EVE Mail and training make an appearance

At last, we get an EVE mail API! It’s a bit rubbish as APIs go – no message bodies yet- but it’s a great step in the right direction. And of course we’ve got it implemented and polished already over at EVE Metrics.

All you need to do is head over to EVE Metrics, log in (or sign up if you’ve not got an account yet), add your API key(s) if you haven’t already, and then enable the EVE mail API method. And voila- EVE mails, in your browser, updated as often as CCP lets us.

The icing on the cake is that we’ve also provided a feed for RSS readers for your EVE mails. Google Reader/iGoogle or any other ATOM-compatible reader (which is basically all of them) can now monitor your ingame EVE mails at the click of a button.

We’ve also gotten around to doing skill training- you can see what you’re training (queue support of course is included) on all your accounts.

The next logical step from here is notification support- get an email or SMS whenever your characters can train a new skill, whenever you get a new EVE mail, whenever one of your market orders is outbid or fullfilled. You name it, I’d love to see it notifiable. We’re still in the early days with that, but that’s where we’d like for that to end up.

We’ll be improving on these and implementing other APIs in the coming days- we want to get notifications loading for all you corporate types, and we’re looking forward to bringing more skill monitoring/information into the UI. I’ve got a lot of ideas bubbling around- we’re getting to the point where we’ve got loads of little snippets of data that can all tie in with each other, creating something really fantastic for you guys and girls, the users. And that’s awesome.

Of course, we need your help to make all this run smoothly and perform well, which it has problems doing at the moment. We’re still asking for donations here, you can buy GTCs in support of us here, and we’ve just opened up advertising on the site through Project Wonderful. Any form of help is hugely appreciated.

Awesome things and EM2 release date

First off, a note: We will be releasing EVE Metrics 2 to the public on Thursday.

This means the site will be down for several hours on Thursday as we arduously migrate all the old data (though not market data- we’re starting fresh!), set up the new database backend and test everything. After it comes back up there will be a few changes- notably that the APIs will have moved and changed format. They’re now much more useful, including providing historic data and some other useful bits of info. And they’re documented properly now! There is no web push framework and we’re looking at if we’re going to offer it again or go with an alternative.

The new site features a lot of the features you’re used to, but removes a few. For the time being, regional limiting is not available- however, it’s not as needed in EM2. We’ve redesigned the market UI considerably and it performs a lot better. If you like your graphs, you’ll love EM2- there’s plenty of them, sparklines and full graphs.

Our plan with EM2 is to iteratively add more features incorporating feedback we get from users as we go- hence why this release focuses on making things performant and fast, rather than packing in features aplenty. There will be paid (ISK, of course) versions of EM2 for large scale traders and corporations which will provide more advanced tools, but none of this is in EM2 at release, and we do not intend to make any of the basics cost ISK at any stage, nor will any APIs require payment to use. And one of the best bits about this? We’ll be using the ISK to run competitions for our uploader community, and to reward uploaders with ISK. We’re not doing this at launch because we need to analyse how everything works out in the real world, but uploaders will no longer be credited for getting lots of uploads- they’ll be rewarded for information density of uploads, be it stuff we’ve not seen in a while or stuff that changes often. Uploading the same 10 orders once a day isn’t going to get you a lot of credits- but it won’t get you nothing, either.

What we’re trying to really push and develop is our uploader community. We already have a huge collection of uploaders who regularly upload information to the site, and we’d like to reward them properly in a way that encourages having fresh data in the database for as many items as we can manage. This means anyone who uses the site will be getting better information and more of it, which is of course good. Good data means we can use the data to make more useful tools and provide better statistics.

On the other side of awesome, the song written by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen for Episode 13 of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse (“Epitaph One”) is out on Amazon- and it’s bloody fantastic. Even if you’re not a Dollhouse fan (and if you’re not, why are you here? Go watch it!), you’ll probably love Remains. For 80p, it’s hardly worth not downloading it.

And another awesome thing: Makurid, the MMMetrics resident caching/performance tweaking guru, has been applying some extra caching to Charactr- everything’s now a whole lot snappier after a good helping of memcached, so you should be able to enjoy seeing your character list anywhere, faster.