Friday, November 17, 2017 by Tim Webb
With the release of discchord v3.1 over the summer I got some great feature suggestions from you guys for discchord v3.2! I wrote every single one of them down. Then threw them all out because Apple's new App Store broke the shit out of their iTunes API. This site relies heavily upon the iTunes API for both the AppDB and news aggregation. With the iTunes API going wonky, I misreported a couple of updates as "news" when they were actually old updates that iTunes was erroneously reporting with new dates.
To prevent this from ever happening again, I completely rewrote huge sections of the site's backend to track app history independently from iTunes. This includes all price changes, updates, and if an app was pulled.
Rather than hide all of that good data in my administrative tools, I've made it a part of the AppDB! Now you can see which apps are being updated regularly and which apps are price bouncing.
What's new in discchord v3.2:
- App History!
- Price Alerts for sales on Wishlist
- User Profile Tweaks
- A fucking mountain of backend stuff
The new App History may look familiar to AppShopper users. This is because Step 1 of the App History implementation was to scrape the hell out of AppShopper for all of their app history data. There are over 1,700 in the AppDB, and all of the iOS and macOS apps now have histories going back to 2010. Now whenever you go to any app in the AppDB you'll see the last 20 historical events.
While I was at it, I also stole AppShopper's idea for displaying other apps by a developer.
While you're on those AppDB pages you'll also notice a new Wishlist button in the top right for every app. This new feature will help you keep track of the apps you want, but aren't necessarily ready to buy. If an app on your Wishlist goes on sale the site will automatically email you to let you know! This is going to be super handy as we roll into Black Friday sales!
To make these price alerts work the site needs to actually know your email address. If you signed up for the site with Facebook or Twitter then the site doesn't know where to reach you. To fix that I've updated the profile page to let you change or add an email. Only you and I can see your email, no one else can or ever will!
User Profile Changes
While I was at it, I made some other improvements to the user profile pages. Previously you'd only see the last 10 comments and posts from a user, but I've now made that limitless. If you are viewing your own profile you'll also see any @Mentions as well as your Wishlist. This is a convenient place to manage your wishlist. You can unwish... dewish... you can remove apps here. Any apps that are currently on sale will be at the top of the list.
The site might get a little bumpy this weekend as I finalize some other secret stuff in the background. I've taken the price alert email thingy offline for just a couple days while I tweak that to make it pretty... and make sure it won't spam the shit out of anyone. But you can start adding apps to your wishlists now!
Update: The price alerts email thing is now live. Please report any screw-ups immediately! It has been extremely hard to test it off-line. I'm 99% sure it won't go crazy and spam people! Seriously. Let me know!
Help Me, Help You
I might actually end up losing money on this whole deal. A large portion of the site's income is through iTunes affiliate links. I get a fixed percentage of every sale. So when you buy apps on sale instead of full price that share is smaller. I'm also toying with the idea of spooling up a third server to help run the site backend stuff. This would make the price alerts much more timely because it could check more frequently. So to help me offset costs and losses, please consider becoming a Patron!
Patrons get a nice ad free experience on the site, and genuinely help me stay afloat! Win-win!