The technical design of this site is one of its most unique and interesting features. Weighing in at about 3500 lines of perl, the CGI scripts supporting the site are the result of about 4 months of development. Perhaps their most important feature is that the user rarely notices how deeply involved they are with the scripts, which is why we've created this forum for explaining how our site works and what it's doing.
The most noticable script behind our server is
appears in the URL for this page. On a regular web server, a request for a
web page looks something like:
Significant work has gone towards supporting browsers that do not support cookies (most notably older versions of Lynx), however the current implementation does not correctly handle some situations. Although browsers that do not support cookies are statistically irrelevant, requiring a feature not part of the standards is poor form and will continue to be worked on as our software is revised.
The idea for
wookie.cgi comes from a previous script Brent
worked on for ThinkQuest '96 called
awooga.cgi; however, even
though they perform similar actions,
wookie.cgi is almost a
complete rewrite (about 8% of the code in
wookie.cgi comes from
awooga.cgi) building on the strengths and removing the weaknesses of the
Our Food Database scripts,
all use an mSQL 2.0.1 database of nutritional information based largely on
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 11.
The database stores information on the amounts of thirty nutrients.
Unfortunately, only about ten of those nutrients can be expected to exist accurately in the
database as time goes by, since additions to the database by users will be based on the NLEA
"Nutrition Facts"-style food labels, which does not require many of the
nutrients be listed that we track in the database.
The reference for the USDA database is:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1996. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 11. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp
The Nutritional Profile Generator,
profile.cgi, is one of the few
scripts allowed to edit the user's configuration. Using information used with
permission from The Science of Obesity and Weight Control and
Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th Ed.,
calculates your Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), your approximate
caloric intake (and as a result, your approximate fat, saturated fat,
carbohydrate, and protein intakes), and your Body-Mass Index. All information
is then saved into the user's configuration, and can be used by our other
scripts to help customize the site. For this reason, most pages include an
encouragement to go to
profile.cgi if the user's profile is
marked as not being set up.
About Our ImagesAll images on this site were created with The GIMP, a FREE and extremely powerful image manipulation tool. Although it started off as an attempt at a free clone of Photoshop, the GIMP has come to hold its own against any other professional image manipulation software package.
About The Authors
Brent is 17 and enjoys beating his own records. He attends the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.