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29Oct/150

LMeve Killboard mentioned in o7 show Episode#10

Making a killboard with real 3D ships didn't go unnoticed, specifically CCP Guard mentioned it in Episode#10 of the o7 show.

Check it out (starts at 29:05):

LMeve Killboard featured in o7

This new killboard is part of LMeve, so you can have it, too!

28Sep/150

LMeve dev-blog: Killboard with WebGL ship preview

It was quiet on the blog lately, but behind the scenes I was receiving tons of valuable feedback, and development was slowly but surely progressing through the past month.

There were two recurring questions in the feedback I was getting:

  • Corp API Keys editable in GUI
  • Killboard

So these two features have been made the top priorities. Here's the results:

Killboard

Some people set up an instance of LMeve, and then on the same host they set up a killboard. How convenient would it be if one app contained both? Good idea. But there is so many killboards already available, that writing a new one which copies existing functionality made little sense. I had to do something new!

In the previous release, LMeve got ship fitting preview in Inventory, and it felt like a great way to display the fitting of destroyed ships as well. But first, I need the killmail data.

Killmails are available from two APIs: XML (with corp API Key) and CREST (you need to know certain information about the killmail to be able to fetch it). Item list in the XML API lacks specialized cargoholds, so I opted for a hybrid approach. First, I download Killmail.xml.aspx, based on this information I can calculate a killmail hash required by CREST, and finally download the CREST Killmail to fetch complete item list, including fittings and specialized cargoholds. This default behavior can however be changed in Settings, where you can choose to use plain XML API instead (it's a little faster, but fittings of destroyed ships might be incomplete).

Right, but theres nothing new here, right? zKillboard does this out of the box. Well, true.

That's where the second feature comes in. I changed the fitting display to include a 3D ship preview (rendered using CCP WebGL) instead of a static ship image (which, mind you, is a fallback for older PCs/browsers). Yup, you can spin and zoom the ship on the killmail! It works in Inventory, too!

Enough words, pics or it didn't happen:

killboard webgl_killboard_4 webgl_killboard_3 webgl_killboard_2 webgl_killboard_1

Corp API Keys editable in GUI

This is a very simple, yet important feature. Previously, during LMeve installation procedure you had to input your API Keys in PhpMyAdmin, by directly inserting into a database. I've chosen not to expose API Keys in GUI, because they could potentially be abused. But this made already complicated installation procedure even worse, so after some deliberation I've decided to add a GUI for it.

corpapikey

And here's the complete list of this month's features, coming to LMeve in 0.1.55:

  • Fully functional Killboard
  • XML and CREST killmail support in API Poller
  • Can use either XML or CREST killmail endpoint (configurable in Settings)
  • CCP WebGL preview in Inventory and Killboard ship fitting window
  • You can now input Corp API Keys in GUI
  • Disabled accounts have existing sessions terminated immediately
  • Bug fixes
20Aug/150

LMeve dev blog: Does inventory only track minerals?!

This headline is actually one of the most often asked questions by brand new LMeve users. And it makes sense after all: the default install would only have minerals set to "Track stock", so only minerals would show after opening inventory.

Well, not anymore.

Inventory has been rebuilt to resemble in-game inventory. All belongings of your corporation, be it POS structures, offices in stations or even containers - will now be available for browsing.

inventory

Pretty neat, eh? Okay. You've noticed those assembled Exequrors over there? Are you thinking the same thing I'm thinking? Wouldn't it be cool to inspect the fitting of such an assembled ship?

It would!

When you hover on a fitted module, LMeve will show a tooltip with it's name in a similar manner EVE game client would.

Ok. Now onto the next thing. As you most likely know, LMeve Database already sports 3D SKIN preview. I've refined this feature even further by giving it the ability to load any SKIN from the matching race, not just the ones you can buy from NeX store.

Quafe Exequror anyone?

quafe-exequror

Please mind this feature is readily available in the public LMeve Database, so go ahead and take a peek!

So many images and so little reading! Well, I had to show you the most iconic features of this release, because one picture is worth a thousand words they say. Wait, did I say iconic features?

This release actually has new support for item icons, and when you're installing LMeve you can now choose to host the typeids icons with your instance (and update every 5 weeks as new EVE releases show up), or rely on CCP imageserver. Keeping your install up to date is one bit easier now!

There's also a few smaller changes

  • Additional tooltips - should help new users understand how things work
  • Customizable market hub to get material prices from - defaults to Jita, but you can freely change it
  • Customizable manufacturing sytem Index (Crius NPC cost formula) - same as above, used to calculate Manufacturing costs
  • Customizable price modifier for Buy Calculator - if you want to pay more (or less) to your corp mates for their minerals, set the modifier here
  • Real time API poller stats - shows in real time what the API background process is doing at the moment
  • Bug fixes

That's it for today, and as usual, the new release is up on Github: https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve

Fly safe o/

12Aug/150

Oh my, I’m a one man Support Center!

