Oval Quotes—My interview project

The hiring process for most positions at Algolia includes some kind of assignment. For the Developer Advocate role that I applied for in May of 2016, the assignment was to build something using the API and record a screencast about it. I could choose whatever I wanted, and use whatever Algolia SDKs or front end tools I thought were right for the job.

I ended up using instantsearch.js to build a single-page search engine for historical presidential speech text. Since it was an election year, I thought it would be interesting, and I found a very scrape-able HTML data source in The American President Speech Archive on the website of The Miller Center.

The project is hosted by Github pages at http://oval-quotes.dzello.com/ and the interface looks like this:

You can facet by president using the built-in instantsearch.js refinement list widget, and also use Algolia’s advanced query syntax to search for quoted terms like “taxation without representation”.

In addition to instantsearch.js, the project uses Webpack, Babel.js and Bootstrap. The code is on Github and there is also a screencast on YouTube. Find the crawler main.js file here, written in ES6, to see how the scraping, record splitting and indexing happens.

If you ever need a presidential quote about taxes, wars, the economy, or foreign policy you can find it with Oval Quotes :us: If have you any questions about the project or would like to contribute more data or instantsearch widgets please reply in the thread.

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Oval Quotes is a great way to show what Algolia can do! Nice work, Josh :wink:

I’m sure video creators on YouTube are using this tool to build videos like this one, where Obama sings “Sorry” :joy::

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