BoilerChat

BoilerChat allows Purdue students to anonymously chat with their classmates during lectures.

We scraped the entire Purdue course catalogue, complete with course titles/ID's, professor names, and lecture times. Users are granted access to live, anonymous chatrooms (specific for their class, lecture time and teacher). This provides students a fantastic way to whip out some slick memes on their professors without them even knowing.

Note: Our website is now live! Visit us at www.boilerchat.com

Demo video

Click here!

Technologies used

Frontend

  • Websockets (For live chat)
  • AJAX (For live querying of the MongoDB)
  • JQuery (To increase the quantity of our spaghetti code while desperately trying to manage state)
  • Javascript, CSS, and HTML5

Backend

  • Node.js (Primary code architecture for the server)
  • MongoDB (Data store)
  • Express (Web server for Node)
  • Socket.io (For websocket communication)

Technical overview

For the course catalog search tool,

  • We scraped Purdue's entire course catalog for class names, course IDs, and teachers.
  • We then loaded that data into a MongoDB database and exposed a REST API for querying the DB via Node.js / express server.
  • When a user searches their course code on our site, the table is updated live by querying our API and updating the results table with AJAX.
  • When a user finds their course and professor, they can join the chat room specific to their class

Next, we created a multi-room chat application from scratch.

  • On the backend, we used a Node.js + express + socket.io server to handle live connections from users. Socket.io allows us to push data to the clients instantly over websockets. All users are completely anonymous, and conversations are never logged. We think that this will provide a good interface for "meme-ing on the professor".
  • For the frontend, we modeled the slick design after Facebook Messenger, writing the entire interface from scratch in pure CSS and javascript.

Overall, this project resulted in a beautiful, fully functional, and completely scalable chat application -- exclusively for Purdue students.

My Nama Jeff

Jeff

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