Startups

Paul Graham writes on Why to Not Not Start a Startup. Given his success with supporting projects at Y Combinator, his perspective is valuable. His essay presents a case against reasons that he has heard for not creating a startup company.

So here’s the brief recipe for getting startup ideas. Find something that’s missing in your own life, and supply that need—no matter how specific to you it seems. Steve Wozniak built himself a computer; who knew so many other people would want them? A need that’s narrow but genuine is a better starting point that one that’s broad but hypothetical. So even if the problem is simply that you don’t have a date on saturday night, if you can think of a way to fix that by writing software, you’re onto something, because a lot of other people have the same problem.

trac

We’re going to use trac in conjunction with subversion to manage the code for our PowerSchool deployment project. The ticket system in trac looks decent. I’m not so sure about “milestones” — my one attempt to edit a milestone ran into trouble when I entered the date value wrong and fixing that value required entering all the milestone’s fields from scratch. I either screwed up, or the interaction design of that part of trac is poor.

Selenium

The Selenium software for testing web apps looks promising. We’ve got a boatload of pages to get going in our PowerSchool deployment project and I’m hoping to use something like Selenium to automate some of the testing.

I experimented creating a test using the Selenium IDE plug-in with Firefox and ran into a glitch right away. The page I’m testing does a redirect to force the connection into SSL/https. The IDE tool captures the session OK but when I try to run the test from Selenium on the host it hangs at the point where the conversation switches to the SSL port. I tried starting out in SSL but then it hangs when the ultimate page redirects back to a port 80 connection. Rats.