"100% Rails all the way, baby!"

A few years ago my wife and I each spent about a week working on a healthy recipes web portal. I have been promising myself that some day I would set aside a large block of time and make a "social network" style cooking web portal, and recently decided to just do it. I am finishing off my existing large consulting tasks, and for about 6 months plan on spending most of my time developing CookingSpace. Currently I just have a Rails place-holder at CookingSpace.us and since Carol and I are planning a lot of travel in the next few months, I will probably not have a full prototype in place until early next year.

I had been planning on using Java, JSPs, struts 2, and Hibernate Search - but decided to go with Ruby on Rails. I made this decision partly because I have been doing a lot more Ruby work than Java work in the last 18 months, and partly because I have learned some new Rails architecture tricks, and wanted to use them.

In any case, Carol and I want to create a healthy cooking web portal that will make a real positive difference in people's health and in their enjoyment of cooking and eating. I believe that the concept of seeing nutritional ingredients for recipes coupled with the ability to change ingredients on the fly and see changes in fats, sodium, vitamins, etc. will help people who either have dietary problems or simply want to eat healthier. If we end up making some money on CookingSpace that would be nice also :-)


  1. hi Mark,

    "and partly because I have learned some new Rails architecture tricks, and wanted to use them."

    Any chance you will share this new found wisdom with us through a (Manning) book ?


  2. Hello Anjan,

    I don't have any book projects going right now, and I may not for a long while. I do have a free web book project going: using Ruby for AI programming.

    There is so much great Rails material on the web, and the fact that Rails evolves so quickly makes a published Rails book not look so interesting to me right now.


  3. Hello Mark
    I can appreciate you wanting to build the site with Rails if continuing building Rails skills is your first priority. However, if your priority is to build and establish a money making venture, then you should consider using a higher level application framework such as a CMS. As a lone developer you cannot match the productivity you’ll achieve with such a tool. I’ve been in the same position and now use Drupal as my framework. Unfortunately it’s not built with Java, Ruby or Lisp!
    All the best

  4. Greetings Nigel,

    I have used Plone on a project for a charity and experimented quite a lot with a few Java open source CMS systems. Our site will have very little static content and is not a good candidate for building on top of an existing CMS.

    I hear you though: when I can, I like to build on existing software stacks. Rails, with many great plugins is actually a very rich stack in itself.


  5. I do honestly believe that you can build easily your site with JPublish, in Java. Using JPublish is way easier than Struts, but I am biased, so I let you decide in case you have time to have a look at: http://code.google.com/p/jpublish/

    No matter what technology you're planning to use, I am looking forward to become a member of your CookingSpace; at the end the one who prevails is the Imagination, not the Technology :)


  6. Hello Florin,

    I just looked at both your JPublish and Aquarium - both look good. I really chose Rails because it is what I have been using most for the last 18 months.

    I agree that technology is not as important as imagination :-)



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