Lingwo.flashcards, now with lower hacktivation energy!

A buddy of mine has been trying to get the Lingwo.flashcards server code running on his MacOS X laptop. You can see the discussion on the Google Group. I think this is a HUGE step for the project. I've been recently reading parts of this great online book: Producing Open Source Software. Alot of it is stuff that should be evident, but is easy to over look when your focused on writing code.

As I've mentioned before I've had trouble attracting a community around this project. Some projects you can just put up on SourceForge or CPAN or PyPI and people will just wander in ("If you build it, they will come!"). This is has been the case for most of my other projects. Producing OSS talks about how one of the most important things is making it easy for new developers to get started (the author calls it "hacktivation energy"). A lot of people may be coming to your website, but if it isn't immediately apparent how to get the code and run it, most developers will simply move on.

I've been working on the Hacking Lingwo.flashcards document in the wiki. This attempts to walk you through setting up Lingwo.flashcards on your local machine. Nick has been kind enough to test it out. Its amazing how many steps of the process you forget about when its your code, just because your code is so obvious to you. But its started to fill in. Also, documenting the setup process has helped show parts of it that are harder than they need to be, so I can start to try and optimize them.