My Nightmare App: Cookbook

· 5 min read
About a week ago I was sitting at home looking for a recipe. I live with my girlfriend and well times are rough, so we are trying to save as much as possible. Also we feel that we can learn to be a little bit more domestic about how we live. Eureka! I remembered that last year's MyDreamApp competition had one of these featured called Cookbook. Thumbnail of Cookbook from My Dream App Cookbook, according to their site is "The ultimate cookbook application, with online grocery shopping, thousands of recipes, Leopard voiceover technology integration, shopping list sharing, and more." That is perfect. The screenshots make it look even more delicious. How saddened was I when I found out that it is vaporware. I decided to look a bit deeper... The forums of My Dream App are in a eternal state of maintenance, which was no help. I then turned to google, trying all the combinations I could. There was a post that noted that he had in fact, found a replacement for Cookbook, yet he didn't link to it. I decided to then e-mail Phill Ryu who was one of the masterminds behind the whole project and Austin Sarner the developer in charge of Cookbook. We're talking about very busy people in the Mac shareware scene, Phill is responsible for the insanely successful MacHeist, and Austin is responsible for a few project like AppZapper and Disco. Needless to say, I did not expect an email back from them. I of course, never got an email back, so I continued my search. I finally found a cookbook application that seems like would do the trick, YummySoup!. It's pretty cool but definitely not the end-all cooking app. Mainly I dislike that I cant create a calendar with the recipes, and there doesn't seem to be a way to select a group of recipes and have it create my shopping cart automatically, which I can just print out before going to the supermarket. In fact, that's something I've done with even the Kraft Foods website. Just before I gave up I made yet another search. This time however I searched the MacHeist forums, which are active year-round. A post there has Phill mentioning how Cookbook development will be handed over to Hungry Sea Cow, the makers of YummySoup!. He posted this in February 2008, and he updated in April 25th, 2008 that there have been complications with the contract. This leads me to believe a few things, Austin has either left the project or needs help in it. Austin has been working on another application called Versions which has also been delayed. Additionally, Hungry Sea Cow already has a library of recipes that could be ported over to Cookbook and they have been working on YummySoup! for a while now so they must already know how the cookie crumbles when it comes to cookbooks. I do not believe that development has been switched over to Hungry Sea Cow however, since not having a contract would limit that (Phill does state an 'understanding' has been reached, but that was back in February). It just seems like the whole Cookbook thing was a bit more involved than they thought, and therefore has suffered massive delays. However, I think that, if they sort out their differences with Hungry Sea Cow, My Dream App has a winner. Hungry Sea Cow would be responsible for updating the software and as such would make a way better product. In fact, I think that is what MyDreamApp 2 should concentrate on. Give the projects to new developers or up-and-coming developers and have the established ones oversee it. It should be about growing the community, the more people doing shareware the better! I will keep investigating to see what I can find out about the other winning apps.