Daq Syndication Update
Our Celebdaq & Sportdaq syndication notes released at the beginning of this year have received a warm response from users, so, for the benefit of Backstage, Ian Forrester has asked me to write a few notes to summarise the tools the have been built by players using the advertised feeds (or otherwise) in the games short history.
Some of this stuff is hosted on MSN, so you may be prompted to login and join the groups to access the tools.
- At Redtide, Simon has provided a fantastic set of data tables and graphs that allow players to track short-term changes in the Celebdaq markets, views of the data that the bbc.co.uk site doesn't provide. Originally the site scraped the data from our CGI servers but this has kindly been migrated over to pulling in the static XML feeds.
The second useful thing is Sandman's suite of Excel and Java tools that can be found on Celebdaq Ultimates, one of the MSN groups dedicated to the game. Notably, KayfabeDec.jar is a Java application to undertake various transactions and multiple account management from your desktop. We've not released information about how to interface with the transactional parts of the game so this might have been quite painful to create.
A few people seem to have gone to the effort of building tools to mask the awkward parts of the game, or the parts of the game where our interface is broken, ie. doesn't support the users intentions well. Like owning multiple portfolios is legal under the game rules but our UI doesn't make an effort to support it. We can learn a lot from this.
- Ultimates also provides simple renderings for it is users of some of the main RSS files via a service called Ticker My Feed, like this one for some of the editorial information available via RSS, as well as some more interesting data tables that have annotations as to why market activity is happening around a particular issue (eg. Eddie Murphy dumps Mel B!).
There's a quite a few very active community run forums for both games (mostly on MSN - search for CelebdaqUltimates, SportdaqTalk, CelebdaqBasements, CelebdaqRetreat etc... ) that provide user guides, game walkthroughs, competitions, and tips. For example, Celebdaq Guide (using TiddlyWiki) is a excellent recent occurrence. A lot of these sites also host a variety of Excel spreadsheets to help player analyze their portfolios, again register with MSN to see them.
One of our oversights in releasing this information is that lack of XSLT (or other) views of the raw XML. However, those who lurk in the various Daq communities were well served by the more technical users who provided help & support and the tools mentioned above, greatly improving the accessibility of the information.
- We've also had a glimpse of a few private projects that use the RSS and XML data, including these nice looking trading volume reports, again generated from previously unreleased information in the XML feeds.
There's also been a couple of interesting projects that are sadly no longer with us.
- Firstly, the much missed Celebdaq Adventure Capital (archive.org), a set of reports again capturing a finer grain detail of the short-term market, and tools for downtrading and league management.
- Secondly, Celebdaq-Perl (archive.org) provided a simple interface to some of the game functionality. I can't find a copy of this program anywhere, but from memory you could do simple things like grab your portfolio listings, fetch the latest issue prices etc.
I hope that's been an interesting whistle-stop tour to players and non-players alike. If you fancy a play (where the benefits of the above tools will become even more apparent!) then you can sign up for either game at the sportdaq or celebdaq bbc.co.uk websites.
Matt Chadburn, December 2007