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Updated Watchlist Code

Posted by on Jan 12, 2011 in WinMX

I’ve been busy yesterday and today updating the Watchlist code adding some features so I just wanted to list 3 of the changes.

1. The Watchlist now automatically removes TV Shows for you based on the condition that the TV Show in question has been cancelled by its network and there are no new episodes to be aired.

2. The Web Based interface for the Watchlist has been moved from to – This isn’t just a name switch. Previously the Database was held on the server but the data was parsed (using php) to the MXPulse server. This introduced latency and thus has now been changed, the WebUI now resides on the same server as the database resulting in an instantaneous loading of the page.

3. A few bugs were fixed including the annoying blank entry that users found on the bottom of their watchlists and some bugs in the delete function that could result in shows disappearing from your watchlist that you didn’t want to remove.

All of these changes are to the new Watchlist codebase which was introduced just before Christmas – That was a complete rewrite and it is already paying dividends as I was able to attempt and complete the above changes within a few hours (including experimentation and testing) which is in contrast to the several days it would have taken to implement these features in the old code base.

The Watchlist is one of my favourite features and I use it all the time, it’s one of those things that I couldn’t live without and it’s something I keep investing my time in because it’s useful and adds a lot of value to our community. I’m not the only one that relys on it to be fast and accurate.

In the near future I’ll be expanding the Watchlist functionality further still. The next major feature will more than likely be TV Show recommendations. This is a feature I’ve wanted to implement for a long time and doing it right which means making it accurate and relevent is paramount, get that wrong and the feature becomes completely worthless. I’ve been working on it and I think it will soon be ready to be activated.

Now I do want to explain what is different about our recommendation engine in comparison to some others you might find online. It does not recommend you shows that other people have just because they have a show in common with you on their watchlist.

Now you might think well isn’t that how recommendations work? – No that is how Bad recommendations work. What if you and another user like South Park and he has Battlestar Galactica on his Watchlist but you don’t like SciFi? – You wouldn’t want to receive that recommendation, it is not relevant to you.

So instead our recommendation engine will look at only your watchlist it will build up a profile of every show you watch brew all that data to come up with recommendations that are designed specifically to your tastes. Every show it recommends will have values that are in line with the shows you already watch. No guessing, no crowd sourcing just accurate results.

This is the reason that our recommendation engine has not arrived yet. It is very easy to simply recommend a show based on other users habits but this just isn’t meaningful and doesn’t work. I want to create something that not only works but that people use reliably to find new content to enjoy.
Thanks for reading! – By the way if you want a Watchlist you have to enter the Renegades chat room on the WinMX Peer Network, you can find the details of how to do that on the About page.