Which dish would you like?

This weekend we were back to long tests. The task was to create a Rails app, similar to Yelp, which listed restaurants and reviews. I wanted to give the challenge a little twist given an app idea I’d had earlier in the year. The focus was to be not on restaurant reviews, but meal reviews. How good or bad were individual dishes at a restaurant?

How would this work? In an ideal world: Users could search for restaurants near them, or add their favourite restaurants if they didn’t already exist. Then, users has the power to add different meals to a restaurant, including details on its price, ingredients, and any dietary requirements it satisfied. Users could then rate each dish once based on their own experience of trying it. Given enough data had been stored in the application, users could not only search for restaurants near them, but could filter by highly-rated dishes within a certain mile radius, the types of food they were looking for, and also the top meals under specific dietary requirements, such as being vegan or dairy intolerant…

As I said, that was the ideal version of the app. What am I left with at the end of the last three days? An ugly looking site where users can add restaurants and then dishes to these restaurants. Users can also edit and delete any restaurant they please. Furthermore, users can vote an infinite amount of times on any one dish…

But, it is a work in progress, and there are some things that I’m happy with in my app. I managed to get around managing sub-resources, with meals belonging to restaurants, and ratings belonging to meals. I also managed to have buttons with rating values of 1 to 5, which when pressed, updated the total and average ratings on the page. However, pressing the button currently refreshes the page, and so my next step will be to use AJAX to update the values without a refresh.

That, and actually making it look decent!

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