Starting a New Project

May 16, 2017
3 Minute Read

I've been having an itch lately to get working on a new side project.

A little over a year ago I built a recipe site for Lauren and I to use to try to consolidate all our recipes. Our recipes are mixed around between Evernote, Google Drive, and random browser bookmarks. It isn’t the most efficient system and when once of us ends up cooking, it’s not always easy to remember where the recipe is stored. I built a little tool using Ruby on Rails and deployed it. It worked, but it was kind of clunky, not all that pretty, and rather quickly I forgot about it.

The initial version was primarily meant to be a down and dirty version of it. Get it to work and then optimize it and make it better later. I even built it with the idea that people could download it and install it on their own servers if they like. While there are other services out there, it’d be nice to know that you control the data & recipes so that you don’t have to worry about the services shutting down and all your saved recipes go out the window. If you hadn’t guessed, the improvements never ended up happening. The code worked, but that was about the extent of it. It also didn’t help that Lauren and I ended up buying a house and had project after project lined up, which took up much of our time. So now I’m looking into reviving the project. I ended up shutting down the server it was running on, and I’m pretty much just going to throw out the old code and start fresh.

I built a quick outline of it in Ruby on Rails 5.1, but I also haven’t fully committed to using Ruby on Rails. It has been a long time since I really had a side project to work on. My last big side project was OpenVoter, the Digg-clone CMS. I built that using PHP, which on a side note, was actually how I learned PHP. Since then, I haven’t really done much development outside of work where I develop in the .NET stack with some Javascript as well. Part of me feels overwhelmed looking at what platforms and libraries are out there between React, Node.js, Angular.js, and countless others. I’ve been battling my urge to go all gung-ho into this and to also do research into the different options to see what would be best. I also haven’t decided whether I want the whole project to be a CMS to download and install like before, or whether I want to do the platform route. My inclination is to continue the route of making it downloadable and installable on private servers like before, but the social aspect of allowing a central server is appealing.

Either way, over the next couple of months, I’m hoping to get some work done on it and hopefully nailing down how I’m going to build it, what languages and frameworks I’m going to use, and maybe even a working prototype. Stay tuned.