WinDevPowerTools Launches

Jim Holmes and James Avery's book "Windows Developer Power Tools" now has a companion website. WinDevPowerTools is a simple, yet interesting website. Once you register you can create your own toolbox letting you share with others those utilities you find useful. You can then browse via the tag cloud and "love" those tools you think worthy.

Right now it appears that only Jim and James can add tools (they're working on getting the ones from their book up). I think a tool submission page would really be useful. Letting users submit tools would add to the overhead of the site of course, and I'm not sure if the authors are willing or able to take the responsibility. Even though currently the only method of getting a tool added is to email James. So maybe it would actually free him up more. However, I think a user based submission method could really add to the usefulness of the site. There's a definite feeling of community trying to be built (after all one of the authors helped organize CodeMash), freeing up the tool submission process would really increase that. Maybe that's coming down the road.

The site opens up the possibility for some interesting statistical profiling. Adding the ability to add some user specific profile information (i.e. industry, location, etc) could lead to some interesting information beyond the current "Most Loved Tools". I'd be interested to see what tools were in how many toolboxes broken down by industry, location, or even age group. Right now you just submit desired nick, email, and desired password. Which may be a big plus to some people, but limits any of the interesting reporting that would be possible. Of course any demographic information should be totally optional.

One of the hallmarks of the developer community is the sharing of information, a site like this could definitely help with disseminating information on tools. I could see sites created for Mac and Linux very easily (maybe with companion books?), with a unified toolbox between the sites. Especially with the number of open source cross platform tools.

WDPT is a site just starting out, but with the possibility of being very useful to the Windows developer community, sort of a FreshMeat for the rest of us with a bit of social networking for spice. Be sure to check it out!

1 comment:

Jim Holmes said...

Thanks for the nice words, Michael!

Fear not, we'll make it possible for folks other than James and myself to add tools -- but we kept functionality very lean for the 1.0 launch.

You open up some interesting lines of thought with statistical profiling. I'm not sure if most users would be wanting to plop out all that information, but it sure would be cool to chase down. We'll keep that one in mind!