Yo it's Ashley
website of my projects
RIT Dining API
webscrapes RIT online dining menus and interfaces data with an API
Created ~ 2021-12
Tech Used ~ python, flask, beautifulsoup

Project has been abandoned because of impraticality.

Original idea

The original idea was to create a program that would webscrape the RIT Dining Specials website and provide an API interface.

The API interface would then faciliate the backend development for a web/mobile app where students can log what food they ate and get reports on their eating habits, etc.

Some Progress

I was able to create a prototype/proof-of-concept for the API back in the spring of my second semester. It was extremely rushed, so consequently the quality is horrible.

Some technical notes: I had no idea how to design the JSON format. And the original idea involved inserting the webscraped data into a database as well. But that didn’t work out, so right now all it does is webscrapes and sends back the JSON.

I was able to a working version on Heroku, unforunately they have ended their free dyno program so it is not deployed anymore.


So what lead to the ultimate demise of this idea?

First, I suck at programming (;_;).

Second, the entire infastructure is shaky.

  • Webscraping is only good if the site stays static, meaning nothing about its HTML structure changes. If it does, I would have to rewrite the webscraping script.
  • The menu is not formatted consistently.
  • Any additional features such as nutrition is found on a different website.
  • RIT Dining barely updates the menu anyways.
  • RIT Dining can very well provide their own API.

So all in all, this project wasn’t worth the effort. And also the Flask documentation is a pain to read.