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Elinor - Automatic margin calculator and market helper

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#1 Posted: 2012.08.08 14:34  |  Edited by: Virppi Jouhinen
Good day, dear station traders!

I've written a tool to assist me with station trading. I've been developing this for about two weeks now and thought I'd share it with you guys as I feel kinda comfortable with its state by now. I released it to reddit yesterday and the feedback was way better than I expected so I thought I'd publish it here as well.

I will monitor this thread but not as tight as my reddit thread or the subreddit. Also feel free to fling me an EVE Mail any time.

First let me tell you a little about why I made it:


Motivation

When I started station trading about a month ago, I started to pick items from the top of my head. I just looked at the prices and guessed if the margin was profitable.
Soon I realized that this approach made me miss out on good deals as well as misjudge bad deals.


First solution

My first reaction when it comes to handling numbers normally is: Hey, let's make a spreadsheet!
I made it in a way that I could copy-paste the lowest sell and the highest buy order into the lines 1 and 2 and it would calculate me some ratios to help me judge this particular item.
At that time it consisted of only the lines 1-9 in the picture.


Oh god, it grows

Soon I started adding more fields like sample sizes to help me get a quick roundabout of how much an items daily volume was worth and how much profit was involved.
What helped me most though was the addition of a field that would return me the buy price + .01 ISK so I could copy it when adjusting my orders speeding up the process by a nice amount and reducing my typos like missing decimal separators, added zeros and other herpaderps.


Clicking is annoying

So this was a nice upgrade, but it came with a large drawback:
Copy-pasting between two windows.
Searching a new item to invest into: Fun
Setting up a massive sell order for something you got cheap: Fun
Watching your wallet grow while watching MLP on a second screen: Fun
Adjusting orders: No ******* fluffy fun

Adjusting an order took me 14 actions:

Double click order, select lowest sell order, copy, select spreadsheet, paste, select highest buy order, copy, select spreadsheet, paste, copy new price, right click order, click modify order, paste, hit OK.
14 ******* flowering actions.


I'm lazy!

This was my motivation to program Elinor.
So. What does it do?
As soon as you click "Export to file" in the lower section of the market window, Elinor omnomnoms the data and produces the same ratios my spreadsheet did. Optionally, she copies the sell or buy price to your clipboard (with magic) so you can instantly paste them into the "Modify order" dialog in Eve without even leaving the client. For added convenience you can pin her atop of the Eve client so you can always have the sweet sweet data within your sight.
What did this do to my needed actions:
Double click order, click "Export to file", right click order, click modify order, paste, hit OK.
6 actions. (Because I'm lazy as hell, I programmed my keyboard to Ctrl-A, Ctrl-V, Enter with one action. Did I mention I'm lazy?)


So - what does she do?

  • Instantly (yes!) provides data on one item
  • Considers your character's skills and standings
  • Assists you adjusting your market orders quickly and without typos


What does she need?

.Net Framework 4, thus Windows. Might run on mono, but I kinda doubt it.
I did some research and mono doesn't support WPF. Sorry *nix bros! I might make a Silverlight port some day but as I didn't touch SL once and know near nothing about it, I'll not promise anything.


What doesn't she do?

  • Regional analysis. Elinor is targeted at station traders who specialize in daytrading.
  • Long-term analysis
  • Check for volumes of orders She does this now but in a very crude way.
  • Provide data for speculations
  • Go through your orders automatically
  • Replace sophisticated tools like EMMA or EVE Mentat
  • Coffee. I tried - she refuses


Look, a beta

So after I've used it for a while now and it didn't crash, I thought it might be time to let her crash on other people's machines. This is beta as **** /b/ so expect bugs and everything.
PLEASE BE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING BEFORE HITTING ENTER IN EVE. Especially check for missing decimals. *******Darn locales.
Also it's open source. If you want to laugh, look at my badly written code.
Also my economics knowledge isn't awesome. If you have an idea which piece of data would be interesting, let me know!

Google code project
Download
Subreddit (lolz)
Screenshots

TL;DR

I made a program to assist station traders.
#2 Posted: 2012.08.10 12:22  |  Edited by: Makro SSRI
Only thing I noticed so far is that on one order Elinor was correctly 0.01 ISKing but appended two digits, which is of no consequence though (and I could not replicate the behaviour).

