Posted by: Josh | October 3, 2008

Everybody loves bubble tea

aka Big Blue Bubble Tea

So it turns out developers love bubble tea. While on co-op I had the chance to work with two awesome and influential co-ops, Jeannie and Wayne. Amoung other traditions they introduced “bubble tea runs” as a free service for everyone on the project (it was a big project). Every other Wednesday, they’d send out an announcement and all the staff would come flocking down to give Jeannie an order from a print-out of Bubble World’s menu as she scribbled it all down on paper.. Wayne would be there to keep track of the money.

After Jeannie and Wayne left and coincidentally the project got busier, it became inefficient for all those developers to place their orders and have somebody available to get their order, so I designed Big Blue Bubble Tea as a solution to keep the tradition alive.

With the help of Heather as a template designer, Bruce as our legal analyst and Xue as a moderator I was able to get the system up and ready for orders. It ran silently in the background on an automated test server, powered by PHP, Aprelium’s Abyss X1 http server, and MySQL 5. 

So without further ado, here’s what it looked like:









After logging in with your company id (system extended to retrieve some personal info like full name, for our convenience). Other tabs you see are “History” and “Popular”, which allow you to see what you’ve ordered in the past, and what other people are getting (ranked by most ordered).


Administrative functions require a session login.











Administrators can create, edit, and close orders. A closed order blocks users from placing or editing their order.


A report page for tracking money. Another report page generated a quantity list of each item, for ease when ordering over the phone to Bubble World.

Also available to the administrators were tools (password protected from the front-end) which could edit the current order details, generate several types of reports, and manage the food and drink menus.

In the end it was well-received, and the system was able to process everyone’s order without those random browser incompatabilities. Thanks again to the dev team, and everybody who used it!

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