Although it had existed since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has virtually become a household name for a vast amount of people across the globe. Despite the need most of us have to use it, however, it is not always easy to navigate to Zoom and join a meeting, especially for students and teachers that have to manage a swarm of video lectures. Some individuals also have difficulty knowing what information they will need to access their next Zoom call.

What it does

The Zoom Organizer is a Google Chrome browser extension that makes it easier to access the information you need for your next video call. By parsing through your Zoom invite for you, it is able to pick out the meeting ID, passcode, date and time of your Zoom call. Currently, the Zoom Organizer is able to accept input from invites with one or multiple occurrences. (In the case of multiple occurrences of the same meeting, the Zoom Organizer will display the first date that the meeting takes place, followed by the number of remaining meetings for that particular ID.)

How we built it

The browser extension is the product of teamwork and dedication. Once we had our idea for this project, we needed to research the available tools we had at our disposal (e.g. APIs, JavaScript tutorials, documentation). With a relative idea of how we would want the extension to work, we decided to split up and work on two sample pieces of code that would help form the basis of the capabilities our extension should have. We also needed to add some icons and styling to the extension to make it more appealing to use. After some time, we regrouped and merged our ideas to create the Zoom Organizer, the Chrome extension that our project is all about.

Challenges we ran into

Throughout our endeavor to create our extension, certain difficulties emerged when it came to how we could implement our thoughts and ideas for our project. For instance, we were faced with discerning a pattern among the varied formats that a Zoom invite can take. Although daunting at first, we tried basing our source code for it around certain keywords that are present in every invite. We also had to account for instances of recurring meetings, in which multiple dates are listed.

Another challenge we had in working on our project (which did not make it to the final product) was the use of in-browser notifications. The extension would give users the option to receive a notification some time before their next video call based on the information added to it. One of the issues we faced with this goal was how to set an alarm within Google Chrome. Although we were able to trigger a notification to appear on command, we were having some trouble having the message of a meeting happening soon being sent at a certain time.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

For some of us, it was our first time being in HackDavis as participants, something we are grateful for having experienced. We also felt quite impressed with how our extension came out as we started the hackathon with little to no experience with JavaScript. A tremendous accomplishment that we can all feel proud of is how we were able to collaborate on our project despite the distance and a few technical difficulties that working remotely have placed.

What we learned

Through our experience this year with HackDavis, we were able to learn more about how to develop additional functionality on top of what our browsers have to offer with the use of JavaScript. We were also exposed to the concept of using APIs in our source code, something that we had not yet encountered in our classes. The use of regular expressions to parse through data was new to some of us as well.

What's next for Zoom Organizer

Although Zoom Organizer's current functionality seems trivial, we hope that we are able to expand on it through integrating it with Canvas and perhaps retrieving meeting details directly from Zoom. We would also like to implement the idea of notifications prior to a meeting so that users can join their Zoom calls straight from the extension. We could also better adapt the extension's appearance to have a section to add new meeting details and see meetings that have been added to the organizer.

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