Cospend: a tool to track common expenses of groups of people
It started when he wondered what applications he was missing in Nextcloud. Julien Veyssier, the contributor to the Nextcloud PhoneTrack application, had started to adapt to Java / Android programming and was looking for a new contribution to make to the project. That's when he thought of IHateMoney, an application he had been using for years to manage shared expenses with his roommates.
He "almost" agreed with IHateMoney, until their public authority blocked and their data was lost. It was time to create a self-hosted IHateMoney instance, followed by an attempt to create MoneyBuster, an IHateMoney client for Android. And that's when it became obvious: wouldn't it be better to have a similar application for Nextcloud? An application that would provide the same API to be compatible with MoneyBuster?
Cospend was born: a tool to track the common expenses of groups of people. Who spent what, for whom, is the fundamental question he answers. With features - much more than on the inspiration source, IHateMoney - such as recurring invoices, the ability to link Nextcloud files to invoices, and many other options. After some difficulties with the web user interface, Julien "happily followed Nextcloud's design instructions" and quickly became satisfied with the result. A feature that makes him particularly happy: it is possible to access a Cospend project without having a Nextcloud account, which allows a Nextcloud user to more easily share the content of the app, in order to include everyone.
Although the application is already fully functional, many improvements are already underway. In addition to testing and "improving this and that", we can expect features such as QR codes: "I would like to simplify adding a project to MoneyBuster. I will allow you to add a project simply by "clicking" on a URL that looks like cospend://my.nextcloud.org/daproject/dapasswd. I will probably also add to Cospend the project-QRCode generation that would contain such a URL. It would be nice to be able to generate this QR code from MoneyBuster as well, in order to share a project from one phone to another. "And there is still room for ideas and new ideas:"I hope that good ideas will emerge from users. »
The advantages of creating an application in Nextcloud, instead of continuing your initial project? Building Cospend on the Nextcloud foundation has not only allowed it to take advantage of the Nextcloud ecosystem, but also to "break centralized services that do not respect privacy and offer similar functionalities," explains Julien. And of course, Nextcloud has more to offer for the future of the project: "I would like to know more about how the federation between Nextcloud authorities works to make this happen in Cospend. It would be great to be able to share a project on multiple instances of NC. »
Julien particularly emphasizes the benefits of building software in an open, active and welcoming community: "I would like to thank everyone involved in Nextcloud, the core team that is working hard to document the aspects of application development. The community is a great place to be, the design team that helps developers create beautiful interfaces... Cospend is also the result of their work. »
And he concludes: "In conclusion, I created the application because I felt something was missing and it would be perfect for Nextcloud. Another element of the Nextcloud ecosystem. »
This article is an automatic translation of the original article published on the Nexcloud blog: https://nextcloud.com/blog/cospend-another-bit-in-the-nextcloud-ecosystem/