Kilg.us – Fantasy Stat Tracker …Tracker

A blog about the development of Kilg.us – The Fantasy Baseball Stat Tracker

2017 Season

March 8th, 2017

First, let me apologize for Kilg.us being offline for so long. I’ve heard from many, many of you asking about the status of the tool for 2017.

The good news: I rebooted the server and it came back online, so I expect Kilg.us to run through 2017.

The less good news: I have no time to manage, maintain, or update Kilg.us. It is, unfortunately, at the bottom of the priorities in life at this point. So, as has been the case the last few years, I will make an effort to keep Kilg.us online but I don’t have time for bug fixes or offering support to users. That means when features fail (like the daily boxscores which relied on a 3rd-party email service that stopped offering an appropriate free tier for us to use; or the Invite a Friend function) I don’t have the bandwidth to diagnose and fix them. As long as the data source for Kilg.us keeps working as it has in the past, I’ll try to keep Kilg.us up. But, it is almost a decade old at this point and is in desperate need of  lot of technical cleanup, so I can’t promise how long it will stay available.

That said, I need to think about the future of Kilg.us. If it is going to stay available long-term I either need to find a financial model for Kilg.us that allows me to dedicate work hours to it, or find another group or individual interested in taking Kilg.us off my hands. If anyone with a deep technical knowledge (Rackspace Cloud, PHP, MySQL, XML) is interested in taking over Kilg.us, you can reach me at admin@kilg.us to discuss.

For now, hopefully daily stats start flowing into Kilg.us as you all get back to using it. Remember that there are always funny glitches around Spring Training stats (and how some of those might carry into the regular season for players sent to the minors).

Good luck with your teams in 2017!

Daily Boxscore Email Update

May 26th, 2015

I apologize for the delay on getting this issue addressed.

As noted previously, daily boxscore emails stopped going out earlier this month. I’ve finally had time to dig into the issue.

First, if you are subscribed for daily emails, you should have received a boxscore email around 9:30am Mountain time today. If you didn’t receive such an email (and confirmed it isn’t in a SPAM folder), please comment here or email me.

To publish daily boxscore emails, Kilg.us goes through a few steps. First, it makes sure all the latest stats have been collected. It then starts a queue for composing the emails. Each team is checked for subscribers and email content is saved to a database table. Once complete, the queue is closed (the stages of opening and closing this queue are recorded). The next step is to systematically go through that DB table and send the emails. As each email is sent, it is deleted from the table. The emails are sent in batches, 50 at a time.

A few observations:

  • The database shows that the composition queue was completed each day of the outage.
  • The database is stuffed full of all the emails that haven’t gone out in the last few weeks.
  • SendGrid (the 3rd party that actually sends the emails at Kilg.us’ request) shows that a full batch (~550) emails went out on May 1. May 2 dropped to 50, followed by 200, 50, 100, and then to 0 in subsequent days. These increments of 50 suggest something is going wrong with our send batches.
  • I used the exact same scripts to successfully send the emails today (manually executed, rather than scheduled).

All told, I haven’t identified a specific cause of the outage. The send process can take a while so it is possible we ran into a timeout along the way. The server has been updated, scrubbed, and rebooted so it should be in tip-top shape for tomorrow. Fingers crossed that emails will go out as scheduled. If not, I at least know I can manually trigger the process daily until I have time to dig back in deeper.

Email Boxscore Issues

May 18th, 2015

Numerous people have notified me of an issue with daily email boxscores. It seems that since early May, many have not been delivered properly. This is on my radar. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to dive in to resolve it. Trust that as soon as I find time, I will get it fixed and post an update here about what happened.

2015 Season

April 6th, 2015

The new season is upon us! I’ve had a number of people checking in to see if Kilg.us will be functioning again this year. It looks like our data feeds are still working, so at this point I don’t have plans to shut Kilg.us down.

Daily boxscore emails should resume tomorrow. If you would like to change your settings for which teams you receive, please access your account settings.

As a quick reminder: Kilg.us is in maintenance mode. If something goes down, I’ll try to fix it in a timely manner. At this point I don’t actively use Kilg.us, though, so it isn’t a high priority. Last year I posted some things to keep in mind about the operations of Kilg.us. Please take a look.

Good luck with your 2015 season!

Log-in Issues (User Sessions)

May 11th, 2014

A number of people have reported issues logging in to Kilg.us today. After a little exploration, I found that the database table that records user session data was corrupted. After repairing the table, Kilg.us seems to be back to normal and properly logging users in.

This is the first time we’ve encountered this issue, so I’m not going to dig further into the cause of the corruption. If it happens again, though, I’ll dig a bit deeper.

For now, you should be able to log in normally. If you have any problems, please let me know.

