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Thread: Any news on the official ED API ?

  1. #16
    I'm a pretty easy going type of guy BUT I've to admit its getting to rub me the wrong way. The whole API thing gives me a feeling of that FD is STALLING things - in a big way. We had starting January 5-6 weeks to give our point of view. Cool, after that Micheal Brookes said they needed a few weeks to read, evaluate all suggestions. Now its more then two months and the latest word by Michael Brookes on the subject is: "There's no news at the moment."

    I get it that they don't want commanders to scrape the memory of ED or the network protocols - verboten since last august or so. I get it that they don't allow us to use the available iPhone API to get the information. Not that it is stopping commanders to do the mentioned things. I do get it that they want to do things the right way for the official API. What I don't get is why they don't give us some BARE BONE information - which is essential for trading tools, route planners and logbook tools.

    It has been suggested many many times before (after the changed FD data access policy). When opening the commodities market, aside from showing the market data on screen, also dump it in a JSON/XML or whatever format file. The same for when exiting SC. Dump the coordinates of the star system. Do it barebone. Empty the two files every time and just dump the new info in it. Third party tools will take care of collecting the data and sending it to EDDN, TGC, EDDB or importing it into the BPC, TD etc.

    The market data is there - otherwise it couldn't be displayed on the screen. The coordinates of the star system also (otherwise you can't jump). I make a living as a (Java) programmer and I can't imagine for the live of me this would take much resources/time at the side of FD to implement. Market data and coordinates are essential for the mentioned tools. It would (really) bring them to live again. OCR-ing just doesn't give enough good entries for for example EDDN, BPC, trade dangerous etc.

    Sorry I just don't get it.

    Edit: Perhaps this has something to do with their decision.

  2. #17
    Im a developer and Id love to make external tools for ED, unfortunately I think ED will try and maximise their ownership of various tools thus the API could be a one trick pony giving us access to limited amounts of data so cue 100 trading apps, or an app that allows you to see where your friends are on your phone all of which will be taken by frontier first, then your a poor copy of the official app. I doubt very much they would let the community mod the ships paint work or give us access to in game telemetry, extensibility is internal only. Unfortunately I think allowing these things is the only way to save the game from the grind fest.

  3. #18
    Originally Posted by DirtGambit View Post (Source)
    Im a developer and Id love to make external tools for ED, unfortunately I think ED will try and maximise their ownership of various tools thus the API could be a one trick pony giving us access to limited amounts of data so cue 100 trading apps, or an app that allows you to see where your friends are on your phone all of which will be taken by frontier first, then your a poor copy of the official app. I doubt very much they would let the community mod the ships paint work or give us access to in game telemetry, extensibility is internal only. Unfortunately I think allowing these things is the only way to save the game from the grind fest.
    Deleted: It wouldn't be correct to change/delete an opinion.
    Sadly, I start to think you are correct - wrt their ownership of various tools. But WHY have they then started that thread and asked for our opinion?

    They could have just created an internal API (not allowing us to use it) and be done with it. I'm sure they didn't need our input to determine what they need for their tool/app.


    Perhaps this has something to do with the delay of API. Its from Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #66. See the section "License To Thrill". The link in the newsletter is called "Licensing Elite: Dangerous". Especially the following part of it:

    The second – Commercial – is for creators who want to produce and sell Elite: Dangerous-themed products; things like 3D-printed models, papercraft books, pay per view videos or paid apps. It will open up opportunities to work with Frontier on the right products.
    I can imagine that FD wants to make sure that the paid apps authors are giving a change to make money - for them and of course FD. Those apps NEED an official ED API to work. If the BARE BONE info would be there the free apps probably would steal their thunder - and make them obsolete or at least less attractive.

    A few relevant questions comes to mind.


    • Will the free apps and paid apps have access to the SAME ED API or will the paid apps have access to (far) more (and far more extensive) information ?
    • Will the free app authors AND the paid app authors have access to the ED API at the same time? Or are the paid app authors given an early access to the API - so they can prepare their apps. In effect given them an advantage.


    I can't recall having seen information about this by FD. This is something I really would want to know.
    Perhaps someone from FD can comment on this.

  4. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #19
    It is something we still want to support, but we do have finite development resources. Once we have some freed up I'm hoping we can push forwards with this.

    Michael

  5. #20
    Originally Posted by wolverine2710 View Post (Source)
    Deleted: It wouldn't be correct to change/delete an opinion.
    Sadly, I start to think you are correct - wrt their ownership of various tools. But WHY have they then started that thread and asked for our opinion?

