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Thread: Third party tools thead -- Needing a database driven website to being able to grow any further.

  1. #1

    Complete Third party tools overview (110+ entries) -- Past, Present and its uncertain FUTURE

    Hello Commanders,

    Commander Wolverine here reaching out to the excellent ED community for help. You might be aware of my "Complete list of all third party tools, spreadsheets, manuals and other data sources" thread". Its aim is to (eventually) provide a complete overview of all third party tools created by talented commanders. Also to provide a list of useful threads with existing/new excellent info about ED. There is an IMMENSE amount of tools and info out there - useful for new as well as seasoned commanders. Problem is finding the resources. Due to the high amount of traffic LOTS of threads get snowed under (lost) and the tools/info in it don't get the attention they deserve.

    I've tried to use the forum for the 3rd party tools list but I've reached its limits. The text in it is approx. 60 Kbyte now. If you look at the current tools OP you notice that spoiler tags are leaking - as even when a tag is collapsed info is shown on the OP. This is because of the size of the text inside it. Also the forum software is starting to insert spoiler tags on its own on the OP - tags which can be removed but inserts themselves back automagically.

    Another none technical problem is maintaining the OP. There is an updates section and to keep the OP clean also a 'updates history' spoiler tag. Actually multiple ones because of the leaking issue. When adding a new entry on the OP I have to update updates section, move the old ones to the history tag and do a few more admin things. Quite a few tools belong to multiple sections. Which means I have to copy/paste multiple times - and keep them all in sync when I have to change something in one section. This is all very time consuming. As a result I can NOT keep up with all new tools/info and I've created a TODO section tag - which already is leaking. In it approx. 60+ entries.

    What I need is a website with a database. This would allow me to concentrate solely on entering data. The layout, updates sections automatically created/updated.

    Phase 1: A database driven website (where I can enter tools/info) consisting of multiple sections. Could be tabs based or an index page which points to the correct page. It should contains at least an updates tab/section so commanders can see directly what is newly added. A "changes" page would be nice. What I need is an account to login and with the use of a form to add or update entries.

    Phase 2: Multiple accounts. As its impossible for me to check the status of every entry - has there been an update or has new functionality been added for a tool- it would be great if tool authors (or thread authors) could login as well and update their entries. Adding new entries as well. The commanders don't have to be tools/thread authors it could be regular commanders as well who see a certain entry and want to let the community know about it.

    Phase 3: For me the community is all about sharing data with each other. I don't believe in a "one size fits all" website, UI wise and/or functionality wise. What I would like to see is a REST API which allows others to access its data. Perhaps opening up the database (read only) would suffice. The data could be used by for example.


    1. Other websites who want to display the information different and/or add functionality.
    2. Wiki's. There are quite a few out there but the tools section is either rather small or outdated. Most modern wiki's are programmable. They could access the data and automatically and insert it on there wiki's.
    3. Smartphones. One could make apps for iPhone, Android, Windows phone etc.
    4. What else comes to mind of a talented author ;-)


    I make a living as a Java software engineer and have created websites in the past. I just don't have the time to create a database driven website. One reason is that I would like to concentrate more on the EDDN and do some Python coding for that. Given my background I can rougly estimate the work involved. Its not rocket science but it will take some time to create the basics (phase 1) and eventually phase2 and 3.

    With regard to data. Atm I have 53 entries in the different sections. Some of them are duplicates because tools like Trade Dangerous and the BPC belong to multiple sections like route planner, trading tool, captains log. There are approx. 60+ entries (one line each) on the TODO list. Currently the (leaking OP) is about 60 KBytes of text. When the FD API is available I'm convinced LOTS and LOTS of new tools will surface. I would however be very surprised if the complete data set would be more then 1 MB of text. The size of the database could be slightly bigger.

    For the EDDN project we got free hosting - sooo grateful for that. If you could create the website but don't have somewhere to host it I can give you access to the server where EDDN runs. Its a 20 Mbps unmethered line with 80 GB of storage iirc. Its running CentOS 6.6 Linux. Can't provide you with a windows solution I'm afraid.

    I've asked for assistance in the tools thread a few weeks back. One commander replied and could help me with a programmable forum software solution. Unfortunately this doesn't really fit. One reason being that entries belong to multiple sections. Also things like an updates section would be difficult - not automatized. When I move the data I highly prefer to do it only once!!!

    Commanders, should you deem this idea useful for the community and being able to help me in any way please respond here or send me a PM.

    Note: I'm hoping the thread doesn't get snowed under before potentially interested commanders are being able to read it ;-(

    Commander Wolverine.

