Well, I asked Ellen, and she did come up with two more points on the Blister suite's feature list. The feature list now looks something like:
- seed tracking (source, info, germination rates, number planted, etc.)
- garden organization (what goes where, beneficials, cross-pollenation, etc.)
- crop rotation and fertilization
- comprehensive labelling (mostly for seed starting)
- a foods and recipe database
- animal ancestry tracking (to avoid line breeding, etc.)
I also thought of one more point earlier, but I seem to have forgotten it.
The list also doesn't include common infrastructure -- user tracking, authentication, etc. When I add it all up, it is fairly compelling to adopt a web infrastructure for it, or at least a XML-over-HTTP architecture. I need to look into the default support for XML and CSS2 for common browsers on OS X, Linux, and the BSDs, which form the majority of my machines.
It's also tempting to use it as an avenue for exploring XSL. Is anyone still doing anything with XSL? I remember it (the early versions I played with a few years back) being rather on the obtuse side, but I need to have another look and see if it makes sense to me now.
I re-read the first section of The Ruby Way, in preparation for doing some prototyping work for Blister and for an on-line bartering forum. The parser is a little more hairy than I remember it being, but it does what I expect for my coding style. Though I am usually a bit put off by an enforced coding style in a project, I definitely see the point with Ruby -- there are a few gotchas that can be defeated by sticking to one style (begin-end and curly bracket subtleties, determining the receiver of a function, the unary '*' operator, and a few others).
My hand is doing much better now. Another couple of days and the burns will be gone.