    They could have just created an internal API (not allowing us to use it) and be done with it. I'm sure they didn't need our input to determine what they need for their tool/app.


    Perhaps this has something to do with the delay of API. Its from Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #66. See the section "License To Thrill". The link in the newsletter is called "Licensing Elite: Dangerous". Especially the following part of it:



    I can imagine that FD wants to make sure that the paid apps authors are giving a change to make money - for them and of course FD. Those apps NEED an official ED API to work. If the BARE BONE info would be there the free apps probably would steal their thunder - and make them obsolete or at least less attractive.

    A few relevant questions comes to mind.


    • Will the free apps and paid apps have access to the SAME ED API or will the paid apps have access to (far) more (and far more extensive) information ?
    • Will the free app authors AND the paid app authors have access to the ED API at the same time? Or are the paid app authors given an early access to the API - so they can prepare their apps. In effect given them an advantage.


    I can't recall having seen information about this by FD. This is something I really would want to know.
    Perhaps someone from FD can comment on this.

    judging by the answer below, the real reason that all the self entitled meme's will just have to sit and WAIT.... is simply one of staffing and hours in the day....... in the meantime... form a queue and WAIT !!!!

    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    It is something we still want to support, but we do have finite development resources. Once we have some freed up I'm hoping we can push forwards with this.

    Michael

  6. #21
    I suppose the team have their hands full now, with Mac beta and the big powerplay update, which will also have a beta. So I guess after these are released they might have a little more manpower to work on the API. Then there's also the Xbox One development, and I'm sure there's a dedicated team already working on the first paid expansion. So yeah, at the moment they might be stretched a bit thin...

  7. #22
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    It is something we still want to support, but we do have finite development resources. Once we have some freed up I'm hoping we can push forwards with this.

    Michael
    Thank you Mr Brookes for this Sunday response. Appreciated as always. Good to hear this news.
    With the Mac and Xbox one version and PowerPlay in development as well as the first paid DLC I can imagine that resources are indeed scarce.

    It would be appreciated if you could answer the following questions as well. Slightly edited from my original post.


    1. Will the authors of free and paid applications (mobile apps, windows programs etc) have access to the same ED API and the same ED information?
    2. Will the authors of free and paid applications have access to the mentioned resources at the same time?

  8. #23
    Hopefully the API will be open within a lifetime, as players who come from games with 10001 addons, my immediate reaction to the UI is, "Which addon can change this?"

    Transitional addons that make players "jump right in" to games from other games are so essential. I will also add it really hurt RIFT when it came out when they stubbornly didn't even want addons to begin with. It's not just a luxury, it's how gamers even play games now. Instinctively I'm looking for the chat box to be in one location; controls in another location; info panels in yet another. Little things like using 2 mouse buttons to move forward, for example, that define how to even move in a game like WoW. First reaction is to fly just like that, as that is how flight is in that game.

  9. #24
    Originally Posted by wolverine2710 View Post (Source)
    Perhaps this has something to do with their decision.
    Yeah .. rep OP but can't rep you again! .. there's danger of this locking up ;

    Frontier perhaps not very motivated to push out the API until, they're had lots of e-mails expressing interest to the licensing department, and programmers not encouraged to develop ideas for apps, not without seeing formats or potential content, because the API isn't available. Mate = Stale.

    Solution may be a free taster code made public, and or a list, of DEFINITE data variables.

    But as mentioned, waiting for resources to come available, might start to miss the boat. Not because no one will be able to develop later, but because they've already moved on to, and get tied up in, "other game" things. If anyone has (or wants to) e-mail the licensing department (how did it go?) or wants someone to help to oil the wheels, let me know. But for a percentage? Only paid apps need apply! (ha-harrr)


  10. #25
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    It is something we still want to support, but we do have finite development resources. Once we have some freed up I'm hoping we can push forwards with this.

    Michael
    I beg you to allocate half a day of developer time to dump current system galaxy coordinates and station market data to client log, until you can get time to fully develop an API.

    Alternatively, as a quick and dirty measure, please allow us to use the existing web API that you have for the mobile app. This would eliminate the uncertainties around OCR. We know you won't support it officially, and that's OK. We just need to know that CMDRs that will develop and use tools around it will not get any negative consequences.


    I BEG YOU PLEASE!


