My wife has this seven-week dinner menu system all worked out, and she wanted something on her computer to manage it so she could do cool things like automatically generate a shopping list. At first we looked at doing it in Numbers, but it soon became apparent that this was not a job for a spreadsheet.
Fortunately, Mac OS X has Core Data, which makes it easy to write database applications. Just the thing for keeping track of recipes and grocery lists. One of the example Core Data applications is even a recipe organizer, though it’s too simple for our needs.
I’ve toyed with Core Data before, but I haven’t actually used it. I looked into it for XVG, especially since the Core Data documentation frequently mentions a drawing program as something you might use it for. But the problem was that Core Data deals only in sets of things, not ordered lists. A drawing program needs to keep track of the front-to-back drawing order of the shapes, so Core Data was out for that project.
But for recipes it’s just right. I had fun assembling a data model, figuring out a good UI design, and even learning some more tricks for using Cocoa’s tables and buttons.
Then I decided I ought to look around and see what else was out there… and found YummySoup. It does pretty much everything I had in mind for my own app, plus cool stuff like you can tell it how to import recipes from any web site.
So the good news is I don’t have to write a recipe organizer. The bad news is I was actually looking forward to it, and now I need a new excuse to learn Core Data. But I’ll probably go back to writing Flag Domination for Unreal Tournament 3 instead.