All in all very handy tool!
#3 Posted: 2012.08.10 13:25
Makro SSRI wrote:
Only thing I noticed so far is that on one order Elinor was correctly 0.01 ISKing but appended two digits, which is of no consequence though (and I could not replicate the behaviour).

All in all very handy tool!


Yes I noticed that happening, but haven't figured out the circumstances yet; I'll fix this in one of the next releases, the client accepts the number correctly though, no worries about that.
#4 Posted: 2012.08.11 00:00
v1.0.9.1 now available, featuring

  • Name of current item displayed
  • Major UI fixes
#5 Posted: 2012.08.12 18:51
v1.0.10.0 now available

Fixes:

  • Crashing for some items
  • Too many decimal places
  • Huge numbers for missing orders
  • Pretty messages for no items in range
Caldari State
#6 Posted: 2012.08.14 17:10  |  Edited by: Kallie Rae
Awesome tool, keep up the good work! =)

Edit: Adding character via API, which checkboxes needs to be checked? Maybe add a link on the "Enter API information" windows to the API site with the needed checkboxes?
#7 Posted: 2012.08.14 18:12
Kallie Rae wrote:
Awesome tool, keep up the good work! =)

Edit: Adding character via API, which checkboxes needs to be checked? Maybe add a link on the "Enter API information" windows to the API site with the needed checkboxes?


Good call, I'll do this for the next release. The checkboxes needed are "Standings" and "Character Sheet" if I'm not mistaken.
#8 Posted: 2012.08.20 19:07
v1.1.1.2 available, hooray!

Improvements

  • Changed API library to the awesome EVE.Net lib by Cuhlen. This reduced Elinor's size from more than 6MB to a few hundred KB.
  • Added a "Create new API key" to the Import window


Fixes

  • Fixed glitchy z-indices when importing a character with pinned main window
#9 Posted: 2012.08.22 20:38
Hey, that's a cool App! Exactly what I was trying to build on myself but based on median prices of my items already bought.

I exactly know what you mean when excel sheets get biger and complicated over time. One starts implementing VBA Scripts to semi-automate data imports and a search function to find the correct item out of the data chaos and updating gets slower and slower over time. So writing an own App is the next evolutionary step.

Frankly I find it very applicable.

Some Pros:
- The tutorial is a very great approach to get an insight into all features
- the automatic copy paste is brilliant

Some optimazations:
- you could use the EVE cache to update your App so you don't need to export over and over again
- for the import you could make it crystal clear that selecting the corp and state means this is the station you are trading in
- it is not clear enough what Revenue, Cost of Sales and Movement means

Questions:
How do you provide data for speculations? I would expect some charting and technical analysis for that...

I'm about th implement my own WPF app using the MVVM pattern btw (specualtion and analysis tool) and got some insight into telerik UI controls. So if you need some charting you could have a look into that one. Even Candlestick and OHLC is possible. Its a silverlight example, but also applicable for WPF. The telerik dlls are usable beyond the 30 day trial phase.

Best Reagrds,
Fiat
#10 Posted: 2012.08.23 02:27
Fiat Money wrote:

Some optimazations:
- you could use the EVE cache to update your App so you don't need to export over and over again
- for the import you could make it crystal clear that selecting the corp and state means this is the station you are trading in
- it is not clear enough what Revenue, Cost of Sales and Movement means

Questions:
How do you provide data for speculations? I would expect some charting and technical analysis for that...


Thanks for your suggestions and kind words!

I've thought about mining the Eve Cache but it's not something I'm looking to do soon mainly because it adds a lot of problems like cache being mined by multiple programs at once, having multiple clients on one machine which all have a separate cache and so on. I'll keep it in mind but it's not my highest priority.

Good point on the being clear with the standings. I had someone on reddit ask me what the standings are for. I'll implement some kind of nice help button or something into that window.

If you hover over the labels "Revenue", "Cost of Sales" etc. a tooltip is displayed how those numbers are calculated. I hope that helps.