As some of you know, I spend more time on developing tools than on playing EVE. But development of tools is not just about programming.

When you open your application up for other people to use, you will start getting questions eventually:

lmeve-support-center

Yup, this is just one weekend of messages!

While I totally don't mind that, and despite limited time, I try to get back to every single one of you as soon as I can, some of the questions repeat. So to avoid answering the same questions, I've created a FAQ on the project's page on Github:

LMeve Frequently Asked Questions

I hope it answers at least some of your inquiries!

Fly safe o7

- Lukas Rox

PS. LMeve project wiki also holds Installation manual, End user manual and LMeve Northbound API manual

9Jul/151

Aegis Static Data Dump Conversion Delayed

Update: Aegis SDE conversion is now available: https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/dump/

Most of the players don't realize that almost all third party apps need to be updated every time there is a new release of EVE. This is because of the Static Data - a special database made by CCP and released to the third party developers of EVE. It used to happen two to four times a year, but with the new release cadence it now happens every 5 weeks.

Usually the process is rather simple: CCP releases a MS SQL backup with the static data (plus some tables in YAML files), then Steve Ronuken (rather famous third party developer and a CSM member) combines both MS SQL and YAML files into one databse and converts it to several formats, such as MySQL (by far the most popular one), PostgreSQL and SQLite.

In Aegis release, CCP has changed one of the core tables - invTypes - from MS SQL database table to a YAML file. And unfortunately it caused some trouble:

Steve Ronuken [1:42 PM] It's just because there's data missing, due to the conversion

Steve Ronuken [1:50 PM] invGroup, invCategory data is totally missing. much of invTypes is missing

and

Forum thread about Aegis 1.0 SDE - Released

What does this mean for a regular EVE Online player? Most of the third party apps will be stuck on Carnyx static database, meaning there will be no Hecate or new missile modules there. We have to wait until CCP rectifies the situation, so Steve can convert the DB for the rest of third party devs.

Maybe it would be a good idea for CCP to consider releasing a complete database in all popular formats (or at least one), instead of data being scattered between MS SQL backup and several YAML files?

3Jul/150

LMeve dev blog: drill down & aggregate

Hi space friends!

Today I'm going to talk about how important constructive feedback is and how to show more information in the same amount of space 🙂

A few days ago I was contacted by an interpid industrialist who is using LMeve in his daily work. The amount of ideas this pilot sent me was amazing - thank you very much, sir! There were also two bug reports in that single mail. Awesome!

This is the kind of feedback is very useful, so if you have ideas for LMeve or found a bug in it, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Okay, now onto the new features

First off, the Industry Statistics got some love, namely, I broken down the amount of jobs started by activity type. So now you see how many of them are manufacturing jobs, and what else did your corp members do. The underlying code has been changed as well, because previously I constructed the JSON data for graph plugin by hand (inefficient!) and now I create a PHP object that gets json_encode()-d instead. In the end, more information is displayed in the same amount of space, and the code is less spaghetti!

industry-statisticsThere will be one more graph coming in Industry Statistics - with jobs delivered this time.

The second feature was requested by our new CEO (hi Razeu o7). In short, it allows to aggregate the Timesheet output at player level rather than character level. Some corp members use all of their characters for industry, and paying out monthly wage to each character is very inefficient - plus those players will then have to move the ISK to one pilot afterwards if they want those hard-earned money in one wallet. So now instead of a list of characters and how much they earned, you get a shorter list made of players.

aggregate-by-player

If you wonder if running high sec industry CAN earn you a PLEX  monthly, wonder no more. One of our players made 837 million ISK last month. He was only running industry on two characters, and one of the toons made over 600 million! Like that kind of income? <recruiter hat on> Apply to Aideron Technologies right away! </recruiter hat off>

The last new feature is a little thing (now I know how CCP Karkur & CCP Punkturis feel when adding little things), but for some players it will proove very useful: EVE Time is now displayed on the top of LMeve window. It is a client side thing, so your computer clock has to be set right for this to work (enable NTP, set the correct time zone).

Bug hunting is a thing these days

The second part of the last LMeve update is bug fixes. There are three in this release:

  • Session timer now correctly counts since LAST ACTION done in the app, rather than since logon time
  • Ore Value Chart is now restored (a small bug related to code refactoring prevented it from displaying)
  • CREST is now using HTTPS. For some reason I forgot to do this earlier and it was using HTTP. Doh!

As usual, the latest update is available on Github.

6Jun/150

SKINs support added in LMeve (with CCP WebGL preview)

Hi space friends!

Team Size Matters at CCP has recently shipped a very cool feature that I've already praised in this post. In short, you can now apply different paintjobs to your ships, and you can even change them mid-flight, in space!

