Writing a Web App: The Idea

The best ideas for web applications are usually ones where you identify a need of your own – something that you personally want.

Something I’ve done ever since I first owned a car is to record my gas mileage – how many miles I get on each tankful and hence how many MPG (or l/100km) I’m getting. It’s interesting to watch how the numbers vary according to different factors:

  • how much of the tank has been used for city driving and how much has been used on the highway
  • summer driving vs winter driving
  • times when you’ve been consciously driving economically vs times when maybe your right foot’s been a little heavier

When I bought my first car, I typed these figures into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet grew to be quite sophisticated with different stats, averages and graphs. It gave me everything I wanted. In 2000 when I bought my beautiful Palm Vx I switched to an MPG tracking app on there which meant I always had the numbers with me, but at the cost of using a tool which wasn’t entirely to my liking, didn’t give me all the features I wanted and locked my data away from me.

These days I still record the numbers but I haven’t been tracking them with anything for years. I have a couple of envelopes packed with old gas receipts but I have no statistics based on those figures.

So, what I want is a website where I can enter my gas purchases and track my MPG. Simple.

With the idea in mind, the next stage is research

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