Idea For A Website/App
I have an idea site/online app, but I would like to get some feedback on the project before I start work on it.
The idea I have is to build a site/app that would help people build an organic food menu for themselves. A lot of the food we buy in supermarkets (especially meat and poultry products) are mass produced by large corporations that care more about profit than nutrition. The site would serve as a guide for buying healthy, organic food. It would make recipe suggestions (fetched from other sites), query food options for the person based on their criteria (diet, calory count, vegan etc.), list food products and possibly nearby locations of where they can be bought, and allow users to submit andreview different diets, etc. I got the idea after watching the Food Inc. documentary. Simply put, the site would be a resource for healthy eating. There are still many things to figure out, but I figured discussing the project with others would be a good way to start.
I have worked on similar projects before but I am not confident enough in my abilities as a developer/programmer to complete the project alone, so I happily welcome anybody to join me. I'm thinking of possibly making the project open source.
First, however, I think it'd be a good idea to pan out more precisely what the site would be. Thoughts?
1. How are you going to identify suitable products??? If you do not have that, you do not have a site.
2. How are you going to maintain the lists of products, particularly with respect to inappropriate products appearing? E.g. If you make manual corrections to the database, how do you avoid the incorrect data being restored by subsequent automated updates?
3. Taking recipes from other sites may breach copyright.
I've thought about creating a crawler to gather products from given sites. Users would also be able to submit products. We could avoid inappropriate products being displayed by writing everything to a separate table/db. Then, we could comb through the records and determine whether the projects are valid. There would also be a rating system to mitigate the possibility of faulty submissions even further. I have thought of the possible copyright violation issue; I'm not very knowledgeable in that area, but I intend to read up on the topic. For now, I'm assuming citing sources would be enough.
I think you should start with a set list of sites you know you can obtain this kind of information from. From there you can work on using crawling/scraping techniques to pull information from said sites.
It would also then be a good idea to reach out to each of these sites and talk about affiliations or at least citations and permission to use information/content. If all goes well they will be happy to let you use their information (with the proper citations) and it would allow you to build a sort of 'network' of sites that you can work with.
Your idea is founded in data. This means your data structure will be crucial in the success (or failure) of this project. Essentially, you can't just start pulling in tons of data and then putting it out on a page because one day you may realize there is an improvement to be made, or perhaps certain bits of data aren't working out like you thought they would. It's at these moments (when you need to alter your data structure) that you can create massive problems for a site/system (as you have to deal with how the changes affect all of the existing data/records). So it's very important to take plenty of time to map out exactly what you want in your system and all of the data you will need to make it happen.
"Given billions of tries, could a spilled bottle of ink ever fall into the words of Shakespeare?"
Yeah, I agree. Those were my thoughts when I made this thread; I want to plan everything out before I begin work. I think it's a good idea to go about finding the sites like you suggested.
What I'm wondering at the moment is, should the site be more about finding specific food products or suggesting a whole array of food options to create a personal menu or diet plan for the user...
Nice Post Thanks for sharing.
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