much work jQuery does for you.
nailer 1 day ago 1 reply      
there's still no nodeList.prototype.forEach. You can(and should) make it but it's pretty sad qsa was implemented without fixing the most basic thing about its result.

Also jquery neatly abstracts single/ multiple element operations making for shorter code.

Use jquery 2, it's tiny and gives you the tenseness without the extra code for all the old stuff.

Or cut a few pixels from the top of a single image and save bandwidth that way.

Bahamut 1 day ago 0 replies      
jQuery has a lot of useful things, such as a good selector engine (although can be inefficient if you abuse it), lots of easy to hook into plugins, and helpers such as `scrollTop()` & `$(window).on('resize', ...)`. I'm a huge proponent of Angular, but jQuery still has its utility.
ghostdiver 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dependencies, unfortunately I am forced to use it, because it's just there in the code used by someone few years ago.

Plugins are not the reason and fortunately it is changing already, because UI/UX feature developers do not want to be jQuery plugin vendors anymore, they want to promote their stuff under their own brand.

MildlySerious 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure people also test a lot less when using jQuery. It's a convenience thing.
jbeja 1 day ago 0 replies      
One word: "Plugins".
Ask HN: Do You Use Appcelerator For Mobile Dev?
4 points by unclebucknasty  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: Events in the near future that can crash Bitcoin's value?
2 points by mattquiros  23 hours ago   4 comments top 2
actionbrandon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
if more people try to sell bitcoins than want to buy them, the price will decline. possibly rapidly.
a3voices 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The biggest risks are these:

1. Strong U.S. or Chinese regulation

2. An irreversible, fatal flaw in the Bitcoin protocol is discovered

3. A competing cryptocurrency, or other emerging form of money, manages to outpace it in growth and steal its thunder

       cached 19 November 2013 05:05:01 GMT