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.

MMMetrics, Nexus

OK, where to start… MMMetrics. I’ve been pondering having a proper name to affiliate my work under for some time, so MMMetrics it is. Of course, short for Massively Multiplayer Metrics, and soon to be located at http://mmmetrics.co.uk- when the bloody DNS records update, that is…

Over the next few weeks I’ll be reskinning EVE Metrics, ISKsense, and various other things to have a much much nicer theme and one that is consistent across websites, giving each site their own visual take on the theme. Those sites will also be getting some much-needed optimisation, graphics, and new layouts.

Nexus is the other thing this brief post will touch on. Myself and flexd, the other developer working on the project and new member of VAF, have decided that open-sourcing the whole thing would be mad. It’s hideously complex to set up in places (though much easier than it used to be), and in any case a lot of the functionality Nexus provides is heavily aimed at alliances rather than corporations. We’ll still be offering Nexus to some alliances on an ask-and-we-might-let-you basis, but we will be forking Nexus, stripping it back to the killboard and fittings components, and releasing that as open source on Github.

That means if you’re an average corp you won’t get things like the tactical/intel overviews and IGB components, and all the alliance-level member managemet, capfleet management, and so on will be out. Because 99% of people don’t need it, to be honest. By keeping things more limited we’re keeping it much more hackable, more secure, easier to maintain and easier to extend, which means we’ll get it out of the door much quicker than we would have if we’d kept it all bundled together. So we’re looking at somewhere early-to-mid 2009 as our first release.

I think that just about covers it. Oh, other than to say happy holidays and a happy new year in advance, so I don’t forget as I obviously will do.

EnvyCasts

Now, I’m not usually one for plugging paid-for services. I’m an open-and-free kind of chap at heart. However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and while there is a free option for this particular service- that being Rails videocasts- one must be reminded that a free lunch is going to taste worse than the 5-star buffet in the nice resturant.

Anyway, enough waffle. I had first tripped over EnvyCasts on my RSS feeds through various Ruby blogs, and never got around to actually getting any. Having purchased both the Rails 2.2 and Scaling Ruby videocasts, I’m genuinely impressed. They’re of a very high quality, the explanations are excellent and the content is at a level approachable by even beginners but aimed at a higher level than most videocasts. It’s like Railscasts on steroids.

So, if you have $9 (So around £0.50), I strongly recommend picking some up if you have a spare moment.