CLI Data Gem Project

Posted by Tyler Maxwell on February 12, 2018

I was stressing over what domain to choose. Advice given during a study group I participated in was to not stress over the domain. I think I would still be laboring over this detail had I not taken that advice. My gem is a “news reader” CLI that scrapes data from the websites of the New York Times and the* Wall Street Journal*. I wanted to make something useful and pertinent. Political news is one of my primary interests and I am deeply concerned about the political landscape in the US. Two distinct narratives are coming from various media outlets. For most people, myself included, the narrative you hear is contingent upon your political leanings. This “echo chamber” paradigm will lead to more extreme political polarization and we will continue along this, in my view, very dangerous trajectory. My political leanings lead me to seek news outlets such as the New York Times and CNN. Watching Fox News or reading the Wall Street Journal can be likened to somewhere between the experience of fingernails on a chalkboard and body-hair removal via duct-tape. I proceeded under the paradigm of “writing the code I wish I had.” I would like to have two headlines from two different news sources juxtaposed for easy comparison. On a slow news day, the two headlines may be about unrelated topics. However, the story a newspaper decides to lead with gives insight into their editor’s thought process. Editors think about and cater to their readers. As I write this, I ran my gem and got the following two headlines:

  1. Abuse Claims Against Aide Further Roil White House
  2. Stocks Rise After Worst Week in Years

The first headline, from the Times is obviously negative news about the current administration. Whereas, the lead article from the Journal is positive news about the economy. This is significant information and gives insight, in a small dose, into what the opposing political viewpoint cares about and is reading. I watched the CLI Data Gem Walkthrough a few times. I finally decided to follow along and do whatever Avi did in the video substituting my gem’s details for those in the video. It worked. My gem, at this point, is functional. I have tested it over the course of a few days (the lead articles change at least every day) and it works. The headlines in my CLI change when the websites are updated. That is a pretty cool feeling! I feel the urge to make improvements because this is my first project and I am very nervous about submitting it. However, I think I could do that forever and never move on. I guess I’ll hit** submit**!