Fifth Birthday of WWDTM Stats Page

This weekend marks five years since I have made the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!: Show Details and Statistics Page (also known as the “Stats Page”) available to the general public. Although the original site was coded and the underlying database had been around for about a month, it was not ready for general public consumption. The announcement of the site was made on my personal blog on 29 July 2007 and the site had been hosted on a server at home. Over the past five years, there have been a lot of data collected and entered into the data, new features have been added (including links back to each show’s page on NPR.org and panelist first and most recent appearances) and the site was mentioned on Peter Sagal’s blog and on his Twitter stream. The site has since been moved to the cloud …

Development Update: Show Location Code Written

Over the past week, I have been working on the last remaining pieces of the new Stats Page and its underlying database structure. Well, I have finally finished writing up the code to grab and display the location in which shows are recorded at. I still have not entered any real data for it yet; but, it is ready for when I am able to get that data in. To verify that I have the code working, I wired it up to the test script that I have been using. The following is a snippet from that script’s output. Note the field called “Show Location”. I still haven’t had a chance to work on the web presentation layer yet.

wwdt.me Shortened URLs for linking to WWDTM shows on NPR.org

In efforts to make linking to specific Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! shows on NPR’s website easier, I have created a simple URL shortening system that anyone can use. In fact, I have already updated the current Stats Page to use the new URLs to reduce the overall page size. There are two formats for the new shortened URLs: http://wwdt.me/s/YYYYMMDD http://wwdt.me/s/YYYY-MM-DD To use either, just replace “YYYY” with the four-digit year, “MM” with the two digit month and “DD” with the two digit day. For example, to link to this past week’s page on NPR.org, the shortened URLs are: http://wwdt.me/s/20120721 and http://wwdt.me/s/2012-07-21. There are some sanity checks to verify that there is a show corresponding to the date in the URL. If there isn’t, it will redirect you to the Stats Page.

21 Jul 2012: Paula Poundstone’s winning streak hits five games

Although Paula mistakenly noted right before her turn in this week’s Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank round that she had won the last three times that she has been on. In fact, Paula had won the last four games that she was on: 2012-03-31 with 15 points 2012-04-28 with 18 points 2012-05-26 with 17 points 2012-06-23 with 16 points Right before she took her turn, she was attempting to do some humble-bragging. After answering five questions correct, Paula had won that round; thus, extending her winning streak to five games. Now, for a little bit of additional trivia about Paula’s five game winning streak: When put in numerical order, Paula’s winning scores is a series of five consecutive numbers: 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. Paula has now beaten Brian Babylon three times (2012-03-31, 2012-06-23 and 2012-07-19). Paula has now beaten Luke Burbank twice (2012-05-16 and 2012-06-23). …

16 June 2012 Show: Maz Jobrani was gypped two points in LFitB round

During the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank (LFinB) round for the 16 June 2012 show, Maz Jobrani had answered six questions correctly (as confirmed by Peter saying yes, correct or right six times and by the six dings). Unfortunately, Carl only noted that Maz Jobrani had five correct answers for 10 more points for a total of 13 points. If you check out the show’s transcript for the LFitB round, you will notice that there are six “(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)” listed for Maz’s portion of the round. Due to the miscount of correct answers, Maz Jobrani ended up being second rather than tying with Amy Dickinson, who also had and was credited for 6 correct answers, for first place. Until Peter and/or Carl officially correct the record, the stats page will show the current official scores and rankings. Once the record has been corrected, I will update …

10 June 2012 Sprint: Data Access Code Completed

Over the past couple of days, I have been working on completing all of the PHP code required to query the WWDTM Stats Page database. Tonight, at the end of my two week sprint, I have reached that all important milestone and have successfully written a test to make sure it works. Warning: this following contains a fair amount of programming talk. If you are not a programmer, please ignore the rest of this post ;) The current version of the WWDTM Stats Page code has grown into a real mess and has become more and more difficult to add new features. The primary goal with version 2.0 is to write almost everything from scratch using proper class objects and breaking up code into manageable modules. First, I also decided to move to the newer PEAR::MDB2 database access API from the older PEAR::DB package. …