The idea behind the app is to provide an idiot proof guided approach to doing diagrams of home networking or home theatre connections with the ability to generate diagrams / maps
or printouts of configs.
Think of an automated network scanning tool which detects devices and draws them Visio Style on a surface. I'd like to have a similar thing, but including which ports are being used. For example, DSL modem connects to PC on ethernet 1 (DSL) to PC. DSL Connects to USB Printer via DSL USB Port.
Code / Idea
There is no code. I understand that this is an idea submission and if successful, my development could be funded by the prize?
Basic idea behind the app is that there is little or no "drawing" by the user. The user starts at a point and creates a node. The node could be a device of some kind. 2 simple examples follow:
Example 1: Home Theatre Layout.
Add Node (Home Theatre Receiver).
Select Node (Home Theatre). Add Node. Port HDMI Output. New Node Name (Samsung TV). New Node Port HDMI-In 1
Select Node Home Theatre. Add Node. Port HDMI In 1. New Node Name (Satellite Receiver). New Node Port HDMI Out
At this point a diagram is created with the cabling layout of this 3 device home theatre. As you add extra devices you can make complex diagrams using the same easy steps.
I have simulated my entire house's IP-Multimedia layout including wireless using a simple scripting language which describes very complex layouts in an easy to understand manner.
Example 2: PC Layout
Add Node PC
Add Node PS3
Add Node XBOX
Add Node 24" Monitor
Add Node HDMI Switcher
Connect PC HDMI Out -> HDMI Switcher Input 1
Connect PS3 HDMI Out -> HDMI Switcher Input 2
Connect XBOX HDMI Out -> HDMI Switcher Input 3
Connect HDMI Switcher Output -> 24" Monitor HDMI Input
You can do Networking / Audio / Video as different layers perhaps, but I have already simulated this using a single diagram representing all of this information.
Points of Interest
The fundamental code is simple and could be elegantly coded with relatively few screens. Only issue which is an unknown at this point is the layout algorithm for the drawing. I would like each node to have optional attributes such as IP Address, Manufacturer, Warranty, etc, which can be toggled on and off as applicable. I believe that by keeping the node + connector logic generic, this app can be used to diagram or layout other types of data. Anything in a hierarchy probably. I imagine that while developing it, more uses will come to mind. The key for me is to be flexible so that users can find niches where the app will be useful. I have not seen a similar app that meets my requirements so I hope it has a cool factor which helps the app succeed in a market of many apps.