Is there interest in a visual development software that creates native apps (gnome) for Librem5 phone?


#1

I’m considering creating a software that allows us to visually create native gnome apps aimed to run at the Librem 5 phone, think of a “Glade meets MIT Appinventor”. Another example is the proprietary bubble.io visual app creator. Not those templated locked down app spitters out there.

The goal would make such software being FLOSS, for desktop, offline first and privacy respecting.
However I’m not above involving proprietary solutions to output FLOSS gnome/librem 5 native mobile apps if it helps getting a pure solution later on.

Of course such apps would be native to normal linux distros that runs gnome too, but they’d be rather clumsy.

Do you have interest in that? Either as a user or working to create it.
It would allow tech minded people to create pure apps without writing code.

Thanks in advance for your attention!


#2

I will use it for sure hahaha have you ever done something like that?


#3

It’s a good idea. I am not a programmer and would certainly use it.
If you do, thank you. :ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:


#4

Haven’t done exactly this kind of visual development software. Just others.

Great, thanks for the feedback so far!


#5

I would like to use it, too. :clap:


#6

Did you try out Lazarus? https://www.lazarus-ide.org/


#7

I would be interested in this if only for playing around with it in a VM since I don’t have an L5 yet and I’m not sure when I will pick one up. Might be a good push to try my had at coding/making applications.


#8

@ErraticEagle
Well, the apps would run normally into any distro running gnome since that’s what L5 phone runs as far as I know. It just would not be a desktop experience, but for development and testing it would be great.

@dcz
Oh, didn’t knew about Lazarus! Thanks for telling me about it. I checked it and it seems great, especially its graphical interface creator. Definitely a piece for me to draw inspiration from.
Anyway, there are a few relevant differences between Lazarus and what I envision, mainly this new tool being completely no-code. We coders would be able to freely code plugins and when appropriate a plugin could be incorporated.


#10

This would be funny, if I hadn’t seen this sort of “hey, let’s build this insanely complex thing with zero experience or clue how to start” project being proposed, and then never followed up on, literally hundreds of times before…

Why do people always assume that coming up with the idea in the first place is the hard part, and the actual implementation merely a formality?


#11

Such kind of endeavor being hard is exactly why I’m listening to others first :wink:


#12

Nonetheless, what would you do to make progress in this task, considering this initial stage and that you were interested? I’m listening to every idea and suggestion I can come across.


#13

Here’s my honest opinion for whatever it’s worth.

I’m hesitant to discourage people from creating things or starting new projects, but I’m not sure about this one. IMHO your time would be better spent on a more niche (and less ambitious) L5 project which addresses a known weak area. Or perhaps you could at least narrow the scope significantly. A UI layout tool (especially one which replaces writing source code) sounds like a large project.

One way you might narrow scope may be to search for developer tool ideas. Anything to help a regular Linux desktop developer overcome unique challenges developing for the L5. Of course I’ve no idea what that specifically may be… finding a good idea is sometimes harder than the actual development of it.


#14

Question for the thread: can anyone name any great software that they enjoy using regularly that was created by a non-developer using some drag-and-drop GUI tool?


#15

Eh, to rephrase - does anyone know a software (not script or utility) created by non-developer? No. Does anyone know a software created by the person who before creating the software was not a developer? Yes.


#16

More than anything else, each person should work on the software they want to see or use. It’s better to do something you think is interesting or worthwhile than to spend time working on something you don’t enjoy, just because someone else tells you it’s more valuable or needed.

It’s your own time and effort. Don’t let someone else tell you how to spend it.