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Author Topic: Idea - Whats in my fridge?  (Read 22018 times)
abent professor
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« on: September 14, 2009, 12:40:02 AM »

Not sure if this is too complicated or too off-topic for the style of applications we're going for?

I live in a house with 2 other guys. We are a bit disorganised when it comes to food because we all work at different times, and never plan to eat together. When we do, its great, but its such a rare occurrence.

Because we all buy little bits of food for dinner, we end up with too much per person and a fair amount of waste, which drives me crazy.

There is a tiny netbook in the kitchen which serves as a music player, and it runs a few spreadsheets ad household duties/chores schedules for everyone.

What I'm thinking of is a simple perishables food list.
With 'add item and expiry date'
and 'how long left until we have to throw it out'
arranged by 'time left'
and various colour coding for time left on items. RED meaning EAT NOW!!

I know we could use a spreadsheet, but one guy is clueless and would totally break a spreadsheet if let loose on all those boxes. An app with just text input and big 'add to fridge' button, what could go wrong! This is a pretty simple idea, so I'd be interested to see what other people thought would be worth adding, if anything.
Would really appreciate some feedback too. Personally, I would really use something like this and really see it working - this past 2 years I used to write stuff on scraps of paper, lose them, never do them.. but I've discovered, weirdly about myself, if the computer say do it- it gets done.

An example is http://www.joesgoals.com/, this totally changed my life and helps me get stuff done.

We are all very conscientious with our to-do lists, I think with that sort of visual reminder before we run to the local store (which is right below our apartment) we would have a better idea of what to buy to go with what we have and less would get wasted (like those damn salad bags.. arghhh!)
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 12:47:31 AM »

i love this idea.

i'm envisioning a really simple interface with a list of items sorted with soonest-to-expire at top, with a column for the label of the item, and the expiration date on the right (maybe expressed as "# days left before expiration" or "# days past expiration" in red).

and then with ability to delete an item, or add a new item.  might be nice if new items could be selected from a list of items taken from a text data file with some preset expiration durations that could then be modified after adding.

for example, the data file might have an entry for "Eggs|6" so when you add an entry for eggs, it would suggest an expiration of 6 days forward, which user could customize at the time if there was an expiration date listed on the product itself.
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skwire
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 01:01:16 AM »

I can smell a listview-centric app a mile away...
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abent professor
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 01:13:45 AM »

Thanks for the quick replies and support.

Well I was also thinking of adding, who owns what, and how much of it is available to share (minature pie-chart icon, lol)

Say I bought a massive cheesecake. I want half, it goes off in a day, I will let my friends have the other half between them, then on the day it goes off, I munch the whole lot. Probably not the best example..
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skwire
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 01:21:53 AM »

Please list the names of the columns you would like to see, please.
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abent professor
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 02:37:22 AM »

Hmm.

Person who owns item.
Name of item.
Date expires (colour coded fresh green > mouldy red, maybe?).
% allowed to share.


Thanks again skwire! Before you begin anything, I might let the idea stew for a couple of days and see if anyone else has any input. Also, I'll eat leftovers for a couple of days more and cry at the wastage and see if there are any obvious solutions to how we need to be told to buy/eat.

Thanks smiley  cheesy
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skwire
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 02:39:11 AM »

Hehe...those are the four I have already.  Cool.  Working on it as we chat...
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skwire
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 04:20:46 AM »

Proof-of-concept: "Waste Not" download

Saving and loading are implemented.  More to come...

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abent professor
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 05:28:10 AM »

 Grin ohmy That was fast!! You do know its Monday right? You're supposed to be all slow and hiding from Bill Lumbergh .

Misspelling on my name in about Wink

Do we get pie charts for share?

"Wastenot" is such an awesome name, better than 'whats in the fridge'.

I'm so impressed, and grateful !
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abent professor
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 05:34:44 AM »

My name should be "Absent Professor". cock up in the registration.

That's what you get when you stay awake all night and open an account at 4am.. a hilarious misspelling that brings your sexuality into question.
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skwire
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 05:39:18 AM »

Misspelling on my name in about Wink

Copied from the forum...but I'll change it as per your other post.   Wink

Do we get pie charts for share?

No pie charts.  embarassed

"Wastenot" is such an awesome name, better than 'whats in the fridge'.
I'm so impressed, and grateful !

I'll get the colours in.  What sort of breakdown would you like?  Something like this:

1) Two or fewer days to expiration equals red.
2) Between three and five (?) days equals yellow.
3) Six or greater days to expiration equals green.

Your thoughts?
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skwire
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 07:32:40 AM »

v1.0.1 - 2009-09-14
    + Added row colouring based on proximity to expiration date.

Website|Download



Obviously, the colours are modifiable if you don't like them.  Alternately, you could go with coloured icons for each row (or both).  Let me know.
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skwire
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 08:47:24 AM »

v1.0.2 - 2009-09-14
    + Added ability to set owner names.  Menu > Settings > Edit owner list.
    + Added ability to read from a food.txt file.  Menu > Settings > Edit food list.

