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Thread: Reviving thirdparty (trading) tools using a poor man web-api solution -- XML dumps.

  1. #1

    Reviving thirdparty (trading) tools using a poor man web-api solution -- XML dumps.

    Most commanders will know about the FD's new data access policy.
    A snippet from this announcement: "We will be considering an external API for future development."

    Seting up a good API will take quite some time and I personally don't expect it before the final release - if they choose to release it at all.

    It has been discussed that THE reason FD did this was because apparently third party programs, like marketdump (which feds EMDN) was causing stability issues and or crashes. Though I haven't seen an FD source for that. Lets assume that that is the sole reason why FD stopped marketdump and prohibited tools that aquire data directly from the game or through its communications.

    Would the following not solve the current lack of price data needed for third party tools. ED stays stable and the prices are available.
    • When opening the commodities market an XML file for that station is created in the (sub)directory where the logs are stored. An existing file is simply overwritten.
    • FD provides the community with the system coordinates of Beta2.


    If FD does NOT want to have us real time data available they could create the file say 10 minutes after opening the market.

    PRE marketdump Slopey's BPC scraped the heap memory of ED. In here was stored in XML format the complete price info for the opened commodities market. "Live marketdata" a tool which got its info from the FD servers directly also presented its output in XML. Both looked the same. When opening the market ED gets from het network the prices. Hence the price information (perhaps even directly in XML format) is available in(side) ED.

    When the file(s) are there a marketdump program could simply read the files and upload them to EMDN. In effect all trading tools would continue to work - and in a legal way. This would include the local mode for Slopeys BPC and would make it possible to create a local mode for for example Trade Dangerous by kfsone as well.

    I'm a programmer myself and can't really imagine this would take more then a single day including testing.

    To be honest. I don't expect FD doing this. They will have various reasons for there new policy. Of course if they did this it would mean they would support the existing of third party tools.This would have consequences for them. I suspect that that the upcoming official app (free or paid) have something to do with it. But that is of course pure speculation.

    I just wanted to point out that from a technical point of view things seem to be (relative) easy to implement.

    Please do NOT turn this into another pro vs contra third party (trading) tools thread. Those discussion for me are the equivalent of the trenches war of WWI. Nobody makes progress. Also lets NOT discuss why FD did it. Also lets not discuss of those tools were really causing problems. Lets try to concentrate on a pure technical point of view of the feasibility of my suggestion.

  2. #2
    Originally Posted by wolverine2710 View Post (Source)
    .....
    It has been discussed that THE reason FD did this was because apparently third party programs, like marketdump (which feds EMDN) was causing stability issues and or crashes. Though I haven't seen an FD source for that.....


    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    We will be improving the security of the trading part of the game in the same we have for other areas of the game.

    We faced a couple of issues with the various tools. One is that we have to be careful of seeming to allow tools that plug in or modify the game, especially as we've already had to deal with bugs arising from some of these actions.

    Providing an external API is something we'd like to support in the future.

    Michael
    How about this?
    Shoot For The Moon: Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. (Of course, then your eyeballs will boil and your lungs explode from decompression. But that's what you get for being a show off).

  3. #3
    Thanks for the information. Appreciated.
    Also received this in another thread.
    by Michael Brookes
    One is that we have to be careful of seeming to allow tools that plug in or modify the game, especially as we've already had to deal with bugs arising from some of these actions.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by wolverine2710 View Post (Source)
    Thanks for the information. Appreciated.
    Also received this in another thread.
    Aye it's from the same post.
    Shoot For The Moon: Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. (Of course, then your eyeballs will boil and your lungs explode from decompression. But that's what you get for being a show off).

  5. #5
    Yes - I suggested this - doesn't even have to be xml, just a text format of what is on the screen - we can do the rest!

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Codec View Post (Source)
    Yes - I suggested this - doesn't even have to be xml, just a text format of what is on the screen - we can do the rest!
    Absolutely. A simple CSV file would suffice. It would enable websites who currently rely on manual input to receive always correct information Some one could convert the file to an excel sheet for the spread sheets commanders amongst us. Imho it would be easy to implement and would enable the third party tools to flourish. I'm hoping for it but I stay realistic.....

    Note: Found your suggestion :smilie:

  7. #7
    All good and logical ....but it does depend on FD.

    'nuff said.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Normalguy View Post (Source)
    All good and logical ....but it does depend on FD.

    'nuff said.
    You are 100% correct. I just tried to point that when they choose to do so a technical solution is easy to implement A full flexed web-api would take much much longer.

  9. #9

    Frontier should add a trade computer module

    I posted an idea to overcome the need for a 3rd party tool. I tried to do it here but it never showed up so I started a new thread. You can see that thread here:

    Alternative to 3rd Party Trading Tools



    .

  10. #10
    An interesting post from Michael Brookes:
    The policy change has nothing to do with their effect on markets. It is purely a support issue.
    Michael
    Source.

  11. #11
    Read Michael's post slowly and carefully and you'll see he doesn't actually say that it was specifically scraping tools that caused issues, he simply builds an association:

    "We faced a couple of issues with the various tools. One is that we have to be careful of seeming to allow tools that plug in or modify the game, especially as we've already had to deal with bugs arising from some of these actions."

