How to improve news
Creating utilities that others will use
General Advice: "Know what you are trying to improve" including The 6 categories of improvements to news
(This advice is silly but too often lost in the details of implementation. If your intended "improvement" does not fit into the list, or is at the expense of another item, then consider that it may not actually be an improvement! You had better work on it some more or consider if it is going to be worthwhile to others.)
Don't duplicate effort
See Usenet RKT for Developers Has it been done before? You can save yourself time by modifying and improving existing software. Also see: News Developer's Resources
Don't use obscure languages.
Appropriate languages are sh, perl, C, awk. Don't expect that others will learn another language just to use your tool.
Write maintainable code
Comments, design for portability. No one is going to run your code without inspecting it.
Write code others will want to use
Follow the advice in How to publish patches and upgrades.
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Copyright 1997, Forrest J. Cavalier III, Mib Software, INN customization and consulting