Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats API is Live

For the past few years, people have requested access to the data that I have been collecting for the Wait Wait Stats Page to play around with the data or build a brilliant, interactive infographic. Each of those requests would require that a data export of the requested tables or a MySQL/MariaDB database dump to be created and sent over to the requester. Of course, those exports and database dumps are just snapshots of the data and another request was needed to get update data each time.

That got me thinking about what it would take to create an API service that people can use to get data directly from the Stats Page database. At that time, I wasn’t sold on the idea of extending the PHP codebase that is used for the current Stats Page; as, I was looking at doing a completely re-work of the Stats Page at some point and wanted the code that I would write for an API to also be re-usable for the next version of the Stats Page. I was waffling between writing the new codebase in Python, something that I was already quite familiar with, and TypeScript. While the latter is something that would be interesting to learn, I didn’t have the spare time to pick up a new language and the surrounding frameworks and toolsets; so, Python it was.

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