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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Stats Page Version 3.4.0: Correcting Some Design Mistakes

Ever since I started working on version 3.0 of the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page, one of the design decisions that I made when it came to the individual host, scorekeeper, panelist and guest pages was to use the specially encoded names in the URL. The encoding process would convert certain characters, such as a space, into their URL-encoded version, or “%20” in the case of a space. Well, looking back, that was not really the smartest way of doing it; and, ever since version 3.0 was published back in 2014, I was afraid of breaking any links that may have been created with that URL format and did not have a lot of spare time to re-design the whole thing. As months …

Working on Wait Wait Stats Page Versions 3.3.0 and 3.4.0

For the past month, I have been working on making a number of changes and updates to the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page to make working on the site’s code a bit easier to manage. The changes won’t change the user experience of the Stats Page in any meaningful way; though, it does optimize how the panelist charts pull the required data and when it is rendered. Although the update will not include any new features (more on that in a bit), the version bump a few, significant behind-the-scenes updates. The biggest updates come from updating the code framework, Silex, to the latest and greatest version, optimizing the code that generates the HTML code, and finally, breaking some of the larger code blocks into separate …

New Graphs Are Now Here on the Wait Wait Stats Page

In the previous Stats Page update blog post, I mentioned that the next version of the Stats Page will include changes to the panelist graphs to improve how they look and to make them more interactive. Below is a current example of the two graphs that are currently generated for each of the panelists, one showing the breakdown of the panelist’s scores and the other showing the panelist’s scores over time. The charting library used to generate the graphs have some serious limitations, including poor font rendering and the graphs are static (a scheduled job generates the graph image files on a regular basis). The other problem with the graph showing a panelist’s score over time is it becomes harder to read as more data …

Host and Scorekeeper Updates on Wait Wait Stats Page

I have updated the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page with a couple of minor changes that correct how some of the hosts and scorekeepers are displayed. Originally, the code would highlight the listed host and/or scorekeeper if the host was not Peter Sagal and the scorekeeper was not Carl Kasell. That code needed to be changed to reflect that Dan Coffey was the original host of the show prior to its reboot, where Peter Sagal took over hosting duties. Also, with Bill Kurtis becoming the official judge and scorekeeper of the show after Carl Kasell becoming “Scorekeeper Emeritus,” the code also needed to reflect that change. The code also had to handle the fact that Bill Kurtis was a guest judge and scorekeeper …

Progress Update on Wait Wait Stats Page Version 3.0 Development

Over the past week, I have been working on adding a few small touches and fixing a few lingering bugs on the soon-to-be-released Wait Wait Stats Page Version 3.0. One of the small touches that I added was to the graph displaying each panelists’s point spread. The graph now includes the count of number of times a panelist has scored that amount above the corresponding score. Below is what the graph looks like for Alonzo Bodden: You will also notice that I have also included the score for each panelist appearance listed below the graph when you view the detailed panelist stats and what position the panelist finished. The other new addition to the each of the show details are arrows next to each host, …