Category Archives: Website

College Hockey API

Two years ago I wrote a site to rank NCAA hockey teams. The Elo based rankings have been publicly available for a while now, but in addition I ended up writing a bit of an API that has technically been released, but never publicized.

The url ebscer.com/collegehockey/api/<season>.json will return a json formatted data dump representing all games in a given season. Each game lists the date, home team, away team, home score, and away score for each game. For example all games in the current season are listed at ebscer.com/collegehockey/api/2016-2017.json Data goes all the way back to the 1998-1999 season.

I am happy to let anyone use this data, and just ask that you be respectful of the servers.

Dropping Google Analytics

Within the past half year, a lot of attention has been given to the excessive bloat that is present in many websites. This has been in concert with discussions over ad blocking, where extensions such as Ghostery block trackers from non-advertising sources as well.

In light of this conversation, why has this blog continued to run Google Analytics? The additional JavaScript adds 42 kilobytes and 0.7 seconds to the page load time. All to collect data that (to be perfectly honest) was never really looked at anyhow. With Google being the only one benefiting from this data collection, the scripts are now gone from this site.

Enjoy this blog knowing that it is now both quicker and more private.

Elo ratings for college hockey

Ebscer.com/CollegeHockey is a new website for measuring the quality of college hockey teams. These teams are measured using an Elo rating that has been measured based on an analysis of 18,608 games. This rating system both shows how teams compare to each other, and also can be used to predict the probability of a team winning a particular match up.

The ratings from the end of last season show the top five teams being Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Minnesota State, and Denver. In addition to seeing how the teams are currently doing there is a wealth of historical data on how the team’s have done over the past 17 seasons.

A more in depth look at the numbers can be used to break out additional information such as how Providence rose to be the most recent champions or a look at the rivalry between Air Force and RIT.

While College Hockey is currently in the offseason, I hope to expand the site to show even more data once the teams get playing again later in the year.

Processing .html files as PHP

In the interest of having cleaner URLs (or simply to maintain existing links) it is often desirable for webpages to end in a .html extension even if they need to be processed as PHP. On Apache servers this is very straight forwards and you just add the following lines of code to your .htaccess file

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php .htm .html

On Windows servers this is slightly more complicated (as are most things). You need the following code in your web.config file and the value for the scriptProcessor is based on the install location of your php-cgi.exe file. Finding the location of this file can often be teased out by looking at the results from the phpinfo(); command.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
    <system.webServer>
		<handlers>
            <add name="PHP_via_FastCG1" path="*.htm" verb="*" modules="FastCgiModule" scriptProcessor="C:\PHP5.5\php-cgi.exe" resourceType="Either" />
            <add name="PHP_via_FastCG2" path="*.html" verb="*" modules="FastCgiModule" scriptProcessor="C:\PHP5.5\php-cgi.exe" resourceType="Either" />
        </handlers>
    </system.webServer>
</configuration>

The new news.ebscer.com

Today I am relaunching news.ebscer.com with a brand new look. Since I moved off of blogspot over three years ago this site has gone mostly unchanged, so it was time for a refresh.

Blog

Inspired by the visual refresh that WordPress recently rolled out, I decided that perhaps my site as well required a more modern theme. The most obvious candidate was WordPress’s new Twenty Fourteen theme. While it isn’t quite as polished as WordPress’s admin site, it gave me a good starting point and after a couple of changes the new look is now ready to go. I am sure that I will continue to tweak the styling here and there over the coming months, but I am happy with this new look.

5K road racing website

In a bit of a change from my typical app creation I have instead created a new website that is currently being hosted at ebscer.com/racing. This site is designed to helping road racers find running races in their local area.

5k

Currently the site is only available in Buffalo and Rochester, but after beta testing it for awhile I hope to slowly expand it to more cities across the United States and Canada.