Wednesday Evening Laundry

I’m in the middle of doing the laundry (got approx. 40 mins left on the last machine) and so I thought I’d give you a little update. A few days ago I found out through a friend that Valve has some web APIs through which you can access quite a bit of information about Steam users as well as what they are playing and how they are doing in those games.

Being somewhat obsessed with Dota 2, I decided to write a little python script that saves information on all the matches ever played to a local database so that I can query the database and determine rankings (using Microsofts TrueSkill algorithm or some such system)  and other interesting data. I’m also thinking about writing a replay parser, though it seems there are numerous such projects available (under very generous licenses) on github and other open source sites.

Right now, I’ve saved about 0,2% of all Dota 2 matches ever played, but unfortunately I can’t speed up the process since I’m limited by the speed at which I can poll Valve’s servers for information. I’m thinking about modifying the script to run on several different machines (on different internet connections) and having them poll pre-assigned parts of the match sequence number spectra.

Wow, this isn’t going to be the short post I had planned to put together. Oh well, it doesn’t matter – I’ll just keep rambling.

I’ve been dabbling a bit in Perl and Ruby lately (for no real reason). I’ve never really thought about getting into Perl before since it just seems Python is pretty similar and is faster performance-wise. That doesn’t mean I’ve ever written off Perl – I’ve just been content with writing my small scripts in python.

As for Ruby (and by extension Rails), I’ve just had this deep rooted dislike for the language for no reason what so ever. I couldn’t explain why. There’s nothing wrong with the language really, but in spite of that, I’ve just never felt like getting into it.

Yesterday, I faced up against whatever malformed preconception I had of Ruby and set up the necessary tools for Ruby development on my laptop running Ubuntu 12.10. I’ve yet to write anything other than the token “Hello World!” snippet, but I’m sure I’ll get there in due time.

I’d really like to extend my repertoire in regards to programming languages. I know Java, C#, Python, JavaScript (even though I’m slightly uncomfortable calling it a programming langauge) and PHP pretty well and I feel somewhat at home in C/C++ and I have dabbled in languages like D, ASM and F#, but knowing a few more can never hurt.

Whenever I can find the time, I think I’ll set up some sort of technical knowledge site where I can rate my knowledge of languages, frameworks and techniques on a scale of 1 to 10. Might be nice to use in conjunction with my projects site ( to sort of showcase my skills as a programmer.

Hmm… It seems my script just stopped since it was unable to fetch data from Valve’s servers. I guess this is a good a time as any to finish off this entry.

Much <3,

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