If you have ever shopped for clothes online, you understand how tiring it can be to search through the inventory of even one store. Additionally, the stores do not personalize the inventory that they show you. For these reasons, we were inspired to created Octane Outfitters, a website that brings you personalized clothing deals by searching on the web and personalizing your results based on your style so you don't have to.

What it does

The website, in its full implementation, would use an open source project called ParseHub to scrape the online store of several popular online clothing retailers. ParseHub gives us huge databases of information regarding the inventory of a store in a JSON file, which we can then search and iterate over. The end user would sign up for the site, take a short quiz to determine their style, and see results that are customized for their style, gender, size, and price range.

How I built it

The version of the website we were able to develop does not support the full functionality of the original idea. We have only implemented a very small portion of the data that we have collected from the web. Also, our site currently can only recognize if a user if already registered, not register new users.

Challenges I ran into

One of our biggest issues at first was finding the data. Most clothing stores do not have an API to give us the information we need since they don't want other people data-basing their stuff. We discovered ParseHub and realized we could use it to scrape the websites for their inventory. We then needed to search and iterate over the database, which was in a JSON file, so we decided on a website. We ran into problems getting a website to host properly on the internet. We eventually settled on using a CodePen template just so that we would be able to get our code onto the web. Every solution we found had some problem (github didn't support some of our features, aws wouldn't give us permissions, wouldn't propagate our DNS over the internet, etc.). We also had a problem writing our search algorithm in only JavaScript because no one in our team knew JavaScript.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We got ParseHub working on the clothing store site. We have about 40 pages of JSON databases. They are in a format that we can search and iterate over. This is our biggest win. We also built a website even though none of us really know HTML, none of us really know CSS, none of us really know JavaScript, and we didn't have the web server to use Apache, PHP, or MySQL.

What I learned

One big part our learning experience was getting to meet new people and work on a challenging but fun problem together. We also learned that problems are sometimes very easy to describe but become very hard to implement becuase of incompatabilities between any number of things (programming languages, frameworks, operating systems, etc.).

What's next for Octane Outfitters

We might try to refactor the website and implement the search algorithm, but in the best case scenario we would start from scratch and build the assets with the problems that we encountered in mind this time.

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