We came into this hackathon knowing nothing. I myself came 2 hours late to the hackathon, when we came up with the idea it was 5 PM, and when the first line of code was written, it was 6 PM. We initially started off with a tinder of dogs, but then it clicked - a tinder for ecommerce, and specifically craigslist. Tinder revolutionized the dating industry, but it was the UI that made all the difference. And that's what Lymelight is pushing - the experience.
What it does
Craigslist has been a website that's stuck with plain text. Simple tags and basic layout of images and text. However, with Lymelight we've modernized the Craigslist experience through a nifty UI. Using a tinder-like swipe, the user can swipe right to save an item they like, and swipe left to never see it again. The items are brought from a heroku website that parses Craigslist. You can see items based on categories, with a simple search, and view the saved items and their craigslist postings. The saves are stored in our Firebase Database
How we built it
Even though we didn't utilize our time to the best, we got a lot done. Lymelight is both an iOS and Web App, built with Swift and HTML/CSS/JS respectively. We utilized a Firebase backend for signup/login of the user, as well as storing the user's saves and displaying them. We set up a Heroku Server that parsed Craigslist for all of the latest items and got the title, price, bio, etc. The user can view his saves done both on web and iOS together thanks to Firebase, and numerous UI add-ons were contributed by Cocoapods
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge of this project was parsing Craigslist. We spent 4 hours setting up a Google App Engine Server to parse Craigslist and get the data, however it was always returning a 403 Error. After numerous head-hurting debugging sessions, we realized that Craigslist blocks GAE from parsing its site. Thus, with no solution in sight, we turned to Heroku and set up a Python server that crawled Craigslist for the data. Other than this, mastering the Tinder-like design and UI was difficult as well, and simple firebase requests.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Just the fact that we were able to completely finish this app blows me away. We definitely put all our effort into it once we knew what we were doing and are happy with the outcome. Setting up Heroku for the first time, getting our crawlers to actually parse Craigslist with no errors, having a functional Tinder UI that's slick and easy to use, and setting up the Firebase are all accomplishments we're proud of.
What we learned
We've learned a lot since 24 hours ago. One main thing would be Git Commits, on Storyboard files. Understanding the , and how to choose which version to keep, as well as setting up Heroku were great experiences.
What's next for Lymelight
Lymelight definitely has a use case, and the concept can be applied to a majority of ecommerce websites, etc. We definitely plan to push this app later on in the future.