  2. #2
    I created this thread 2 days ago and what I feared happened. It got snowed under in no time. Currently at page 14 of the forum and 39 viewers.
    If you can't help but perhaps you know someone who might be interested, please tell that person about this thread and its ideas.

    I hope this time it won't get snowed under directly and more potential helpers will read it. Fingers crossed.

  3. #3
    Why don't you switch to http://elite-dangerous.wikia.com/ ?
    Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. - Carl Sagan

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Midian Cabal View Post (Source)
    Why don't you switch to http://elite-dangerous.wikia.com/ ?
    For starters, thanks for replying. You are the first one ;-)

    One reason is that it would not make the adding/editing/admin part any easier. I still have to edit the "updates" section (so commanders know something new is added) and have to copy/paste entries when they belong to different categories/sections. Slopey's the BPC for example has a trading tool, a routeplanner and a captains's log component in it. I know from experience how time consuming these admin tasks are. Far MORE then the initial entry with all the relevant information.

    A database driven website would remove the admin burden. I enter a new entry in a form, set the categories and I'm done. The new entry would show up in the different category tabs/pages, the updates tab/page is automatically updated etc etc. This would make it do able to expand the 3rd party tools list. Remember I still have over 60 new entries which are now dumped in the TODO section.

    Also in my vision data should be available to everyone in different places. If a REST API is in place everybody can use the data. It could be added automatically to wiki's which are programmable, it could be used in a smartphone app, could be used in another website - different UI, look&feel, functionality.

    That is why I'm hoping somebody sees this thread, likes the idea, runs with it. To be clear, they don't have to enter data - I will do that. I just need a vehicle/tool to make keeping the 3rd party tools list do able. Which currently it is NOT. I just don't have the time to create such a website/API....

  5. #5
    Alright, why don't you use some CMS and skip reinventing the wheel?

    I just created an account on wordpress.com, created a few posts, set their categories and presto! I'll send you the link in a PM.

    Wordpress can have REST API and track user changes, it seems to me that it can support all your requirements.
    Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. - Carl Sagan

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Midian Cabal View Post (Source)
    Alright, why don't you use some CMS and skip reinventing the wheel?

    I just created an account on wordpress.com, created a few posts, set their categories and presto! I'll send you the link in a PM.

    Wordpress can have REST API and track user changes, it seems to me that it can support all your requirements.
    Reinventing the wheel is ofc a very bad thing. Its just that I'm not that familiar with the current CMS systems. Have read your PM and checked out your worldpress website. Looks sweet, with the categories and the tabs. Also the RSS feed is nice, every entry you added is one it. Nice. Will send you a PM with some questions - updates section etc. Seems viable from what I currently see though.... Sir, I thank your for your time to help me out. PM incoming ;-)

    - - - - - Additional Content Posted / Auto Merge - - - - -

    Originally Posted by Midian Cabal View Post (Source)
    Alright, why don't you use some CMS and skip reinventing the wheel?

    I just created an account on wordpress.com, created a few posts, set their categories and presto! I'll send you the link in a PM.

    Wordpress can have REST API and track user changes, it seems to me that it can support all your requirements.
    Reinventing the wheel is ofc a very bad thing. Its just that I'm not that familiar with the current CMS systems. Have read your PM and checked out your worldpress website. Looks sweet, with the categories and the tabs. Also the RSS feed is nice, every entry you added is one it. Nice. Will send you a PM with some questions - updates section etc. Seems viable from what I currently see though.... Hence worth checking out!!!

    Sir, I thank your for your time to help me out. PM incoming ;-)

  7. #7
    Replying : cant help
    (but bump the thread)

    Good luck Wolverine2710

    Cheers Cmdr's

  8. #8
    IMHO https://www.npmjs.com/ but for 3rd party tools - not a package manager, but certainly like a central repository of information and possibly downloads (also very easy to search)

    Drupal might be a good tool for this, but TBH I don't really want to touch PHP with a barge pole - I've managed to not have to touch it now for over a year and I like it that way.

