I have offered to volunteer IT advice to the local Meals on Wheels group - they have an existing informational web site and as a first step I have created an interactive PDF form for them so that clients can fill in a form on their computer and email it back to MoW. The next step is an on-line ordering setup and I could knock up a quick Rails system but before reinventing wheels, I went searching for something that is already working but couldn't find anything on GitHub or GitLab - is anyone aware of a simple system that is already in use?
In this case we are talking about people ordering frozen meals - so someone might choose a dozen meals from a selection of a 100+.
That looks like a really nice cause. Are you thinking a simple form
that submits and sends the order via an email?
I have just done that with an interactive PDF - see attached form. The next step is a web page doing much the same thing.
Yes, I saw that and played with it. Nice.
A few other questions:
- Is this open to the public, or only registered customers?
OK, so that could be another table of data.
- Related, how does the order get associated to the person placing the
order (sign-in, or some other means of identifying the customer,
address, phone, payment methods, etc.)
All to be determined - it might be by the person logging in themselves or by a MoW volunteer.
I could imagine some two element thing... (not the usual user/pass, but something simpler?) Like phone # and last name?
- Do you need to accept credit cards at checkout in the web app? (i.e.
security considerations, and tie-ins to other gateways and such)
No on-line transactions for the first web step.
OK, that helps simplify a lot.
- Any reason why this can't be done through, say, Grubhub or
Uber-eats? (I am noticing now you are in Australia... not sure what's
They are already setup with doing the own meal preparations, they just need more efficiency in the orders.
Oh, I meant they would be on Grubhub or something as a food provider/restaurant. (Sounds like not a great match, though? Just was thinking.)
- Does this site need some on-line means to adjust items, availability
and costs and such? (i.e. how comfortable is the person maintaining
this with maintaining the data directly with a, say, tab delimited
file, YAML, or database vs. needing a full-on CMS-style management
The meals and prices don't change much apparently but a mechanism for doing that will need to be added in due course I think.
OK, so perhaps make it a proper DB table to begin with and add a CMS/interface in an admin section later.
- What technology is the existing site using?
Oh, OK. I meant what web tech.. ;') Rails, PHP, etc.?
I.e., would you be
putting the existing site inside a Rails app, or doing something else
to merge the two technologies, if they are different?
I am getting more details at the end of the week - the quickest mechanism would be to just add the Rails app as a link from their existing static site.
Makes sense. BTW- A static site (just HTML files and such) can happily be integrated by throwing them into the public directory. PHP or something else could get more complicated.
Interesting little project. I could see that you could create
something for your local MoW and then providing it to any other MoWs
I am surprised something like this hasn't already been already done centrally somehow.
It certainly has, but I'm not sure for quite this sort of philanthropic purpose? Perhaps some more digging might come up with something.
could scale up. For that matter, have you checked with
the main MoW to see if they have some solution already that could save
you a lot of time? ...checking my local MoW, they don't seem to have
much at all in the form of online ordering and such...
I will find out more at the first meeting but it does seem there is room for wider use within the organisation but maybe these groups only operate locally?
OK. Let me know if I can help. Some of my background, I've spent several years working with Oregon Food Bank doing their web site (online donations and such), I've written rails app for various online ordering including for restaurants. I've donated time driving to deliver food to those in need as well.
Oh, and I'm not looking to get paid for anything, just perhaps to give a little advice to help you help people in need.
PS- Nice to meet another Philip with one L. ;')
Ha! You mean with the correct spelling . .