Hi, I had an idea for something that I think would benefit me and possibly some of the other members. But I wanted to check first to see if it had
already been done or if it was something that you’d decided against doing for various reasons.
Basically (as the title suggests) it would be a kind of ATS Watcher. An application that you run on your computer that would allow you to monitor ATS
threads with out having to have a webpage open.
I see it working like this.
It would allow you to monitor threads, possibly by browsing them from within the application or by dropping the thread URL in to the program.
Once it was monitoring you would be able to get it to notify you on a number of events, including such things as, new posts, a specific number of new
post, a new post by a specific member, post with in a certain time frame and so on.
Notifications could come in a number of different forms, emails (maybe if you had it running from home and you were at work unable to get to ats. This
could lead to the possibility of being able to reply to a thread via email if you have the application running.), pop windows, alert boxes, if it was
an app running from the system tray you could have it show some thing like the XP balloon tips.
I also see the application being able to track people across ATS, poping alerts when they have posted a new thread or replied to a thread.
Also perhaps being able to attach notes to threads, view just the all the links of thread next to who posted them, maybe being able to see percentage
wise who has posted to a thread. The application could also pic out any intersite links on the page showing you what thread they came from and a break
down of that thread.
Ok there just the ideas for it I have plently more but I could go on all day so I’ll stop there.. Now I’ll go on to the technical side. I can see
a few problems that might occur and I’ll cover them as well.
The application it’s self would most likely be written in C# (as it’s something I’ve used before), possibly and open source collaborative
project taking input from all the ATS techies out there.
As (obviously) I wouldn’t have access to the databases behind ATS it would have to run by downloading the web pages and analysing the page, breaking
it down then storing it in it’s own database. As you monitored more threads the applications database would grow. This would mean you’d be able to
view offline any threads that you had monitored also it could reduce the amount of bandwidth ATS uses as people that just wanted to look back over a
thread or research something wouldn’t have to connect to ats to view it.
If we wanted to you could have the Application “sharing” info, so one person downloads a load of pages and the app then pushes that to every one
else. This could in theory greatly reduce the bandwidth ats uses as people would only have to access the server to post.
Now for the problems (and possibly the reason for not doing it)… If you had a lot of people using an application like this it could (if it didn’t
share it’s index or wasn’t run straight out of the backend of ATS) generate a LOT of bandwidth.
Imagine even 50 people all monitoring 20 threads with a refresh time out of 10 seconds. That’s a 1000 website hits every ten second.
Now ATS can and probably has taken a lot worse. But none of them would have been from an application (except maybe google bot or the MSN “website
killer” bot) and unlike a human (although judging by some people at ATS I’m not sure if this is true
) an application could do it 24/7
A possible way to get round this would be to limit the number of thread you can monitor. Perhaps using the points system for buying more threads to
Anyway if some of the “higher ups” would like a proper report on this then I’d be willing to do one. It’s just at the concept stage at the
moment but I’m sure I could cobble something together quickly if people were interested.
I’ve run this post through a speller checker numerous times but as that doesn’t always cover it I thought I apologise in advance for the poor
spelling and grammar