7DTD Dev Tracker

7DTD Dev Tracker

This website made with PHP & Mysql, features both a frontend and backend with a linux cronjob for scheduled updates.

The website collects and shows the latest forum posts  made by developers of the game 7 Days to Die™ and displays them all on a single page, ordered by latest post first.

The backend for this website was partially built using the very awesome php ganon library that I ended up finding in search of a quicker way to do job…

“The Ganon library gives access to HTML/XML documents in a very simple object oriented way. It eases modifying the DOM and makes finding elements easy with CSS3-like queries.”   – https://code.google.com/archive/p/ganon

It made the work alot easier for writing the bot that would go through the games vbulletin forum and grab only the latest posts aswel as the full post, while not wasting time or resources on already collected posts that were stored on the local sites mysql db. Direct links to the forum board and topic including anchor of the post were all kept on the database, to provide a nicer dev tracker layout and option for the user to go directly to the official forums where the post was made.

7DTD Dev Tracker 1Addition functionality included an RSS feed that was generated for those using RSS reader, or built in browser plugin (SAGE++ for Mozilla Firefox being the best 🙂 ) other things later added were including the developers quoted users posts, that way dev comments to replies that may have included images were shown on the dev tracker and didn’t require the user to visit the exact forum thread to the original user had said.

Another feature was a cookie file being set with a timestamp of the last time the user checked the dev tracker, so in future site requests only the newer dev posts made since they last visited are styled for better visibility.

While the dev tracker was very popular at the time with many 1,000’s of page requests a day, mainly from similar forum users to myself who preferred to use this devtracker to see what the developers were saying instead of sifting through the main forum and topics to see what latest developments and general chit chat from developers on various topics and posts that were commented on.

The plan was to add  extra functionality like filtering by developer and statistics. The game sort of died off on my interest radar before that ever happened though.

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