Email Boxscores and 2014 Update

April 9th, 2014

As of tomorrow morning (4/10), Kilg.us should resume sending daily boxscore emails for teams that have requested them.

In order to avoid the flood of unsubscribe and SPAM reports with the first emailings of the new season, I discontinued daily boxscore emails for all teams that haven’t been updated since the start of 2014. If you think you should be seeing a daily email but don’t, check your settings and confirm the team has been signed up. I don’t believe any teams that have been updated since the start of the year have been affected, but it’s always possible.

Obviously, I’ve been a little slow getting things up and running for the new season. I’ll blame a perfect storm of vacations, the constant distraction/entertainment of my first sons’ birth, and starting up a new business (Super Humane. If you have a company that needs some help making the world better through technology—the mobile web in particular—I’d love to chat!). On top of it all, I’m not actually participating in a fantasy league this year for the first time in recent memory. Nonetheless, my intention is to continue operating Kilg.us for the 2014 season.

A few reminders of what the continued operation of Kilg.us involves:

  • We use a free but limited stats feed in order to have up-to-the-second stats. Sometimes it has issues (like Spring stats trailing into the season…), but 99% of the time it works.
  • The stats already in Kilg.us are all we have. We can’t add games played/pitched, WAR, or anything else that isn’t there now.
  • Kilg.us was built to display real-time stats. We added “season-to-date” later, then tacked on the daily boxscores to help people who couldn’t log in every night. Kilg.us was never intended to help slice and dice stats.
  • When things go wrong (it seems to happen once or twice a year), I’ll try to fix it as quick as I can. It usually takes a day or two.
  • If you have a problem, email me. I don’t regularly use Kilg.us anymore, so I need people to point out issues when they arise. I’ll respond as soon as I can.
  • You’re welcome to manage your team, all your teams, all the teams in your league, or whatever you like. We’ve got over 6000 teams being managed by 3400 users right now.
  • Kilg.us is free! Which is great! Especially when generous folk are willing to donate to offset the hosting costs associated with it!

Best of luck for your 2014 season!

Server Issues this Morning

August 25th, 2013

This morning a lot of people awoke to find Kilg.us was kicking out errors and was showing all players had been lost from all team. Frankly, not a nice way to start the morning!

Luckily, the issue was resolved with a quick reboot of the server. It seems to have been an issue with one of the database tables, but I’ll be performing some additional diagnostics to try to determine what caused all the errors this morning. For now things should be back up and running.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Spring Training Stats

April 5th, 2013

I’ve been getting a flood of emails about spring training statistics showing up for players that haven’t played in the big leagues yet this year.

Kilg.us collects all of its stats for an XML feed that MLB publishes. Every time you request the stats for your team(s), Kilg.us checks to see what the latest stats are and loads them into the system.

Unfortunately, it seems that MLB leaves springs stats listed for all players that appear in the spring but are then sent to the minors (or DL). Until they appear in a big league game, MLB will continue to show springs stats in their feed.

This is just how it works.

If you have a player on your team that is showing spring stats, please move that player to your bench. The player’s individual stats will still show from spring, but this will remove the player’s stats from your team totals.

That’s a wrap!

October 29th, 2012

The 2012 baseball season has come to a close. As such, Kilg.us will no longer be sending out daily box score emails.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Kilg.us. In particular, we experienced a lot of accuracy issues with our data source (free MLB.com published XML feeds) and I heard more than ever about the lack of this stat or that stat.

I stopped using Kilg.us for my personal needs a couple years ago (I originally built it as a personal tool). Going into 2013, I’m on the fence as to whether to continue maintaining Kilg.us. Obviously there are costs associated with keeping the servers up and running (thanks to all of you that have donated to help cover hosting costs!), but even more important is the time it takes to field email questions and comments, fix things when they go wrong, and monitor the performance of servers, databases, and email services. We’ll see how that goes in a few months when the excitement of a new season ramps up.

In the meantime, keep your chins up. Baseball is only a few cold months away!

Missing and Delayed Player Stats

August 19th, 2012

Over the last few days I’ve received a lot of emails about Kilg.us not properly updating some player’s stats. Reports include missing stats, delayed reporting of stats, and out-dated season stats. I’ve not been able to investigate every report (timeliness is obviously critical in a real-time stat tracker!), but in each instance I’ve been able to check, the MLB data source is, in fact, reporting the incorrect, incomplete, or out-dated states.

Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about the incorrect stats feed. This is one of the down-sides of using a free, unsupported stats feed. We just have to live with whatever it provides us.

It seems like most people have had success checking later in the evening or first thing in the morning. Hopefully that will suffice in getting everyone the stats they need.

With any luck, there is just a glitch in the MLB.com stats feeds and they will right themselves soon. In the four or so years Kilg.us has been up and running, though, I haven’t seen this happen before, so I’m not quite sure what to expect.