> you gotta know i'm all over it, right? ;o) Yeah Rudy, I was thinking of you when I sent this (funny I've never used *that phrase* for business purposes before). > so let me make some comments on your problem, matthew, while you let us > know how soon you need this, and i'll backstop ya in case nobody > else takes > it There's no timeframe at all -- it was simply a Sunday-afternoon-project I was pursuing as an idea of my own. > your problem, matthew, was stated almost completely in database terms, and > i know it's not polite to inquire into areas that are outsite the > bounds of > the question (i get shit all the time at work for doing this)... Man, I don't care! Often other people highlight things you don't see yourself. Actually, I think that's part of the process. Often I get people asking for specific things, and I have to shake "what they really want" out of them before I can do the job. > maybe give them a choice -- list all recipes they can make, or list all > recipes in order by number of missing ingredients, starting with 0, that > they, um, don't have... > > i would have to question whether the *number* of missing ingredients > matters -- other than, yes, being a most excellent sort control > if you were > going to list recipes including ones the user cannot make Yeah, the idea is maybe list those ones with no missing ingredients. But perhaps list those with just one or two or three missing ingredients too as an optional extra. You could do all sorts of things like recommend the best ingredient to expand your available recipes. I think I could probably manage that query. Or maybe not. > how soon do you have to have this working, matthew? No hurry at all. SQL is my Achilles heel (well one of many, but it's right up there). I can only just grasp the most basic nested queries. So I figured this was probably easy as pie for competent folk. But then ignorance does that -- people come to me expecting me to build shopping systems that automatically "know" whether a product is or isn't in stock..... I have been known to take a problem like this and convert it into several queries with some server-side programming tying it all together. Biggest problem there is that generally you need to finish up with your own sort routine as well which is just nuts. I'm trying not to do that kinda thing anymore! While we're at it, could anybody recommend their favourite SQL book? Hey I'm quite happy to be invoiced for this one, even though the NZ dollar has recently made great strides towards achieving a value commensurate with toilet paper. And not the priceless "I'm lost in the woods with half a roll" kind -- the "I live across the road from the supermarket and have a budget family 12 pack" kind.