Website|Download
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abent professor
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 09:33:51 AM »

This is so cool watching it get built.  thumbs up

With regards colours:

Red - equal to, or less than 2 days - you nailed it. Bare minimum time left needs to stand out so that the app serves its purpose and food is saved.

color=yellow]Yellow[/color] - a bit tricky to pin down. 5 days is seemingly long. But, if you think about it, most items you would only want every 5 days (eg you wouldn't want pasta every day) So, a whole bunch of yellow items living in the main perishable timespan is good, because it gives you choice without having to think too hard for a few nights

Green - I guess condiments, things in jars, eggs, frozen things are fine for this..

Ahhhh!! Frozen! That gives me an idea. What if there was an option to 'hold' at its present status. ie - it would stay green because it had been put in the freezer, like excess mince or bread etc.?

I've been trying to get a very loose idea I had into a tangible form, but at the moment its just an outline.
I was thinking about another feature, but not sure how it would work - the 'Kitty'.
When you live with 2 other people you have to keep the relationships harmonious, so instead of one of us getting angry because they *always* buy the toilet paper, we decided to each put in £5 a week, which any one of us can dip into, to purchase essential houehold stuff.

The main crux of the app is avoiding waste food, but it is under the general umbrella of house sharing, so maybe a few minor features that help people living together would work?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 09:56:53 AM by abent professor » Logged
skwire
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 10:05:56 AM »

v1.0.3 - 2009-09-14
    + Added "In the freezer?" option.  This will put an asterisk in the new Freezer
      column and keep the line coloured blue.  You can toggle this switch using the
      appropriate entries in the right click (or Edit) menu.  If you toggle it so
      it's out of the freezer, it will take on the normal colouring rules.

  • If you don't like that solution, by all means, say so.  =]
  • Regarding the colour rule ranges, I can set them however you like.
  • As for your other idea(s), just flesh them out and I'll see what I can do.

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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 11:04:25 AM »

how about show expiration data as # days (before or after expiration) when you get under 7 day timeframe?
and maybe show the current date in titlebar or somewhere else clear.
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mouser
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 11:09:33 AM »

maybe it would be nice to have an option somewhere to turn off these columns that most users of the software probably wont use (Owner and Share) and remember that if others are going to use it, they probably wont want to be distracted by such features.  just a thought.  also maybe the left hand Food Item column should auto expand its size to fit area?
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2009, 11:28:28 AM »

I remember seeing a similar problem solved on 60 Minutes TV show.  The way the woman solved it was, she had 3 guys come into the house every day to stock her refrigerator and toss out the old stuff.  Of course it's helpful her husband is VP of a large bank and has income in the top %1 of the nation.  But it is a direct approach I must admit!!  Thmbsup
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skwire
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 11:35:38 AM »

I see you bought new whips and chains, eh, boss?  Bahahaha.   tongue tongue tongue tongue
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skwire
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2009, 11:47:09 AM »

how about show expiration data as # days (before or after expiration) when you get under 7 day timeframe?
and maybe show the current date in titlebar or somewhere else clear.

In the next build, the current date now shows in the statusbar.  Were you thinking another column for the # days data?

maybe it would be nice to have an option somewhere to turn off these columns that most users of the software probably wont use (Owner and Share) and remember that if others are going to use it, they probably wont want to be distracted by such features.  just a thought.  also maybe the left hand Food Item column should auto expand its size to fit area?

Column width and order saving is in the next build as is column selection.  The Food Item resize issue is fixed, too.  I must've broken that at some point.
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Veign
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 11:50:29 AM »

Maybe you should expand this idea into a simple website.  This way you can 'check the list' while shopping to make sure you don't buy something that is on your friends list that may be expiring.

I think the idea is perfect for a web app so its not tied to a single desktop.

Just my thoughts.
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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 11:53:13 AM »

yep, would make a fun website idea too, in case any other coder wants to tackle this coding snack.
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skwire
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2009, 12:03:03 PM »

Maybe you should expand this idea into a simple website.  This way you can 'check the list' while shopping to make sure you don't buy something that is on your friends list that may be expiring.
I think the idea is perfect for a web app so its not tied to a single desktop.
yep, would make a fun website idea too, in case any other coder wants to tackle this coding snack.

Aye, somebody else feel free.  I know next to nothing about web coding.
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skwire
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2009, 12:11:51 PM »

v1.0.4 - 2009-09-14
    + Added current day display to the status bar.  (Thanks, mouser)
    + Column widths and order are now saved.
    + Columns are now hideable via Menu > View > Choose columns.  (Thanks, mouser)
    * Fixed 'Food item' column not resizing when adding a new item.  (Thanks, mouser)

Website|Download

Bedtime for me.  I'll pick this up later tonight.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2009, 02:06:10 PM »

skwire: I recommend adding a "donate" button on the about box Wink
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