Moondoggie & Market Browsing

OK. EVE Metrics is my big market browsing project. It’s very complex, it’s got a lot of data, but it all basically comes down to this: People browse the market with a program running on their computer, and when any market data is viewed, EVE Online writes it to a cache file, the program decodes that and fires it at the server. We collect all these reports and build a single picture of the market in EVE.

There’s the top-down view for you. We’ve never really not had enough data. We get good market coverage in most regions and we’re fairly up to date in the grand scheme of things. But compare the actual market of EVE to EVE Metrics and we’re still a long way off having a truly accurate picture. EVE moves quickly- in some markets, from minute to minute orders will be shuffling around and changing price and being bought out.

With Dominion we got a new browser. This means you can now use the full EVE Metrics website ingame, but also (through some Javascript client hook additions) lets us provide a fantastic new tool to help us get an even better picture of the market in EVE.

If you fire up the IGB and head over to the upload suggestions page, you’ll be given a list of 10 items, and a few options for automatic checking. Choosing this option will prompt EVE Metrics for a list of items to check, and will automatically go and look at those items. It’s slow, but it works. In the space of a few hours with one user, we can get data for an entire region across all the items on the market. This is utterly fantastic and we’re really looking forward to the larger volume of data this is bringing to the site.

So, if you’ve got a spare moment, or you need to go AFK for an hour, or you want to help out while you’re mining, or you’re just tired of clicking the next item in the list, install the uploader and visit the page ingame to get started. Every upload counts and helps us build the biggest, best picture of EVE’s market we can manage to produce. Uploads to EVE Metrics are also syndicated to other websites and tools, of course. Your uploads and contribution of time help hundreds of users who use the site, and tens of thousands more who rely on our pricing, history and order APIs for their applications.

Oh, and if you’re a developer, we now have a server status API with all the information you could possibly want on TQ, Sisi and the API servers. It can be found here (docs here). Enjoy!

Dominion

With Dominion just around the corner, we’re looking at how that’ll affect EVE Metrics. Other than the market getting a few things shaken up as is usual for expansions, things should be minimally impacted. API services will probably be down for a week knowing CCP’s track record of breaking the API ‘just in case’ it affects Tranquility, but apart from that things should be fine.

We have got some things in the works for Dominion, and we hope you’ll find them useful; we’ve not had much time to work on EVE Metrics, and we’re being distracted by another project at the moment, but we’ll have more time to work on EVE Metrics in a few weeks time around Christmas. I’m still evaluating what we’ll spend our time on, though, and we’d like to get more feedback via the feedback button on the site– you can vote for other people’s suggestions, so please do so!

Other than that, not much to report. We’ll have Dominion items loaded into the site by release day so you can start using the site straight away with the new items. We’ve been so far very successful with some performance improvements on the site; this has mostly been tuning our database server and working on improving the performance of queries through better indexes, clustering indexes, and so on. Hopefully you’ll notice this in the form of improved page responsiveness and less ‘slow loading’ pages. Enjoy!

We interrupt this pause to bring you a blog post

OK, it’s been over a month. I know, I’m terrible. It’s been a while.

I’ve been busy with reality, by and large. Lots of stuff has been happening in the real world, mostly relating to my current studies, which has removed my spare time and distracted me from things like blog posts. This is going to be a bit of a summary post before I go back to my usual programme of ranting, rambling, mad ideas and neat snippets of code.

Recently I’ve been going to some gigs; first off was Mitch Benn, who is fantastic live and whom I can strongly recommend you go and see if you like comedy, rock/metal and cleverness. And on the cleverness note, I also went to see Jonathan Coulton with Paul & Storm. You probably have heard JoCo’s work before- he wrote Still Alive (don’t watch if you haven’t played Portal yet!), the ending song of Portal. He writes other songs, too, about evil geniuses in love, office romances, geeks, programmers and giant squids. Oh, and robots. Don’t forget robots. The live gig was a great experience- here, have some pictures to go with that…

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OK, so that’s about all on the live gigs side of things. Back to EVE and code. I’ve rejoined my old corporation, Vanguard Frontiers, after a brief leave of absence to have a bit of a highsec break. Mostly doing trading in the interim, which has been useful for getting another perspective for EVE Metrics. And hey, neat segway there, yeah?

EVE Metrics has been going well; we’re still mostly rewriting things for performance at the moment. But we have been adding features and improving the site in other ways- we’ve improved the My Metrics functionality no end, and added wallet ledgers, both corporate and personal. We’ve got a lot planned for EVE Metrics but we really need your help to let us do what we want to do- we’re now asking for donations for our new server, and we’d also appreciate it if people used the GTC link on the bottom of all EVE Metrics pages if they need to buy GTCs; you’ll be supporting us with your purchase. Get your friends to help out too with donations and GTC purchases, and we’ll be closer to getting our own hardware sorted out. Myself and Makurid are basically a pair of very poor students, so we really can’t do this without your help. If you want to see EVE Metrics progress faster and perform better, this is the way to make that vision a reality.

Other than that, I’ve been quite slow on the code side of life- mostly, I’ve been fixing bugs, tweaking server software and working on maintainence scripts to keep everything running smoothly. Hopefully in the next few months we’ll have some new toys out for you to play with. Until then, keep giving us feedback on EM and we’ll keep fixing bugs and improving things- we’ve done a lot in the past few weeks, including new history dumps, data freshness display, realtime data feed, and more, including a whole host of performance improvements. Keep the comments coming!