Suggestions for improvements to


hi fellow diyers and in particular nick,

i’m sure there’s a better place for this post, but a search for diy.soylent only delivered this thread (at least, right on topic anyway). i say i’m sure there is a better place though, because this thread only has ten posts at time of writing, and i’m sure i can’t be the only one who wants to discuss in general. and, as far as i can tell there is nowhere on that sub-domain to do so. perhaps there should/could be, or perhaps somebody might enlighten me regarding this matter, as i might become more informed on all matters i’d like to discuss. i was tempted to start a new topic but, well, i think i’ve already explained why i didn’t.

first, saving the rest of my observations, complaints and suggestions re:, i’ll continue with a question (another question if you count the implied one (or two or…) of my first paragraph). anyway…

the first “ingredient” i added to my first “recipe” didn’t show up in the search. so i painstakingly added all the nutritional data manually. doing so, reassuring myself that, despite the fact that all this data was available in various databases on the web already, that at least my efforts would save others from duplication at least locally.

however, i then discovered a recipe which not only utilized that exact ingredient but was named after it. and, named exactly as i had searched in both cases for that matter. no, i hadn’t done a recipe search for the ingredient, but then, why would you. it seems that there are only the two search options - within ingredients or for recipes. no general search and i couldn’t search within “users” either.

so, what am i missing?

and no it isn’t the feedback button btw…

cheers jack


Originally, all ingredients were added to the ‘official’ ingredient database, which quickly became overrun with duplicates and bad ingredients containing incorrect nutrient profiles. A much better system for adding ingredients to recipes and making an ingredient ‘official’ is currently in the works, but until then, I can try adding some functionality to at least duplicate an ingredient from a specific recipe as a short term solution.

I’ll reply again to this thread as soon as that functionality is ready… hopefully in the next day or two.


Have you added the USDA nutrient database yet? If you download the Excel version the information isn’t normalized, which makes it a lot easier to use. There are separate databases for nutrients that aren’t measured as often like choline, too. It has 8464 ingredients. Many companies use this database to label their foods rather than have them separately tested, so the information on most labels is going to be the same anyways. This really should be a first priority a mon avis, beyond any changes to the code base. Adding 8464 ingredients is a huge immediate benefit to users.

As far as custom ingredients I would recommend

  1. Rating them by number of recipes using the ingredient
  2. Displaying a list of similar ingredients when someone is entering a custom ingredient, to help prevent duplicates


very good. so, for my first suggestion;

in the wiki “Introduction” it (you - presumably nick) says “To me this seems to be…”

this sounds, well, just wrong! i’d humbly suggest removing first person references, and moreover applying the principle across the board. that is to say that, i’d have already humbly done so myself but the page is not editable.

cheers jack



When viewing a recipe, I’d like to lose the slider bar that works like a spreadsheet, and have everything on the page at once, even if it takes multiple rows. or at least have that option. That thing’s a pita.

On a recipe, when you click on an ingredient it pops up a little nutrition info box. How about adding the opposite of that, too; click on a nutrient in the nutrient profile section of a recipe and have a little box pop up that shows the ingredient(s) in that recipe that include that nutrient and how much and %s.


All of a sudden I’ve decided I never want to be a web developer. It’s like you can’t make anyone happy. Jesus.


It can get very frustrating, especially when a feedback loop occurs in situations like this.


I’m the only programmer at my work. So basically… what I do flies. It’s every developers dream lol.


Hey – just showed the site to my friend and she had no clue the values were editable. Maybe add a cursor: pointer style to the names of the ingredients so it’s more obvious they’re editable, and perhaps a visual cue as well?


Hi again, question;

why can’t i add nutrients to the standard tracking-list?

i’m assuming this is deliberate, because it would otherwise be too obviously desirable to simply have allowed it. so im asking rather than requesting. but i do think the limitation is potentially disastrous because it hides variables by default.

so, what’s the reasoning here?


@jacksplay It’s something that’s in the works as a feature. It’s just a little more work to implement is all.

In other news, I’ve just added the ability to duplicate ingredients from other recipes. Now, when you go to someone else’s recipe (when you’re logged in), you can click any of their ingredients and click the ‘duplicate’ button:

This will then take you to a screen where you can edit the ingredient (if you want to) and select which of your recipes you would like to add it to.

I also added some styling to the ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ buttons on the Feedback popup to make them more obvious you can click them.


hey nick, i have actually been using the site now a bit, and i must say i’m loving it - works great! The ingredient copying feature helps tons. props to you son.

would be nice now if “your ingredients” was a category on the profile page with “your recipes” and “your nutrients”



In the Wiki under Other Nutrients, 2nd paragraph under Phytonutrients says, “See here for discussion.”. Is that supposed to be a link to something?


Again in the Wiki, this time under Fiber, where did you get 28g fiber, 14g per 1k calories?
The DRI table for males 19-50 shows 38g fiber:


@Frankz you can change the wiki by clicking the ‘edit page’ button under the list of pages on the left (assuming you’re logged in).

Please feel free to update the content if you find anything wrong!


@nickp Ok, but that doesn’t answer my questions.
Is there a missing link under Phytonutrients?
Where did the 28g fiber, 14g fiber per 1k calories, come from, if the DRI says 38g? I want to make sure I’m not the one missing something here, maybe there’s some valid reason for the difference.


Major flaw in the site:

Can’t believe I didn’t notice this before: Fiber is not subtracted from carbohydrate totals in calculations. e.g. if you have a hypothetical product which is nothing but 10g of fiber, the nutrition label will read “Carbohydrates: 10g / Fiber: 10g” When people enter this information directly into the system, that 10g of carbohydrates gets added to your daily carb totals. This is probably throwing a lot of calculations WAY off.

If you decide this is intended behavior and you won’t fix it, the minimum you need to do is make a note of it on the ingredient entry form so people know to manually subtract fiber totals when entering information.


So, fiber that has carbs listed on the label, doesn’t really count as carbs?


Fiber is non-digestible carbohydrates and should not be counted toward carbohydrate totals.


I disagree. What you say is “true” if you look at it this way, but looking at it this way is misleading. Chances are that a carb-target already allows for fibre.

Fibre-carbs should be counted as carbs because, quite simply they are carbs. What diy.soylent could do, if it mattered, is create another sub-category called non-fibre ( or some such) but really this category is, although only implicit, quite obvious already.