  11. #26
    Originally Posted by Zephyriel View Post (Source)
    I suppose the team have their hands full now, with Mac beta and the big powerplay update, which will also have a beta. So I guess after these are released they might have a little more manpower to work on the API. Then there's also the Xbox One development, and I'm sure there's a dedicated team already working on the first paid expansion. So yeah, at the moment they might be stretched a bit thin...
    And how do you know there is anyone working on any paid expansion stuff at all? FD have been silent about it beyond some concept pictures and vague comments from 2013-2014.

    A team of 100 is not sufficient to complete both expansion work and a heap of stuff beyond API's, including many new ships, DDF goals (persistent NPC are highly needed), and making space stations something other than the poster child for how not to use PG.

    FD may want to have simultaneous V1.N point updates and expansion work, but I don't think they have the staff. Maybe 1-2 persons coding stellar forge could be working on PG planet surfaces but I doubt anything further.

    If Michael wants to contradict this, I'm sure everyone will be interested to hear.

  12. #27
    Originally Posted by Andargor View Post (Source)
    I beg you to allocate half a day of developer time to dump current system galaxy coordinates and station market data to client log, until you can get time to fully develop an API.

    Alternatively, as a quick and dirty measure, please allow us to use the existing web API that you have for the mobile app. This would eliminate the uncertainties around OCR. We know you won't support it officially, and that's OK. We just need to know that CMDRs that will develop and use tools around it will not get any negative consequences.


    I BEG YOU PLEASE!
    THIS.

    Back to reality. FD has heart the above many many many times before in LOTS of threads with suggestions and probably also in many many many PM's. For better or worse they have made up their mind not to give us the resources. I don't think anything we say about this subject is going to change things. Imho if they wanted to help us and give us a BARE BONE solution as a bridge gap solution we would have had it by now. Yes they have finite resources but they changed the data access policy 25/09/2014. Today its 26/04/2015. That is 7 months and one day. I can not imagine in that time a bare bone solution could not have been created. They have there reasons, like it or not.....

  13. #28
    Originally Posted by DarkMatterGenerator View Post (Source)
    A team of 100 is not sufficient to complete both expansion work and a heap of stuff beyond API's, including many new ships, DDF goals (persistent NPC are highly needed), and making space stations something other than the poster child for how not to use PG.
    A team of 80 devs can and do run EvE, and that's much more complicated than ED.

    Like Blizzard said before, games like WoW for example are like black holes, they can never have enough resources or devs working on it. Blizzard can have 300 full time devs (not the support guys, full developers) working on WoW and they can still find even more work for more.

    So even if they can throw hundreds of devs at a game, it won't be ever enough. 80 can do it, especially for a game like ED.

    Don't know what language FD will use but WoW addons use LUA, and the API is pretty robust -- http://wowprogramming.com/docs . I mention it because WoW has thousands of addons and hundreds of addon makers/maintainers, and accessibility is key in building mods. Curse is also a repository for more than just WoW addons, too. Accessibility+repository = the mod side of the game can be quite busy -- http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/2626217/

  14. #29
    Originally Posted by wolverine2710 View Post (Source)
    They have there reasons, like it or not.....
    Yes but if those reasons were, "we've sold it all to Sony, now we're kicking it back on a beach suckers, long term future of ED secured, forever and a day" you could better understand it?

    Lack of available resource, on the wave of new sales and players (desparate to give their brand loyalty over) just sounds .. just a little bit ... ?

    Can't be sure that's the truth of the situation of course, or whether FD project any significant of income from API, but if that's what's said.

    Sim-pit type API would be a significant undertaking, with a more limited existing market of course, but +1 to Cmdr Andargor's request for the mobile app data to keep people interested?

  15. #30
    Originally Posted by Winterwalker View Post (Source)
    Sim-pit type API would be a significant undertaking, with a more limited existing market of course
    ED will need a solid base of developers AND maintainers who are willing to do the modding. When WoW's player base was halved, it was felt even on existing addons (ED will have 1/10 of that many to work with).

    If ED is to be a game that can last, the API has to be something that has enough people who know a particular programming language and willing to play the game for the long-term to maintain. Usually it's one or the other not both.

    Addons to enhance gameplay would be most used, as you can see... http://www.curse.com/addons/wow (and #2 on that list probably saved the WoD expansion from another dive in subs. It reached that many total downloads in less than 6 months, something even DBM couldn't do in 5 years. UIs are that critical now).