I don't provide data for speculation. Either I messed my post up or you misread something. Elinor is really just momentary data.

Thanks again for your feedback!
#11 Posted: 2012.08.24 19:38  |  Edited by: Virppi Jouhinen
v1.1.2.0 available, mkay?

Features

  • Added update mechanism. If you don't like it, you can turn it off with the little arrow button at the bottom lift
  • Added a little help during the import process that explains what the standings are used for


Fixes

  • If fetching item name is laggy, now displays a default message instead of keeping previous item name
Of Sound Mind
#12 Posted: 2012.08.29 20:39  |  Edited by: Vartan Sarkisian
Nice app, does the profit margin include the brokers fees and sales tax?

also how are the figures in volume movement achieved and what do the left hand side numbers represent over the right had side?
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.
#13 Posted: 2012.08.29 23:55
Vartan Sarkisian wrote:
Nice app, does the profit margin include the brokers fees and sales tax?


Yep, not 100% accurate though. If the Broker's Fee is < 100 ISK it is set to the minimum of 100 ISK.
E.g. if you buy one unit of Tritanium at let's say 5 ISK Elinor calculates the fee as .75% * 5 = .0375 ISK. Which is inaccurate as you'd pay 100 ISK minimum fee.
If you buy 10,000 units of Tritanium the fee is correctly calculated as .75% * 5 * 10,000 = 375 ISK.

As I have no knowledge of how big you're going to make your order I have no way of calculating the 'true' fee, but for most cases it will be either correct of approximated close enough.

Vartan Sarkisian wrote:

also how are the figures in volume movement achieved and what do the left hand side numbers represent over the right had side?


It's very raw:
Sum of the volumes of all orders when the were entered minus sum of the currently remaining volume.
Raw because it does not take into account fulfilled or cancelled order nor does is proved any data over a period of time.

In short: Please use the in game graph for more accurate info and use the volume in Elinor only as a very raw indicator.
Of Sound Mind
#14 Posted: 2012.09.01 07:57
cool, thanks for replying.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.
#15 Posted: 2012.09.08 12:09
Hi again,


I have been trying out Elinor's advanced increment settings and while the ISK threshold works, the price fraction settings do not seem to do anything. Or am I just misunderstanding its purpose?

Also it would be nice if there was an option to ignore buy orders with a minimum amount greater than 1 (margin trade scams mostly)!

#16 Posted: 2012.09.09 07:29
Your character looks cute!
EVE-Cost is a manufacturing tool for EVE players.
http://www.eve-cost.eu
#17 Posted: 2012.09.10 16:55
Makro SSRI wrote:
Hi again,


I have been trying out Elinor's advanced increment settings and while the ISK threshold works, the price fraction settings do not seem to do anything. Or am I just misunderstanding its purpose?

Also it would be nice if there was an option to ignore buy orders with a minimum amount greater than 1 (margin trade scams mostly)!



Hello!

The advanced options were added by request and I don't use them very much (hence the warning). But the few time I used them, they did what they're supposed to do.

The advanced options give you the possibility to instead of doing .01 ISK steps do steps of the lesser of x% of the original order and the threshold.

Example:
If you set the buy fraction to 10% and no threshold and the highest buy order is at 1000 ISK, your order will be 1100 ISK instead of 1000.01 ISK.
If you had set a threshold of 10 ISK, your order would have been 1010 ISK.

If the fraction setting doesn't do anything for you it's probably because you're trading expensive items where the fraction is often greater than the threshold.

Feel free to hit me up if it still doesn't work, I'd love to get more feedback on that feature.


Acid Kanshi wrote:
Your character looks cute!


Thank you, Sir. :3

#18 Posted: 2012.09.11 15:28
Thank you very much for explaining, it is clear now that I have had a wrong idea about how the threshold works and I was trading high value items. Will give it another try though since it is a nice feature!
Caldari State
#19 Posted: 2012.11.07 13:50
Just want to give this awesome tool a bump. Been looking to see if there is something similar out there, but seems to be one of a kind still, so keep up the good work! =)
Northern Associates.
#20 Posted: 2012.12.12 15:48
love the concept would love to see a update tho
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