    Wonders of the Galaxy | Titus's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison of PVP to Griefing approaches 1" | Gentleman pirate and explorer. @titusballs

  9. #9
    Titus, any decent CMS would do. Wordpress is easier to use, that's all. Best tool is one that you know how to properly use.
    Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. - Carl Sagan

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Midian Cabal View Post (Source)
    Titus, any decent CMS would do. Wordpress is easier to use, that's all. Best tool is one that you know how to properly use.
    I've done my time with Wordpress, but agreed - depends on how much you want to scale it. But then I'd suggest writing it with lots of node micro services now and slapping a React-based frontend on it now

    Wonders of the Galaxy | Titus's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison of PVP to Griefing approaches 1" | Gentleman pirate and explorer. @titusballs

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Midian Cabal View Post (Source)
    Titus, any decent CMS would do. Wordpress is easier to use, that's all. Best tool is one that you know how to properly use.
    Wordpress is fairly simple to use but it comes with a wheelbarrow-load of potential security issues even before you start on plugins. I develop in PHP a fair amount and experimented with Wordpress for a friend not long ago. I had the sense to really lock the thing down knowing PHP well enough to basically distrust everything (my own code included!) but I was astonished and the amount of "fishing" that goes on to try and guess a way into known vulnerable plugin folders, phpmyadmin and the like.

    If you go this direction I would strongly recommend you do not put it on the EDDN server as if the WP install gets pwnd the skiddies will probably be able to destroy EDDN too.

    I might chuck some code together over the weekend if I can tear myself away from ED. I have one or two other places that have off-the-shelf setups that might work I can look into as well.

    @ Midian Cabal - There is a typo in your sig that I just can't help but see now I have spotted it
    Out here, people struggled to get by with the most basic technologies; a ship would bring you work, a gun would help you keep it. A captain's goal was simple: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.
    -Shepherd Book

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by wolverine2710 View Post (Source)
    What I need is a website with a database. This would allow me to concentrate solely on entering data. The layout, updates sections automatically created/updated.
    Joomla is the default go-to "managed content" website builder, most large scale commodity web hosting providers have a joomla template that you activate from cpanel (or whatever site management app they use).
    Design Decision Forum backer.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by bassman View Post (Source)
    Joomla is the default go-to "managed content" website builder, most large scale commodity web hosting provides have a joomla template that you activate from cpanel (or whatever site management app they use).
    Joomla! Joomla! JOOMLA!

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    Whatever happened to Mambo BTW? And do they still do that crazy thing where you have to write extensions then write components to call then?

    Wonders of the Galaxy | Titus's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison of PVP to Griefing approaches 1" | Gentleman pirate and explorer. @titusballs

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Tiamat View Post (Source)
    Wordpress is fairly simple to use but it comes with a wheelbarrow-load of potential security issues even before you start on plugins. I develop in PHP a fair amount and experimented with Wordpress for a friend not long ago. I had the sense to really lock the thing down knowing PHP well enough to basically distrust everything (my own code included!) but I was astonished and the amount of "fishing" that goes on to try and guess a way into known vulnerable plugin folders, phpmyadmin and the like.

    If you go this direction I would strongly recommend you do not put it on the EDDN server as if the WP install gets pwnd the skiddies will probably be able to destroy EDDN too.

    I might chuck some code together over the weekend if I can tear myself away from ED. I have one or two other places that have off-the-shelf setups that might work I can look into as well.

    @ Midian Cabal - There is a typo in your sig that I just can't help but see now I have spotted it
    All websites that I developed and administered never had any security issues, mostly because I always ran the latest versions. Most security problems have source in poorly written plugins and not in WP itself.

    Thanks for spotting the typo, corrected.

    Originally Posted by bassman View Post (Source)
    Joomla is the default go-to "managed content" website builder, most large scale commodity web hosting providers have a joomla template that you activate from cpanel (or whatever site management app they use).
    Joomla!? I'd rather install Typo3.

    Originally Posted by Titus Balls View Post (Source)
    Joomla! Joomla! JOOMLA!

    Whatever happened to Mambo BTW? And do they still do that crazy thing where you have to write extensions then write components to call then?
    AFAIK Mambo is dead as dead can be. Wikipedia says that its last release was in 2008.
    Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. - Carl Sagan

  15. #15
    For starters. I want to thank each and everyone for their contrbution(s) and giving me lots of information and hints. I wanted to do it right and only once. The suggestions were great but I felt they would not fit 100% . That is until now.....

    I´ve brilliant news to report. I´ve found a commander who is willing to create a database driven website version of the OP for me. His name is commander Biobob. What can you expect of the new tools list. See the OP and here to give you a rough idea for what I/we have in mind. How long will it take? I can´t say anything for sure. It could be weeks, it could be quite a bit more..... After its finished adding entries will be a snap for me and other authors/commanders and i hope to have it up to date all the time.

    The consequence is that I won´t be updating the OP of the 3rd party tools thread till the website is ready. I hate doing work which will be obsolete when the website is ready.

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