Site review: iusethis.com

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If you use a Mac, you need to use this.

iusethis.com is a software review site for Mac OS X software. With 4,500 pieces of software listed and 20,000 users constantly adding reviews or simply saying “I use this”, you can find just about anything there.

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I spoke to Marcus Ramberg and Arne Fismen, who run the site, and asked them about how they used Perl to develop it.

The main tool in their toolbox is the Catalyst Framework. “Without an MVC framework like Catalyst, it would be impossible for us to write a structured app, maintain it, and not end up in a big mess,” Marcus told me.

Marcus is the developer, Arne is the designer. “Arne loves Template Toolkit!” Marcus tells me. “That’s pretty much the only Perl thing he actually knows he’s using. Of course, he interacts a lot with DBIx::Class objects, but it speaks to DBIC’s credit that it just works, from a designer perspective.”

So what’s the best thing about the site? What makes the guys smile and say “Wow, that’s cool!”?

Arne tells me, “For us its the way people interact with it. When we started out we expected having to add a lot of the applications ourselves, but we have seen a great community effort helping us out. It is also a very positive community, we are having very little trouble in terms of moderation.”

For Marcus, it’s the site’s APIs that bring a smile to his face, especially when he sees what other people are doing with the data. “Appfresh is probably the best example of this so far, but we look forward to seeing what people will come up with in the future”

The guys have some more projects in the works, all hush-hush, but while we wait to see what they come up with next, check out the guys’ current experiment: iwatchthis.com, a video sharing site with certain similarities to iusethis.


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