I can imagine the look of surprise on your face. A new article has crept into your RSS reader, or perhaps by chance you decided to revisit my site and noticed a new post! Astounding as it may be, I do hope to get back into a more regular posting schedule now. The past few weeks have been hectic to say the least.
On a personal note, I’m starting a course in Computer Science at Royal Holloway, University of London in a week’s time. As a result I’ve been running around sorting out accomodation and so on rather than writing blogs. I’ve been spending the rest of my time working (the sort that pays), and the tiny little nooks and crannies of spare time are crammed with work on EVE Metrics 2.
In the past week I also received some donated server hardware; this will be taking residence in my new home and hopefully in the future the cluster will be spending most of it’s CPU cycles doing reports and more complicated econometrics using the EVE Metrics dataset- stuff that takes way too long to do online, but is achievable offline.
Anyway, back to business. Read on for the lowdown on EM2.1, new features, new uploader info and more!
EVE Metrics 2.1, the API release, is a bit off schedule. We were hoping to have it done last weekend, but events have conspired against us. We’re 70% there on the bug tracker but it’s more like 95% in terms of time; the majority of the remaining tasks involve some of the finer points of the upload reward system (which has involved so far hours of Makurid poring over data and projections in MATLAB) and that whole front-end thing. On release, 2.1 will let you view market orders and wallet transactions/journal entries online, and the market orders will be autoloaded into the database.
Trades and an improved uploader
Those of you who are heavy EM users will have known for some time the ‘trading’ tab has been inactive. 2.1 opens that, allowing you to view all our inferred trade data. We’ll be adding in the API-aquired trade data sometime soon after release but it’s not in yet. By inferred data, we mean trades we can infer have occurred by looking at how orders change between uploaded datasets; it’s far from perfect but it’s a good indicator and can be useful.
There’s one other notable thing we have planned for 2.1/2.2- 2.1 will introduce OAuth, and 2.2 will fully implement it including components of the OpenSocial API to provide widgets for both iGoogle and AvatarsUnited. This is part of a partnership between MMMetrics and EnemyUnknown, and we’re very excited to see how we can make the market more of a social tool through these widgets and using social networking technologies. What we will have through API data in EM2 is a lot of useful information about how people trade, allowing us to develop better systems, algorithms and predictions about the market in the future.
What OAuth also means, though, is that we finally have a way to securely link API applications with EVE Metrics. This opens up the possibility of personal API feeds but also gives us a better way to do the uploader. So what we’ll be publishing in the near future is a new uploader, with total support for Mac and Linux as well as Windows. We’re still working out the technicalities and helping to develop some of the technologies involved (libevecache etc) to make the uploader as lightweight and fast as possible while being even more efficient and secure for uploading fantastic data. When we release the new uploader we’ll also be opening the upload protocol specification to let you lot make your own clients if you want to.
Realtime with RabbitMQ, plus feature creep!
One of the most-requested features for EVE Metrics has always been the real-time upload feed. We think email is the wrong way to go about this. It’s not designed for it, it’s overcomplex to parse, it’s a lot of overhead, etc. So we’re going for a more modern solution- a messaging queue based on AMQP and RabbitMQ. We’ll be providing example clients in Ruby and hopefully a few other languages, so if the technicalities escape you there’s no problem. But the point is, it’s fast, resilient, easy to use, and lightweight. Technical details and code samples will come later, of course.
And last but certainly not least, we will be putting new features in. That means trading tools, favourite-based price lists, UI changes to the item display page, and more. As ever, if you want features, hit the ‘feedback’ link on the site and tell us. Not everything will be coming out with 2.1; it’s mostly a framework release, with some very large changes to authentication and lots of new stuff in the market code, plus of course API support. New features will be coming on a more regular basis after that; once we’ve got the basics done, features are often pretty simple in comparison.
Pictures speak a thousand words
Which, incidentally, is roughly the length of this blog post. Speaking of posts- an article I wrote back in 2008 on delayed_job has been published in Rails Magazine issue 4! If you’re interested in background processing, you might want to give it a read.
Anyway, I promised pictures, so here you have the servers, plus some of my latest purchase, a fantastic DT109 headset.