The first time I saw it in game I realized it would be damn cool to use CCP WebGL and have it in LMeve as well - either for reference, or to choose which SKINs you'd like to buy.

Steve Ronuken again proved his place on the CSM is one well deserved. He was so helpful, that he already imported the new SKIN YAML files to his MySQL conversion of EVE Static Data.

All I had to do is bind them to Database module in LMeve. Sounds easy, right?

Well, not so fast. While CCP was generally very helpful by providing all the data I need, they provided this data in a bit inconsistent way. I'm talking about SKIN icons in Image Export Collection. Every typeID in the game, be it a ship, module or even DUST weaponry has two sizes of icons in Types.zip file. It applies to all items, but not SKINs! SKINs have their icons in Icons.zip "because SKINs are not linked to typeIDs" according to CCP FoxFour. Well, I agree to some extent, but then when you look at it, all SKIN Licenses typeIDs have an icon in Types.zip already - they just have this exclamation mark icon instead of the pretty hull colour preview known from the game client.

I didn't realize that these icons were in the other file - as soon as I saw the exclamation mark, instead of digging in more files, I have immediately set out to create a piece of code to draw these icons myself.

It didn't take long before I ended up with this JavaScript piece: https://jsfiddle.net/zbasb4jc/


Possible? Possible! It does not look *exactly* like SKIN icon in game. First I didn't know how to do gradients of the top of my head, and secondly, by now you've realized the first icon above is for Wiyrkomi SKIN, right? Then it means it is good enough 😉

The second step was to modify the Database view to display a list of available SKINs for selected ship, and modifying code handling CCP WebGL to load the correctly skinned version.

Here's an example page for Caldari Raven, and a fullscreen 3D preview:

lmeve-skins-database lmeve-skins-preview

Feel free to explore this new feature yourself - the public version of LMeve Database has been updated to show SKINs as well!
http://pozniak.pl/database/index.php?id=10&id2=1&nr=638

2Apr/150

LMeve dev-blog: Bugfixes and POS tracking improvements

Hi space friends!

More and more of you have already tried LMeve, which I am incredibly grateful for. This means more people are testing the app and I get more feedback, which is awesome. I also get a lot of questions which I try to answer the best I can and in a timely fashion.

Remember: by trying and using LMeve you help developing it!

Few players also caught some bugs, that I'm happy to announce, have been properly squashed in the 0.1.52 release.

  • Bug fix in db.php "Notice: LM_dbhost is not defined" - added $LM_dbhost to global declaration in db.php
  • Bug fix in Database - "function eregi() is deprecated" - replaced with preg_match()
  • Bug fix in YAML updater - changed 'DROP TABLE' to 'DROP TABLE IF EXISTS' to prevent errors if the table was not created yet.

One bug was found by my trusty Aideron Technologies beta testers:

  • Non-recurring Tasks (singleton) bug fix - one-time tasks did not display correctly due to a mistake in SQL query

What's new besides Bugfixes?

  • Poller now fetches StarbaseDetails.xml and CREST industry cost indexes

The first API feed is used by POS tracking code to display accurate and up-to-date fuel levels in LMeve Inventory. The second CREST feed provides NPC cost index to the build cost estimation formula (I currently use an average system index, so you might pay more or less than what LMeve uses for price estimates).

In the next release I will add a "Industry home system" field in Settings, where you will choose your home system. LMeve will then use this system's cost index in all it's calculations.

  • New POS management screen - displays fuel amounts and how long it will last
  • There is now a notification when any tower has less than 48 hours of fuel left

new-pos-screen

  • Tech III invention added. You can now add Tech III invention tasks and get price estimates for Tech III
  • New global setting for the default Relic type for use with Tech III Invention (Intact, Malfunctioning or Wrecked)

Download LMeve here

https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve/

If you are updating from a previous release, please remember to create new tables included in this release using /data/schema-delta-0.1.51-0.1.52.sql

Try-before-you-buy

Well, LMeve is free software, so you don't have to buy it 🙂 (donations are of course welcome!). But let's get back to business. Installation requires some technical knowledge, so to make it easier for you guys to try it out, I have prepared a pre-installed Virtual Machine with LMeve, which runs on free VMware Player. You can download the image here: https://pozniak.pl/lmeve-vm/ 

  • it contains LMeve 0.1.52
  • static data is updated to Scylla
  • after booting it shows the IP address to point your web browser to:

lmeve_vm

19Mar/154

Yearly aggregated stats CREST endpoint coming soon

Right now in Reykjavik CCP Quant and CCP FoxFour are in the middle of a presentation, and they are showing a new CREST endpoint, which returns aggregate statistic data for your characters. For example, you will now be able to see how much damage your toon dealt last year, and how that compares to a year before! Of course this applies to a range of possible metrics, including, but not limited to:

  • number of ships built
  • number of BPOs researched
  • number of pod kills in wormhole space
  • number of characters typed in chat
  • number of stargate jumps in high security space
  • damage your character dealt with projectile weapons
  • number of times your toon was tackled
  • many, many more

Ready to see how you did in 2014?

