Konstantin Bender
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Konstantin Bender (developer) commented on 11 Aug 2008
=== International Versions

The problem with international versions is the food database. The US database is the only free one I found. A couple of days ago, a Canadian user pointed me to their database, which seems also to be free and has english and french food names. I'm currently in contact with Health Canada to incorporate their data.

Now to Germany: there is a German food database, but the license fees are very high and I am forced to buy a 'high volume pack' in advance. In addition, there are a lot of other 'inconvinient' liciense terms.

So, what is the solution?

My idea is to take the US or the Canadian database and - for now - do an automatic translation into all major european languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian). If it won't work out very well, I'll have to take a look at the national food databases.

I am currently working on an iPhone / iPod Touch version, which will be a complete redesign with lots of new features (tracking of body weight, fat, exercises, support for diabetics, etc.) and will make it very easy to replace and/or add other databases. I'll open up all this, so everyone can create a database and make it available for others to download. Of course, all this will go into the desktop version too.

=== Weight Watchers

Yes, it is simply a matter of one column, but again, the food database is the main problem. Where to get the data from? In additon, I don't want to bloat Calories with all the possible diets out there. Anyway, Weight Watchers is very popular - at least here in Germany - and I'll contact them as soon as I have something exciting to show and possibly make a deal with them to include thier food data. Again, this should be very easy to do with the new food database design.

=== Personal Note

When I started to develop Calories, the main idea for 1.0 was to just get a minimal version out. Because the US database was the only free one, I decided to concentrate on the US market. Calories is my first application at all and I am still a student. I don't have the time and the (financial) resources to develop a full fledged product with all the bells and whistles right from the start. Instead, I'm taking the 'agile' incremental way: Start with the minimal feature set and let it grow while listening to customer needs. Now here we are. I have set up a simple Google Group for this purpose and I'm going to further 'open' the development in the near future (with main ideas borrowed from the 'Scrum' methodology). The most important thing here is, there will be free beta versions right from the start. You'll be able to download it, try it out and give feedback. German and English are the development languages. Other languages will follow after the 1.0 release. So please, if you really like the product, participate and help me to get the product as *you* like it to be.

-- Konstantin
[Version 1.1.2]

Konstantin Bender (developer) commented on 24 Jul 2008
Clarification for Problem Below

Calories requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, this error happens if you have an earlier version Mac OS X.

-- Konstantin

[Version 1.1]

Konstantin Bender (developer) commented on 01 Jun 2008
Hello PJOT,

thank you for your review.

Calories uses a US food database. Unfortunately, there is no international dabase I could incorporate. Therefore, I decided to go with the US first.

Metric system will be there soon, have a look at the road map:


I must admit, the search algorithm is not really suitable, this will be adressed in the near future. For now, try to type a little more about the food you are looking for, for example:

raw apple

You have to find it only once. Add this food and it will be listet at the very top with the next search. Try it out!

Best Regards,
Konstantin Bender
[Version 1.0]

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