NBA Stats Tracker: Play By Play Tracking

Absolutely BIG things are coming for NBA Stats Tracker (i.e. my thesis which I haven’t stopped working on even after turning it in).

v1.13 has just been released!

Version 1.13 introduces the Play By Play Editor! You can now insert play by play information for any of the games you keep track of. This is merely a preview of a series of upcoming features, including calculating the box score based on the play by play information, and using that information to do analysis such as partial stats calculations. Soon, queries such as “How well does Player X shoot between 10 and 16 feet when guarded by Player Y and when there’s less than 8 seconds on the clock?”, or “What happens when Player X and Player Y are on the floor together in the 4th quarter?” will be doable, providing an unparalleled level of analysis.

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The Play By Play Editor interface

To find out more about NBA Stats Tracker, visit its official thread in the NLSC Forum.

 

Leap of Faith

For quite some time now, actually it’s been since I first decided I wanted my thesis to be a full-blown basketball statistical analysis tool, I’d been wondering if, and how, I would ever be able to earn some money, even little, out of it. That’s the main reason that even after submitting it as my thesis, the project remained closed-source. I was thinking that I would keep it that way, find a way to put a decent protection on it, and sell it for a fee.

And then I came to my senses. In an era where every proprietary piece of software that’s locked down is cracked, what’s the point of keeping your source closed? All the rest of my work is open-source, why should this be any different? Sure, anyone could take the source now and compile it and have the tool for free, but even when it comes to open-source projects, there’s ways to earn something. Especially a tool like this gives you the chance to be hired to actually use it for a team, rather than have them learn how to use it, or you could “sell” “priority support”, as in get paid to work on features or to be stand-by for bug-fixes and support 24/7 (or, to put it better, to offer support to the client as soon as humanly possible).

Plus, going open-source gives you all the well-known advantages of having the whole open-source community help, and even contribute directly if they want to.

So, it is a leap of faith. Maybe it was the right move to make, or maybe I’m an optimist and a delusional and I should be instead gathering money to buy some good protection.

Well, the leap of faith was taken. So, open-source community, fellow developers, make me proud.

P.S. The GitHub repository is at https://github.com/leftos/nba-stats-tracker. I’ve also migrated most of my current projects to GitHub from BitBucket, and you can find them at (well… duh) https://github.com/leftos.

Analyzing the current NBA season with my thesis

As my Computer Engineering studies, at least at an undergraduate level, are coming to a close, I should probably be kicking back doing nothing, right? Yeah, ain’t happening.

Hadn’t had that happen for a while, but last night I got those ideas in my sleep again, ideas on how to improve the Basketball Analysis tool I created as part of my thesis. And so I did. I won’t go into much detail, but here’s some screenshots that made me smile, after NBA Stats Tracker automatically downloaded the stats of the current NBA season from Basketball-Reference.com and reminded me how much my Pistons suck so far, as the season gets going.

The Thesis Experience, Part 0: Before The Prologue

I haven’t posted anything for a while, mostly because I’ve been busy with going through the exams for my last 2 subjects in order to get my diploma. I’m still quite busy, considering this Thursday I’m sitting the GRE examination, a requirement for most post-graduate programs in the US. However, I wanted to get this up as a prologue to a series of posts I’ll be making after this Thursday.

As I wrap-up the final pieces of code (21,000 lines and still counting) of my thesis, and work out the paper that will go with it, I’m going through an almost moving process. The whole experience of how the idea of the thesis came up, how I started working on it by reworking an almost irrelevant tool I had made for a game I was playing at the time, all the things I’ve learned while doing it, the long nights and early mornings, the restlessness in bed as ideas were hitting me even in my sleep, the notebook I was keeping on the fluffy bear I use as a bedstand that is filled with notes.

It’s been an amazing experience, the apogee of everything I’ve done during these 5 years in the Computer Engineering department of the University of Patras. It’s the experience that erased whatever doubts I had left. I now know that I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else than this.

The Thesis Experience series will be starting soon, and I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions and stories on each part of the process as well. If you have any related series or posts in your blogs about how your thesis came together, I’ll be happy to link to them and even reblog the best of them.