Just open this page and follow instructions: https://pozniak.pl/yearly-stats (by the way this app is mobile device friendly).

slack_for_ios_upload_1024 Screenshot_2015-03-18-14-20-25IMG_1818 IMG_1820

Feel free to check Bellatroix and Aaeriele projects as well. They have pretty graphs!

Technical details

A few weeks before Fanfest 2015, CCP FoxFour asked on forums if there are any third party devs who would be willing to work on a "secret project". Few familiar faces turned up, and after some time three web apps have been built:

pasted_image_at_2015_03_17_03_20_pm_1024

Unfortunately due to RL I was only able to work on my prototype app for several hours, but it has the core functionality of showing the most interesting statistics in a readable way 😉

Now speaking about the technical details, this new endpoint will be available as authenticated CREST, which means you have to use SSO mechanism first to obtain a Bearer Token (see this news item about authenticated CREST for reference). Only then it is possible to access these new endpoint on the CREST API server. Data itself is returned as a JSON object, so using it in JavaScript and PHP is trivial.

The URL where the data is stored looks like this:

https://<CREST_API_SERVER>/characters/<characterID>/statistics/year/<year>/

where CREST_API_SERVER is either api-sisi.testeveonline.com or api.eveonline.com,

characterID - is the ID of the character (obtained from SSO process)

year - is either 2013, 2014 or 2015 (only these three years are available)

If everything goes fine, you will get a JSON file like this one:

{"combatDeathsPodTotal": 0,
 "combatDamageFromPlayersFighterMissileNumShots": 0,
"combatWebifyingPC": 0,
"socialAddedAsContactNeutral": 0
...}

Once you have the data it's up to you how you want to display them.

23Feb/150

CCP WebGL updated!

This is probably one of the best news for T'Amber and me in a long time: a CCP dev Filipp (we don't know his CCP nickname yet) has updated CCP WebGL library to use V4 shaders, and moreover he did a complete model export up to date with EVE Tiamat release. What this means is that third-party projects like LMeve and Jeremy can again display all ships in EVE in full glory with up to date shaders and models!

The new webGL library is a little different from the previous one, because it is using the new SOF mechanism (Space Object Factory) instead of plain .red files.

For example, to load an Onyx heavy dictor, old javascript call looked like this:

var ship = scene.loadShip('res:/dx9/model/ship/caldari/Cruiser/CC2/Kaalakiota/CC2_T2a_Kaalakiota.red', undefined);

and new call is a little different:

var ship = scene.loadShip('cc2_t2a:kaalakiota:caldari', undefined);

You probably noticed that instead of a file name we have three "ship DNA" strings now. The mapping between ship's typeID and the corresponding SOF entries are stored in graphicIDs.yaml, which is available in Static Data Export:

graphicID description sofFactionName sofHullName sofRaceName
10 Moon NULL NULL NULL
38 Caldari Frigate Bantam caldaribase cf1_t1 caldari
39 Caldari Frigate Condor caldaribase cf2_t1 caldari
40 Caldari Frigate Griffin caldaribase cf4_t1 caldari
41 Caldari Cruiser Osprey caldaribase cc1_t1 caldari
42 Caldari Cruiser Caracal caldaribase cc3_t1 caldari
43 Caldari Battleship Raven caldaribase cb1_t1 caldari
44 Minmatar Frigate Slasher minmatarbase mf1_t1 minmatar

I have already updated LMeve to use the new library, but because of a small issue (more on that below), it currently only works if your LMeve is served using HTTP.

Updated Onyx model

Public LMeve Database has been updated as well. Here's an example page with the Amarr Confessor (please note you must press "3D" button for the WebGL preview to load).

All roses have thorns

Unfortunately the current version of the CCP webGL library has some drawbacks, too:

  • there are two model/texture sources now (so a simple reverse proxy like the one I've developed for LMeve won't handle it)
  • both sources use HTTP, so modern browsers like Chrome will trigger a security error when trying to load HTTP based resources from HTTPS based website.

The latter is a very simple thing and I'm sure Filipp will be able to correct it. With CORS headers now properly set on CCP CDN we no longer need a proxy to serve models and textures.

New version of Jeremy in the making

With the new webGL library T'Amber sees a lot of potential to improve Jeremy. the new version would be using dynamically generated list of ships (instead of hardcoded list maintained by T'Amber). I will help with all the backend work (for example serving all SOF and invTypes data by JSON API).

Here's a little teaser:

Stay tuned, because we are working hard to deliver you the best possible out of game ship spinning experience 🙂

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