    Now, some of you won't see that and - it really doesn't matter because I'm behind FD on making this call, and I know that shutting something like this down is a pain. I'm also not looking to see them develop an API for pulling market data as much as I would like to see them incorporate a trade computer into the game.

    There is assorted gameplay value to be had from having in-game BPC type tools, because, here's the thing: the BPCs can't allow for travel time and intermediate activities.

    By having some sort of "MDNT" (Market Data Net Transponder) module you could enrich the game with concepts that offer risk vs reward. Use the BPC to find a sweet deal and run the risk of other people beating you to the deliver or call up on one of several options to try and shore up your chances. E.g., brokered prices - where you pay a small fee to a local broker and secure the delivery price, but risk exposing your intent and route to police, pirates, etc.

    You could actually build a simulated data-ferrying system into the game (without actually having to build that) whereby you can obtain prices remotely in-system and get a small pay off when you deliver them to the next system.

    Most people only want something like BPC or TD etc because learning the system from scratch is kinda daunting and costly and - frankly - unprofitable.

    You can massively undermine the demand and interest in 3rd party tools while greatly benefiting and enriching gameplay by building it in and creating a realistic, believable, 31st century space trading economy.
    Author of Trade Dangerous.
    TD now has a Facebook Group!

  12. #12
    My simple fix, at this time is a google doc spread sheet- all items in it and the average price for each and I make a new column for each port, and enter in all the prices. Simple and easy- BUT time consuming..

    What I would like is a simple dump when I got the market of each station.

    I do not want to know the current price in all know space-

    Hell lock it to my account, so it can not be shared I do not care I just want to save the 3 or 10 min it takes me to update/make each port data..


    the "Tool" that was out there was GREAT- but it did make the game way to easy- thats the BIG part of it- no matter what the Tech heads are saying.

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by kfsone View Post (Source)
    Read Michael's post slowly and carefully and you'll see he doesn't actually say that it was specifically scraping tools that caused issues, he simply builds an association:

    "We faced a couple of issues with the various tools. One is that we have to be careful of seeming to allow tools that plug in or modify the game, especially as we've already had to deal with bugs arising from some of these actions."

    Now, some of you won't see that and - it really doesn't matter because I'm behind FD on making this call, and I know that shutting something like this down is a pain. I'm also not looking to see them develop an API for pulling market data as much as I would like to see them incorporate a trade computer into the game.

    There is assorted gameplay value to be had from having in-game BPC type tools, because, here's the thing: the BPCs can't allow for travel time and intermediate activities.

    By having some sort of "MDNT" (Market Data Net Transponder) module you could enrich the game with concepts that offer risk vs reward. Use the BPC to find a sweet deal and run the risk of other people beating you to the deliver or call up on one of several options to try and shore up your chances. E.g., brokered prices - where you pay a small fee to a local broker and secure the delivery price, but risk exposing your intent and route to police, pirates, etc.

    You could actually build a simulated data-ferrying system into the game (without actually having to build that) whereby you can obtain prices remotely in-system and get a small pay off when you deliver them to the next system.

    Most people only want something like BPC or TD etc because learning the system from scratch is kinda daunting and costly and - frankly - unprofitable.

    You can massively undermine the demand and interest in 3rd party tools while greatly benefiting and enriching gameplay by building it in and creating a realistic, believable, 31st century space trading economy.
    <tips hat>

    Thanks for a very good post. I hope people take the time to read it.
    It ain't much, if it is dutch...

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by kfsone View Post (Source)
    Read Michael's post slowly and carefully and you'll see he doesn't actually say that it was specifically scraping tools that caused issues, he simply builds an association:

    "We faced a couple of issues with the various tools. One is that we have to be careful of seeming to allow tools that plug in or modify the game, especially as we've already had to deal with bugs arising from some of these actions."

    Now, some of you won't see that and - it really doesn't matter because I'm behind FD on making this call, and I know that shutting something like this down is a pain. I'm also not looking to see them develop an API for pulling market data as much as I would like to see them incorporate a trade computer into the game.

    There is assorted gameplay value to be had from having in-game BPC type tools, because, here's the thing: the BPCs can't allow for travel time and intermediate activities.

    By having some sort of "MDNT" (Market Data Net Transponder) module you could enrich the game with concepts that offer risk vs reward. Use the BPC to find a sweet deal and run the risk of other people beating you to the deliver or call up on one of several options to try and shore up your chances. E.g., brokered prices - where you pay a small fee to a local broker and secure the delivery price, but risk exposing your intent and route to police, pirates, etc.

    You could actually build a simulated data-ferrying system into the game (without actually having to build that) whereby you can obtain prices remotely in-system and get a small pay off when you deliver them to the next system.

    Most people only want something like BPC or TD etc because learning the system from scratch is kinda daunting and costly and - frankly - unprofitable.

    You can massively undermine the demand and interest in 3rd party tools while greatly benefiting and enriching gameplay by building it in and creating a realistic, believable, 31st century space trading economy.
    Amen. I've been saying till i'm blue in the face the best solution if for FD to incorporate a decent trade tool in game. You have articulated better than me the why/how.

  15. #15
    If we're doing the poor-man's solution, can we at least get JSON instead of XML? XML is so *noisy*

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