Recipe Database

This entry was posted by on Monday, 27 June, 2005 at

OK, for two years now I’ve been trying to develop a web-based recipe database for Frances. She’s an amazing cook, has a huge collection of cookbooks, and is always trying to organize her favorite recipes. She wants to organize them, file them, categorize them, and record when they were served, and how they went over. She also wants to track people’s personal favorite recipes, and their food allergies. She wants to select a bunch of recipes and produce a grocery shopping list. She wants her friends to log in to add their own recipes, and add comments to existing ones.

The database should reside on red-bean, and Frances should be able to enter (and query) recipes through her web browser. We’re talking about writing a basic app for the LAMP platform. Simple enough, right?

Maybe not.

At first, I took the whole LAMP thing way too seriously. I created a bunch of MySQL tables, then created a bunch of python classes that represented all the different objects in the system, and gave them methods to load and save themselves to tables. Then I cobbled a horrible CGI interface. It was a big mess, and it took way too long.

The mistake? Reinventing the wheel. There are dozens of LAMP-y content management systems out there already which do all of this stuff automatically: user accounts, document publishing, permissions, discussions, slick site theming, and so on. So now I’m using Plone, a fantastic CMS written in python, built on top of Zope, which is a general object-database-webserver app. I love it to death.

Now that I’m on a bit of a theater break this summer, my goal is to get the recipe system up and running before the baby arrives in October. I somehow imagine Frances up in the middle of the night, feeding the baby, while entering recipes into a web browser. It will give her something to do!

1 Comment to Recipe Database

  1. Dana says:

    June 30th, 2005 at 12:29 am

    at the risk of sounding pedantic, I offer the idea that “feeding the baby in the middle of the night” is a project that may well involve both of you,, may take place in bed or BR, and will require two hands. IOW, She’ll have plenty to do…