Developed at HackRU Spring 2014, RUcheesy was meant to be, well, cheesy. My friend Eric and I were volunteering, running the check-in table among other things, so we didn’t have much time to actually hack. I coded the entire thing while Eric drew some (very) rough (and comedic) images in Microsoft Paint. We wanted something that we would actually use, so considering our mutual love of Mac and Cheese, there was only one obvious answer.

RUcheesy tells you what dining halls are serving Mac and Cheese today. We’ve even tried to account for all the various types of glorious Mac and Cheese. In addition, there is a countdown until 5pm Monday, which is when Mac and Cheese is served at the Busch Dining Hall for takeout.

Technical Information

Luckily, Rutgers has a publicly available API for their dining menu. The dining API simply returns a JSON object containing the dining halls, meals, and what food is being served. Using PHP, I simply parse the menu for items matching, within a certain percentage, a predefined list of words. This list of words contains variations of Mac and Cheese, such as baked, fried, and other spellings like Macaroni & Cheese.

I also coded the simple countdown myself using JavaScript. I believe I came up with an interesting and easy way to approach the task. Using setTimeout, I call a function every one second to decrement the seconds box. Once it reaches 0, I reset it to 59 and call a function to decrement the minutes box. This same behavior propagates all the way to decrementing the days box.

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