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Bored? Looking for ideas? Here's a list!


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With the flurry of new posts lately asking for ideas on what to program... it is time for a sticky to show up!


Below is a list of common ideas (most of which taken from previous PHPF contest suggestions.) Do you have an idea? Post a reply and if it is good, we'll update the table below :)


Idea Description Genre Source
AI Bot Create a bot that you can have a conversation with AI @mattd8752
Unix converter Create a tool that allows users to convert unix timestamps to custom date/time formats. Applications
Blog Create a fully functional blog that you can post to, have comments, etc. Applications @fert
Planner / Address Book An address book that stores contacts / important dates Applications @The Little Guy
CMS Create a CMS (Content Management System) that allows for custom pages, designs, etc. to be created/edited from the backend Applications @steelmanronald06
News System A news system that allows for "breaking news", comments, etc. Applications @coolcoolm
Arcade Create an arcade system (to host games) with a high score database Applications @coolcoolm
Tutorial site Tutorial Site With Coments Applications @coolcoolm
Statistics program Create a program that will allow you to find trends within data Applications Jaysonic
Analytics Tool Create an application that is similar to Google Analytics or Piwik Applications @xyph
Media gallery Create a media gallery to host images, videos, etc. Applications Jaysonic
Member Management System Create a member management system Applications Jaysonic
Topsite / Link exchange Create a website that allows for linkbacks, referrals, etc. Applications Jaysonic
Calendar Create a calendar that uses PHP / MySQL as a backaned Applications Jaysonic
RSS reader Create a program that can grab and parse an RSS feed Applications @Streety
Search Engine Create a search engine for a small to mid-sized website Applications @Streety
Web Mail Interface Create a web interface to a mailbox (think squirrelmail) Applications @ToonMariner
Forum Create a forum that implements many other ideas on this list Applications @NArc0t1c
Weather Forecaster Create a weather forecaster system that pulls data from RSS feeds Applications @heckenschutze
Web chat interface Create an online chat system, similar to (or using IRC) Applications @phpSensei
File tracking system Create a file tracker system to share (legal) files Applications @stuffradio
"HackThis" Create a site similar to http://hackthissite.org Applications
Graphic Calculator Similar to our first contest, create a graphic calculator Applications [/td]
Syntax Highlighter Create a syntax highlighter Development Tools @play_
Code Prettifier Create a tool that parses and prettifies other languages Development Tools @Philip
Code Minifier Create a tool that minifies other languages Development Tools @Philip
Chess Create the common game, chess Games @Milbea
Blackjack Create the common game, blackjack Games @Milbea
RPG Similar to our second contest, create a text-based RPG Games
Create a sudoku generator Games @Philip
Typing Game Create a game to see how fast people can type Games @Philip
Crossword Puzzle Generator Create a crossword puzzle generator Games @Philip
Word-Find Puzzle Generator Create a word-find (word-search) puzzle generator Games @Philip
Mad Libs Generator Create a mad-libs generator Games @Philip
Mastermind Create a Mastermind game, with difficulty levels, etc. Games
Translator Translates text from one language to another (note: languages can be simple like "leet speak") Text


reddit to the rescue with even more ideas!

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Mastermind, Game.


I've programmed this one at least a dozen times, and added in features like letting the user select difficulty levels (less colors/more guesses = easier, etc). It's very simple logic. If you want to program the AI to guess user submitted codes, wikipedia has an article about Mastermind that includes the formula to guess codes.


Other tools/ideas: md5/other hash converter, unix timestamp converter,

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Not meaning to derail the thread, but I don't think it's possible to 'convert' between hash algos.


As an idea, and an extension of "Statistics program," how about a visitor counter, that tracks total hits, unique hits, and which page the hit was made. An advanced version, for bonus points :D, could also track the 'route' a user takes through your web page, and possibly how long they stay on each page :)

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Not meaning to derail the thread, but I don't think it's possible to 'convert' between hash algos.


I meant you type in the string, and tell it which hash, and it returns it. A gui for md5 or whatever other functions you want. Such a site exists already, but you could add your own features.

