Introducing the Fox Open Sports Platform



Happy spring! Well it’s been almost a year since version 0.2 of the OOWP was released so I think it’s time to give a little update on the state of the project.

Despite both an extended summer break and then an almost six month hiatus when I got burned out in October, I did jump on a number of important changes for a version 0.3 release for this project last year. These included starting to rework the Open Web Toolkit into a library of sports and sim agnostic functions and tools. This went pretty well and was starting to get in good shape before I packed it in for the winter (a long cold one at that).

Luckily, some important new data export changes in OOTP 14 finally woke me up and got me excited about this project again. I’m also glad to announce that a 0.3 release was a lot further along than I had originally thought and is now set to arrive on Monday April 29, 2013!

Here’s what’s coming in this exciting 0.3 update:

  • Online League Manager 0.3 – The central hub module of the FOSP gets a couple updates to the SQL Loading process to fix some performance issues I’ve found. It will also have a couple new pages that display league information. Publicly accessible pages have been sparse thus far as I’ve been building the infrastructure behind the platform, but expect more pages displaying league information and details with each successive release.

    Have any specific requests? Is there something you’d love to have presented for your league that’s not available with other CMS tools?
  • The Open Sports Toolkit (OST) 0.3 – Previously known as the OOTP Web Toolkit. This module also receives a new name to reflect its revamped and exciting direction change.

    The OST serves as a collection of libraries and helper functions that allow for the abstraction of statistical data across different sports and sim games. The same querying and display functionality can therefore be shared with minimal additional effort to reduce the time needed to build multiple types of sports driven web sites. The customization details are now handled via a new convention of data abstraction drivers and libraries.

    OK, so what does all that mean in layman’s terms? It means that, using this library, you’ll still be able to create a full featured stats driven web site for OOTP baseball leagues. Then with the appropriate data exports and drivers in place, you can also create another league site for, say, a hockey sim game simply by changing the necessary options in the League Manager settings! That’s the power of the new Stats Abstraction Tools in the rebuilt OST.

    More information about how the library works and developer tutorials on how to build great stats driven tools using this module will be coming as we get closer to the 0.3 release date.
  • Open StatsList Demo 0.1 – A demo module showing examples of how to use the new Open Sports Toolkit to query for and display data will be included in the 0.3 release as well.
  • OOTP Playoffs 0.1 – The OOTP playoffs module is my own customized version of the StatsLab playoffs tool, with some of my own graphical enhancements applied. This 0.1 release is just the first of three planned phases for this module:
    • Phase 2, due with FOSP version 0.4, will include the ability to extend the playoff data provided by OOTP to include your own custom data such as recaps, summaries and more. You will be able to select series MVPs and choose different display themes to boot. An example of one such planned theme is detailed in this OOTP forum thread.
    • Phase 3, due with FOSP 0.5, will allow leagues to archive their playoff data to create the ability to go back and revisit past-off-seasons. No other tool, not even OOTP itself, lets you do that!

    A note of thanks as always to Frank Esselink and his hard work with StatsLab that is providing valuable insights into accomplishing my goals with this module.

  • OSP Players Module 0.1 – The Players module will include several functions and pages relating specifically to player and player stats. Phase 1 of the library will include a players list, filterable stats, detailed player profile and pop-up information card. Each page will be template driven and fully customizable and extendable.For phase 2 I plan to add an externally accessible API so player information can be queried and included outside the FOSP site. Phase 3 will merge in some additional fantasy specific modules and stats to the players pages.
  • OOTP Storylines Editor 0.3 – A maintenance release to sync updates made to the OOTP Development Storyline editor for OOTP 14.So there’s actually quite a bit is ending up in this release. What do you think of the FOSP? Would you participate as a beta test site and provide valuable feedback for the development of the platform?

Coming next will be a roadmap with timeline for two successive releases with more good stuff.


About the Author

By day, Jeff Fox works as a senior software engineer at X Plus One and has 15 years of professional experience in the world of Web Development, Flash and design. By night, he is a husband and father of three amazing children, open source enthusiast, published comic book author, amateur writer and trained musician. Jeff makes him home with his family in Southern Connecticut.