Awportals Technology Review (PT 1)
Written by Awportals.com
Technology review covering some of the more interesting and powerful aspects of the Awportals.com technology sets which help us be the #1 Activeworlds resource.


Part one relates to our monitoring and database technology which allows us to integrate our website with live data from within the Activeworlds 3D Universe.

Series: Part 2

Citizen Monito


Our citizen monitor tools are responsible for maintaining an up-to-date list of citizens within the Activeworlds universe and making them available to the website database. The Citizen Monitor comprises of several tools which operate at various frequencies.

The first part of the CM is the detector which logs in to the Activeworlds universe and runs every few minutes seeking out any new citizenships that have been added since it last checked. When a new citizenship is found it is added to the website database .

The second part of CM is based around detecting changes - for this reason it runs less frequently but is tasked with checking every citizenship number already in the database for changes such as to the name or website - this way the searchable database is kept up to date.

World Monito


[rimg]http://host.awportals.com/chronicles/20090718_wmon.png[/rimg]The world monitor tools are similar to the Citizen Monitor, but their responsibility lays in maintaining an up-to-date list of the worlds within the Activeworlds website. As with the Citizen Monitor the worlds monitor is comprised of several different tools each of which helps carry out the task assigned.

The first tool is the core Bot application which is a constantly running SDK application which enumerates the worlds list every 30 seconds just like the browser except this application is connected directly to the Awportals.com database. When worlds are first detected they are added to the worlds database with no details other than their name, rating and public / private status.

As time goes on the application monitors changes to all of the worlds noting how many visitors they have at the current time, as well as keeping score of the most they have had at any one time and when it occurred. This application allows us to provide a near real-time display of the currently running worlds, their status, their rating and their user counts upon our website.

The second tool in the World Monitor toolkit is Tourist Skip - this is a script designed to automate the process of detecting which worlds are tourist accessible or not - information which is not available to none Universe Caretakers through the worlds list. The script works by using cache folder names and automatic teleportation to detect which worlds a browser logged in as a tourist may enter and which they may not - updating our database as it goes.

Universe Sp


[rimg]http://host.awportals.com/chronicles/20090718_uspy.png[/rimg]
One of our largest sets of statistical data is based upon our always running user count monitor software known as the Universe Spy available through our archives pages.

Unlike the World Monitor and and Citizen Monitor tools which are intended to store live information the Universe Spy is focused on archiving historical data for longer durations by recording statistics on various parts of the universe at frequent intervals.

Included in our statistics are the user counts for various major worlds as well as the total number of users in the universe and the number of running worlds. By default each of these pieces of information is constantly recorded every 5 minutes and is immediately available to display upon the website such as the Universe Stats charts displayed on the bottom left of every page.

As time moves on each set of data is cleaned based on specific parameters in the database - some sets of data such as the total number of users are retained indefinitely where as some such as the number of users in Mars are purged of any data older than 28 days. Older data is also reduced in frequency - what would start off as 5 minute intervals would gradually be reduced until only 4 samples were available each day - one every 6 hours.

The Universe Spy is one of the very best sources of information on the changes occurring in Activeworlds and contains almost fifty thousand samples dating back since its creation.

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