SOAP GameDay: Week 2

I come before you, 5 days after the birth of this beast, with a ton of new updates just in time for week 2’s madness. For those of you that missed last week’s post, SOAP GameDay is an in-browser event viewing portal. Event information, embedded webcasts, scores, rankings, awards, and alot more are all displayed in real time, at the same time, so you never need to rummage through dozens of URLs to get your daily FIRST results. And to top it all off, Meebo’s embeddable chat is included for all of those watching to chat it up before, during, or after events. Everything is automated, so it will take care of itself and move onto the next week when the time comes. That being said, it is time to move onto the new features and updates.

Backend/Automation: First of all, the main backend function set went from 317 lines to 964. Alot of the original code exists with alot more built on top of it. Although there is much more to the system, it is still just as quick and efficient as before. Automation of some of the newer features took a slightly different approach to the way information is updated, but there is no noticeable change in performance.

Dashboard Updated: Moved the webcasts to the right pane, which is 20% wider than the left. All video streams are floating so they should rearrange themselves in a better fashion. There are still some resolutions where things get funky. It looks great at 1280x1024.

Regional Specific Sections:

Info: Added resource links to event agenda, event website, and the CD thread for that event.

Matches: You’ve asked for it, we’ve answered. Elimination ladder. Yes, it finally exists! Once elimination matches begin, the ladder will appear between the qualifying and elimination matches. It will fill itself out as the eliminations go on. Also, after speaking with Bob Spitzer of 4FX, the match schedule will be available as soon as matches start. I have adjusted our code for these changes, and you will notice them as soon as the event begins. The match times are also no longer static. They will self-adjust and estimate the proper time for each remaining match.

Rankings: The rankings have stayed the same for the most part. The teams are now linked to their team page. This includes all matches and awards.

Awards: Awards are now available. Team numbers are also linked.

Teams: A team selection page for the selected event. The dropdown is populated by matches, so only teams that have played will appear.

Ticker: I spent a lot of time developing this. It is a very extensible ESPN-like ticker built entirely from scratch. It will populate itself once matches begin, and will continue to update after the last data set is exhausted. It shows the last 5 matches from each event. Expect this little guy to see lots of updates over the next few weeks.

SMS Alerts: This is what I’m most proud of this week. The service will allow you to manage your own list of favorite teams and will send you a text message each time one of those teams play a match at any official FIRST event. The message will include the teams in both alliances, final scores, and an updated ranking for your selected team. You are able to enable and disable the sending of messages at any time. SMS messages will go live tomorrow. If you have unlimited texting and want to be a tester, let me know. I have it running today, but wanted to get the kinks out.

Browser Support: Tested and working in Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer. IE7 users need to resize the window once for the layout to fix itself. Microsoft is silly. I will try to fix this asap.

Layout: There were some changes to the overall layout and the theme. Nothing too major.

GameDay’s Future:

Display Issues: I have google analytics wired in to get a better idea of what kind of browsers and resolutions everyone is using. I may have to develop resolution-specific layouts in the near future.

Chat: Next week we are looking to use a jIRC client in place of the meebo flash chat. This will solve alot of issues all around. If you plan on spending lots of time in GameDay and want to become a mod, let me know.

Alerts: We are currently looking into expanding alerts beyond text messages. Email and IM messages are in the mix among others.

So that’s this week’s version in a nutshell. I’m sure I am forgetting a few things, but the major things are all there. Please give any feedback you may have… bugs, features, etc. I would really appreciate it. My goal is to make this as big as possible, and I couldn’t do that without your help. Thank you so much to all of those who have given me feedback thus far. Enjoy! :cool:

Woah! It looks GREAT! Thanks sooo much for your service!

Verrrry nice stuff, Matt. Between SOAP, TBA and CD, I’m pretty sure we have all the information we’d ever need about FIRST. Well, except for next year’s game. :smiley: Seriously, I’ll probably be using this even at the competition. CD for team discussion in one tab, TBA for team stat tracking and previous-year performance in another, and SOAP in the last (for up-to-date scouting). You guys are amazing.

I would like to see the IRC chat app instead. Meebo is blocked from alot of schools and businesses.

like mine, though i think IRC would be blocked too

IRC is blocked for me, Meebo is not.

Are the IRC connections created server side or client side? The meebo app is server side, the problem is that particular server is blocked. SOAP is not blocked, nor is its serving machine blocked to IRC connections, so that would work.

I love it Matt Keller ! :yikes:
Altruistic! It’s so convenient. Haha thank you so much for your contribution.

DID I HEAR SMS ALERTS?! That is amazing. If only I had something like that at the competition.

I have the unlimited texting plan with my phone.
Hit me up with a PM, and I’ll be a tester.

I enjoyed watching the regionals today. My thanks to you and the team. I followed the chat thread a good part of the day just as I’m sure other guests did as well. There were some team members who stood out as positive participants of the chat room representing their teams well, both students and mentors. I was impressed with them. Others, not so much.

Good luck to everyone who is competing in Week Two!

Fantastic job Matt! This is one of the best web pages for regional entertainment/scouting when you can’t be at a regional :p.

If there isn’t a FIRST award for this, I’ll make you one. It’s gonna release confetti and shout “YOU ARE AWESOME” every ten minutes.

Its really nice. The only complaint I have is if you watch a regional with a webcast on it’s page, the chat window is really small. You could have the chat window as a tab under each regional as another option. Then the problem is you can’t look at rankings or match results and chat at the same time.

Anyhoo, It makes watching webcasts with chat a real treat. Not only can you watch the matches, but you can talk to other people as well. Before the only way to communicate was with Chief Delphi, which is great but would have to wait for responses. Great job, hope you didn’t lose any work and or school because of it.

It is a great site, extremely cool.

Question: Is there a way for a user to delete the chat from the page?

I can think of circumstances where it would be nice to have the display going minus chat.


Interface:I just completely restructured the way the interface works. It looks exactly the same, but has some major features that all of you have been asking for. The biggest is resizeable frames. All content frame edges can be dragged to fit your desired dimensions. This will clear up most issues on any resolution. Another neat part of the interface is that the chat is now static. When you change events, the chat doesn’t change. No more excessive joining/leaving messages. Also, the refreshing windows will not steal focus of the chat if it is selected.

As for actual content, when you are in the dashboard, you are now able to view event information without going to a specific event. Over the chat, the information page will appear. There is a dropdown with this week’s events so you can easily navigate between events. This dropdown also appears on the event info pages when it is on the right.

SMS: I am still working out some kinks with the SMS system. I will contact those who have contacted me about testinting this system hopefully before noon eastern. If all goes well for an hour or so with the testing, SMS alerts will open to everyone.

Ticker: Early yesterday, there were some issues with the ticker. The double display is now fixed, but there is an error when the event count is greater than 4. I will fix that early today.

Thats it for now. Hope you guys enjoy the new interface! :smiley:

Note: Even though the URL doesn’t change when you use the new interface, you are still able to link to specific events using “?=event<abbreviation>”.
Example: for VCU

7:55am - Ticker fixed. It should work properly now.

Wow, I love the quality. Awesome job:D

You are so awesome. Again, if you need help with anything, let me know.

Dial-up is a killer. Guess I should go down to the internet cafe…

Nice job on the promoting these FIRST Regionals.


Excellent Work!!!

As good as being there!

Except maybe at Hawaii :wink:

Will the matches “kick over” to the final rounds soon?

Thank you! Yes they will and already have from Finger Lakes. There was an error, but its fixed now. The ladder will populate itself as the matches proceed. It separates the qualifying from elimination matches toward the bottom of the page.