A New Project

I hate the term mashup. I’ve heard it too many times. But that’s what I’ll be working on in order to accomplish several things:

  • Expose myself to more web development – I really haven’t done much in that area
  • Play with some of the restful services that are out there – I’ve recently started playing with a few of these, such as remix.bestbuy.com, and they are a lot of fun
  • Finally get a personal homepage together – something I’ve put off for years
  • Give me something to blog about – another thing I’ve been putting off

The project will be written in C# and Visual Studio 2008 (maybe 2010 once CodeRush supports it). I have several goals in mind for this project.

First of all, I don’t really want to host any data. The idea is to be able to enter my username and password for the various sites I use – Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, Last.fm, Windows Live Games, Amazon, Dropbox, Digg, Netflix – and dynamically generate a homepage based on the API’s these services expose.

I’d also like the homepage to be reusable. I’d really like anyone to be able to use the site themselves with very little setup. There are probably many projects like this out there (hell you can do a lot of this with WordPress, but I’ll play ignorant to that for now to keep myself motivated), but the source may prove useful to some. In this vein, I’d also like to try to make the page customizable, though this probably won’t be a priority initially.

Third, I’ll be making use of DevExpress’s free ASP.NET controls where possible. As a member of DX-Squad, I’m obviously a huge fan of DevExpress. Over the years, I’ve made extensive use of their Delphi VCL controls and, more recently, their .NET WinForms controls, always with great success and ROI. I’d like to use this project as an avenue to both expose myself to their ASP.NET offerings and, in turn, blog about my experiences with their controls.

Fourth, I’ll be writing the API interfaces myself. I thought about using some of the existing source out there for interfacing with these services and decided against it for a few reasons: this is project is a learning exercise, plus I’d like to try to keep the code light-weight where possible. Also, there are a lot of options out there for interfacing with these services from the .NET framework, and I honestly just want to get started. I already wasted enough time tinkering with other blogging platforms before settling on WordPress.

This will eventually be hosted at nwoolls.com, which currently redirects to my Twitter page. The sites I’ll be exposing (obvious enough) are:


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