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Transplanted from one of my old Dev Shed post when someone asked for ideas:


We had a game programming class in the college I went to. Some of the programs that students did were these, all console based, but could be done with a GUI at some point:


1) Bingo

Call a number, see if it's on a card, etc.


2) Dots

Make a grid of dots. Each player gets to draw a line between two dots. If when drawing the line they close the square, their initial appears in the square and it becomes theirs. They also get to go again for completeing a square. If they don't complete a square, it's the other players turn. The object of the game is to finish with the most completed squares.


3) Golf (what I did, still have the C++ code too)

Card game where each player is dealt four cards face down. The player is allowed to look at two of their cards to see what the values are. They may also only look once at the beginning of the game. They cannot ever look again til the end of the game when everyones cards are reveiled. The object of the game is to try and achieive a hand with the lowest score. Cards are scored like so:

King - 0 points

Ace - 1 point,

2-9 - face value

10, Jack, Queen - 10 points.


A player draws a card from the either the deck or the discard pile. They then decide if they want to swap the drawn card with one of the cards in their hand. if they do, they choose a card and the cards are swapped, and the card they had in their hand is discarded. if they don't want to swap cards, they discard the card they drew.


Game ends when the deck runs out or a player calls golf. If a player calls golf, then every other player gets one last turn. They player who called is skipped in this last turn.


4) Adventure

Player runs around a maze, supposed to find stuff and continue on. Usually dungon style stuff.


There you go. There's some ideas for some programs. Get busy


These were for a C++ programming course, but they could all be adapted for the web using PHP or Javasvript without too much issue.  #4 is basically like the rpg already on the list.



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Yea, my sisters and I used to play it a lot too as kids, particularly on road trips.  We played #3 quite a bit too when we would go visit my grand parents, wasn't too much else to do over at their place besides play cards heh.  Another game we played a lot that could be added to the list I suppose is the Triangle peg jump game.  My grandpa had built his own board for it that we played on, was pretty neat.


Triangle Peg Board Game

The game board is a triangle with 15 holes in the same shape as bowing pins, except with an extra row.  The game starts with pegs (golf tees) in all the holes except one; the goal is to jump pegs one at a time, removing the jumped peg until only one peg remains.  The instructions on the board say that if you leave only one peg, you are a genius.  I suspect that the genius title is overstated, but if you follow the instructions on this page and you're sure to impress the family!



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Peg jump is awesome.


Something I've always wanted to either find already done or do myself is a grocery shopping list manager where you could record the prices you paid and at what store, so the next time you added the item it would tell you the cheapest place, average price, etc, so you could plan where to go. It would have to be able to convert product sizes too, because I've seen some things similar but they don't know that a box of Dr. Pepper cans is the same product as a 2 liter bottle, and I guess in my mind it is. Maybe thats just me :)

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  • 1 month later...

- Query optimizer :: analyzes your queries and database to optimize queries.

- Hack Testing Site :: (Safely tests sites for security issues) You give it a website and it tries to hack it. It then Emails you the results, and how you can fix the issue.

- Categorizer :: Give it a document and it assigns 1 or more categories to it (Science, Math, English, Programming, etc.). Sub-Categories would be cool too.

- Niche Search Engine :: A search engine that searches a persons niche.

- rock paper scissors lizard spock


That is all I can think of ATM

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  • 2 months later...

for one thing, the list is not a list of who did it, it is a list of ideas with the names being who suggested it. Blackjack is already on it, so there's nothing to add.

Secondly, pikachu is being facetious and implying you're on a "list" of something. Troublemakers, etc.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

1.  Create a system that scours some given subset of the 'Net for something (real estate, cars, wines, single women :P, vitamins, weapons, DVD's, $whatever), categorizes them, and uploads them to (Pinterest | Ebay | Etsy | $someplace).


2.  Create a system that converts vBulletin forums to IPBB or phpBB or ub.threads or $someforum ...

Edited by dalecosp
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