Kilg.us – Fantasy Stat Tracker …Tracker

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

Posts Tagged ‘home page’

Scoreboard

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

One of the longest running requests of Kilg.us has been to include game progress information. I can definitely see the value in knowing whether the game your pitcher was pitching in is done yet or not (will there be a win coming or is it all over already?). This is a different kind of statistic than what Kilg.us otherwise collects, so it has been low on the priority list. As I got tired of stored procedures earlier today, though, it finally sounded like an appealing project.

The scoreboard is displayed across the top of the page in the banner area. It displays abbreviated linescores: team, runs, hits, errors, and inning (or “F” if Final). The banner area only has room for 8 scores at a time, so there are left and right arrows to slide the scoreboard side-to-side to view all games.

The first draft of the implementation pulls XML data from MLB each time a page is loaded that displays the scoreboard. Currently the Kilg.us homepage, your Dashboard, and all Team pages include the scoreboard. The data is collected from the XML, looped through, and populated into a list/table combination of mark-up. Some JQuery sets up click events on the arrow buttons when the page loads (if they are needed; if 8 or less games are occuring that day, no arrows will appear) and calculates how far the scoreboard needs to slide to display all games.

I only had time to perform a very quick testing on IE8, Safari, and Chrome (in addition to Firefox, on which all my development occurs) so if you experience any problems with your browser, please let me know.

More development will be ongoing with the scoreboard. I expect I will update the process to store the game scores so Kilg.us doesn’t need to continue pulling in game scores even after all game are done. It will function similar to how player stats are collected. It will first check if the XML feed has been updated. If not, it will pull data from the database. If so, it will update the database and use those stats.

Homepage and Email Improvements

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Two minor updates on Kilg.us today:

  1. Daily boxscore emails are updated to properly include individual pitchers’ win and loss statistics.
  2. The homepage copy was revised to highlight some features of Kilg.us.

In all, nothing earth shattering.

I’ve been on vacation the last week, and will be again through early next week, so there is little going on with Kilg.us. Next week I hope to address handling of games that are suspended while in-progress (ignoring those stats when calculating a team’s totals) and double headers (ensuring both games’ stats are aggregated). Until then, not much to see here.

Two Days of Updates

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I quit working too late last night to post about the updates, so I’ll cover a couple days’ work now.

The biggest visible change was an update to the top site navigation. Previously, after logging-in, if you visited the home page or Tracker blog, there was no way to return to the system without logging-in again. Obviously, that was inconvenient. The home page and blog now both recognize an authenticated session and will display a new navigation link (that exists throughout the site now) to visit the Dashboard. This will get you back “into” Kilg.us without needing to log-in again.

The other big functional change is on the Add Player page. After receiving a report that adding a player was causing an alert in Firefox, I dug in to see what was happening. Unfortunately the alert was simply a slow script notice, not an actual error. What I ultimately determined was that the cumulative stat bubbles that I added the other day were causing an odd JQuery loop when the page is unloaded. Rather than trying to dig into JQuery to see what the problem was, I determined it could be alleviated by reducing the number of instances of the stat bubbles on the page. So the Add Player page now features pagination! Search results will be displayed 50 at a time with pagination links at the bottom of the page. This leads to quicker load times of the page, as well, so it seems like an improvement all-round.

Complicating the new Add Player pagination is the position filter. That filter literally filters down the players shown on the page, based on position.  All it really does is turn off the display of players that don’t match the filter. So, previously, changing the filter to a specific position would cause a display of all players at that position. Now, changing the filter will only show the players among the currently displayed 50 that match. This seems confusing to me, so I think I will need to re-write how it works.

On a non-visible vein, I’ve incorporated the functionality to allow Users to view other Users’ teams. This is a precursor to the social-stat-tracking concept I’ve been discussing. There is no interface to share your teams with other Users yet–the relationship has to be manually set in the database. There is a new relationship type, though. Originally a team only had one User related to it: the Owner who had total control to do anything with the team they wished. Now there is a Viewer User type. This User type can only view the team. They cannot change the team name, delete the team, add players, remove players, bench players, or change the team’s stats. I’m hoping to waste a good chunk of time this weekend working on social-stat-tracking. With a lot of luck, I’ll have something working by opening day.

On a reality-strikes front: the iPhone web app won’t be ready for opening day. Once life settles down a bit, I’ll try to get back to it later this Spring or Summer.

How it Works

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Today’s work continued to focus on improving the sign-up process. I included more instructional information in the form of a 4-step flow diagram on the home page which links to a new How it Works page. This new page walks through Signing Up, Creating a Team, Adding Players, Tracking Stats, and Selecting Stats. Hopefully the new thumbnail screenshots will make the application feel more accessible to potential Users and encourage them to join and offer feedback on the tool.

The biggest outcome of today’s work, though, was my renewed realization of how bad I suck at Photoshop. I’ve never been good at computer illustration and it’s painfully obvious. If anyone out there has a graphic thumb and wants to help on Kilg.us, shoot me a line.

Lots of changes today

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

There were a number of nice additions to the Fantasy Stat Tracker today. Among them:

  • Change team name – edit the name of a team you have created
  • Delete team – remove a team from your account
  • Linked player names – player names now link to the player’s MLB.com profile page
  • Google Analytics – added GA webstats to the site
  • View Team link – added a link to the “account nav” to link to your team’s stats page (or render a drop-down list if you have multiple teams)

I also moved the “home page” link from the footer up to the “blog nav”. So we now have links to the blog home page and the Fantasy Stat Tracker home page in the top left corner of the page. The addition of the “view team” link and the relocation of the home link already seem to make it a lot easier to navigate the tool. As I mentioned the other day, though, I’ll be continuing to look at the navigation architecture for the site.

Along with the additions mentioned above, I performed a number of minor code enhancements. I worked on better escaping of SQL strings to be sent to the DB and some advancements in auto-redirecting users about the site based on whether or not the user account has a team associated with it (or multiple teams). There is also a check in place now to prevent people from accessing teams’ stats for other peoples’ teams. Previously you could edit the Location bar to change the TeamID that was being passed and see other peoples’ teams. You wouldn’t have been able to make any changes, but you could view the team nonetheless. Now you can’t.

Most noticeably, I re-organized the home page and brought a log-on form directly onto the page. The Fantasy Stat Tracker home page content was re-written slightly to better explain the free nature of this project. Some advertising verbiage was also added to encourage people to sign-up for an account.