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Old 03-31-2004, 10:32 AM   #1
Angie
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Unhappy

I have seen this used on a few sites, and I wanted to ask if TMS offers a function that we could use to do that.

If not, would it be possible to add such a function? It would be much nicer and cleaner than screen scraping...
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Old 04-01-2004, 04:04 AM   #2
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The thread titled How to... in the Webmasters forum explains the screen-scrape solution - which works if you have a rough idea what ranking your MUD is in the TMS list.

A more program-friendly friendly 'feed' of current rankings was mentioned as desirable in that thread, but I'm not sure whether it's something that TMS are interested in writing.  It'd be nice if it happened - I know we'd update our site to use it.
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Old 04-20-2004, 04:16 PM   #3
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It would be definitely a nice addition, even if it were just for people who advertise. Our server is completely written in LPC, so it will take some painful workarounds to get it done with screen scraping.

Can anybody from the TMS staff give their opinion on this?
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:43 PM   #4
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I would even know where to begin on how to write something like that (the ranking list is software I purchased called AutoRank), so the odds are, it's probably not going to happen.

If someone who has AutoRank knows how to do this, talk to me.

Adam
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:24 AM   #5
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I hate speaking up when I am not completely sure - but I had an idea from looking over AutoRank's webpage and reading a few idea posts out there:

Couldn't you have this data show up on the "Info" page from the "Mud Database"? Just something like adding in 2 more rows to the "Info" page: Current Rank & Votes Needed. Then when you searched for the Mud in the database, it would query the DB, find out the Mud's current position and total votes, use that to find the Mud just above it, and figure out the difference? I'm only beginning to learn SQL and PHP, but maybe something I said might help.

I'm gonna shut up now before I REALLY look stupid
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:02 PM   #6
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I kind of wished this existed too. I have a VBScript in my client that can read the raw HTML for the page and look for the mud I play at, but it tends to hang the client for several seconds when executing. It also only looks at one page, while trying to find your ranking if you don't change the range to look at manually would take almost a minute or more, since it would need to load each pages starting at ranking 1, then 21, then 41, etc. to find it. This is bad when all you want is for it to periodically execute the script to post a note in the client about where your mud is at. I had hoped that you could actually see it in the info page for the mud at the time, but discovered you couldn't.

In any case, I agree, this would be nice to have, since hunting through every page, just to take a look at one muds status is inconvenient to say the least. I completely gave up on using the script I made for it.
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:42 PM   #7
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I am forwarding this suggestion from one of our immortals (since his posting rights have not been activated yet):

Ok, this boils down to 2 options, polling or notification.

Polling includes screen scraping, but for the kind of service some of the folks on here are talking about, it would need some kind of 'service' to be available that could be called remotely, something along the lines of a web service, for example. Now I guess web services is a bit beyond the means of most of the muds on here, so that is not a viable option.

Looking at notification, I had a glance over at the autorank site, and it seems that amongst the supported features are email support and templated emails, so perhaps a solution here is to allow a facility whereby each mud can register that they are interested in receiveing email notification of information regarding their status on the toplist. TMS can send this email out to everyone interested, and then the mud is responsible for moving this email to a place that can be read by their website.

I wouldn't recommend you do it on every vote change, you leave yourself open to DoS attack, but you could schedule it every 10-15 minutes or whatever works best. The key here is if the admins at TMS can get the data from their DB into the email, if they can, this will work a treat!

~Daffy
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Old 04-22-2004, 08:17 PM   #8
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100 MUDs * 1 email sent every 10 minutes (each recalculation of the rankings) = sounds painful.

My preference is for a simple page outside the main TMS web pages where the top 100 muds are listed almost, if not actually, in plain text. I can then quickly and easily load the list, find my MUD, record the ranking and vote count (and the one before it) and we're done.

To store the ranking for 10 minutes, I suggest using a one record database table and update the record when the 10 minute period expires.
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