Seven Questions with Developers: @ludolphus

This is the latest in our series Seven Questions for Developers on App.net, where we ask  developers the same set of questions to learn a bit more about their apps and the stories behind them. If you’d like to participate, contact @ben.

chimpOur next Developer is @ludolphus, who makes several apps and tools, including the API Console app Console-app.net, ADN File Manager, the iOS app Chimp, and chimp.li for managing your Chimp created media.

@ludolphus lives in Arnhem, the Netherlands, with his wife Feriza. For the past two years, he has worked as a freelance developer doing what he likes the most: creating great software. @ludolphus uses that particular handle because it is a Latin version of his last name ‘Loef’.

Tell us about your App.net app. What are you looking to accomplish with it?

I joined App.net on August 11, 2012, because I liked the idea of App.net and wanted to see great things happing with it in the future. I have a few apps, but I’d like to talk mostly about Chimp, which is available in the AppStore.

It is a fully-featured client for App.net with  post streams, private messaging, patter room support, photo/video support, and a lot more. All the photos and videos users upload with Chimp can be managed by the user on chimp.li.

For videos, Chimp creates a link to the chimp.li site exposing an HTML video player. Version 1.1 has lots of new features (especially audio related) and UI tweaks based on user-feedback from users. I’d also like to acknowledge @sham, who helped with the design of Chimp.

Additionally, I made files-app.net/climber and files-app.net/sprinter based on Climber and Sprinter. These sites show the lastest 50 photos/videos made with those apps.

sprinterAnd, lastly, another small mashup I made: http://checkins.chimp.li/ This shows the lasest 100 check-ins (based on the Explore API endpoint) done on App.net using the Places API on Google Maps. The markers are clickable and shows the original post text including name and avatar of the user.

 

What qualities make a great app?

Good software should do what its users expect it to do in an as simple way as possible.

filemanagerWhat tools are important to you as a developer?

SublimeText 2 is where I live most of the time. Other tools include OS X & Linux command line, iTunes for background music streams. I like my 27″ iMac very much, and I have a Linux server zooming which I use for hosting my local development stuff (apache, php, mysql).

And then there is mobile hardware to test apps. The good old Windows based PC is more and more becoming a dust collector…I should redeploy it for something useful. User feedback and suggestions are perhaps the most important tool I have.

 

Why did you decide to build something on App.net?

I decided to join App.net as a developer because I very much like the idea of not having advertising in the streams and I wanted to build software for users with a guarantee that their content is not used to build a profile that can/will be sold to advertisers.

Here’s my very first post:

@ludolphus
ludolphus August 11, joined App.net Let's see what this will become in the coming years. I remember when joining Twitter nobody understood what to do with it, look at it now... I love the idea of App.net and therefor am backing this initiative as a developer.

What got you started writing code? 

What really got me started with code is the Philips Videopac G7000 with cartridge number 9 which is the ‘computer programmer.’ I was around 10 years old. The thing is still lying around somewhere at my parents I think :)

I have no idea anymore what I did with it though. The first thing I made on the ZX81 is a sort of space invaders game in Z80 Assembly. You can check msx.vanloef.com for my games and tools, a lot of which were published in MSX Computer Magazine, a Dutch publication that was very popular at the time.

Any advice for aspiring developers (all the young coders out there)?

Nowadays it is so ‘easy’ to learn about programming, and there are online courses in almost every language. Just go out and do it. Look at code on Github and learn from it.

Don’t think you cannot do it; if you are really interested, you can. It requires some skills, of course, and the ability to think logically. The Raspberry Pi project is a really nice initiative. It has some great software tools and hardware possibilities to get (young) people to learn about how computers work.

I’m tinkering and working on projects constantly:

@ludolphus
ludolphus Announcement:
Xfer.li Easily share files with your friends using your app.net File Storage. Your friends do not need an app.net account to receive the file. Just drag&drop a file from your computer. You'll get a link you can share with anyone, that's it !

When you’re not coding you’re…

If the weather allows it, I’m outside relaxing in our garden, doing maintenance, enjoying the fresh air. Other things I like: watch movies and tv series, going on holiday with my wife from time to time, listening to music, making nice food.