[Sign ups] Regional Notification Email Service

I’m not sure if this is going to be useful to a lot of people, but based on this thread, I decided to create a server in my spare time that can notify you via email of new regionals in your state.

All you have to do to sign up for the notifications mailing list for your state is PM me with your email address and state and I will add you to the list.

It checks for new tournaments every 30 minutes. If there is a new tournament (or multiple) in your region, it will simply send an email with the tournament name, start date/time, and city. You can unsubscribe at any time, just PM me.

Please note:
This server’s software is in its earliest stages, so its bound to have a lot of bugs and issues. Any people who are willing to help test it for me are greatly appreciated. If you do run into bugs, or you just have a general improvement you’d like to see, please post it on this thread. You may also want to occasionally manually check RobotEvents to make sure you got notifications for all new tournaments, if you didn’t, please let me know.

If you are the first sign up in your region, your first email will list every ITZ tournament in you region. This is because the server will be retrieving your region’s data for the first time, and it will not have the information in its stores yet, making the server think its new information. This bug is a top priority fix. I’ve already added New York, Arizona, Hawaii, and California manually. I will try to add more states manually to prevent this.

The source code for the server can be found here for those who are interested.]

My personal TODO for this:

  • Separate middle school/high school
  • Link to the appropriate robotevents page
  • Google maps integration to give driving time
  • IQ Support [with RobotEvents]

Thank you to anyone who participates, I hope this helps someone out there. If not, I was bored anyway :wink: and I learned some stuff from doing this.

edit: A lot of people have been asking for multiple regions, thats perfectly fine. List as many as you want when you PM me.

edit 2: There is a lot of sign ups, which is great! However, I’m only going to do 20 a week for the first couple weeks so I can do some stress tests. I can take a few more, but after that if don’t add you this week I’ll let you know and add you Monday.

Is there any chance it will work for IQ?

@daddycrusader not in its current version, I’ll look at adding IQ support though, shouldn’t be too difficult. Thanks for pointing that out.

On a side note, thanks to the couple people who signed up :wink: you have all been entered into the system, notifications can be as frequent as every half hour on the mark IF there is a new tournament

Thank you for doing this!

@daddycrusader and @CrisPierry Unfortunately, upon taking a closer look today, I realize that I’ve underestimated the difficulty of adding IQ support. The data used in the application is being pulled from vexdb.io, which only includes listings for VRC and VEXU. Even if I were to directly pull the data from RobotEvents (which would require a slightly more complex program to scrap the site), I would need to run the IQ server as a separate process, which would have more strain on my machine. I’m not saying its impossible or it won’t happen, it just won’t happen quickly. My apologies, I didn’t realize IQ data wasn’t on vexdb. I’ll let you guys know if I make any progress on IQ in the future.

No worries at all. Thanks for looking into it.

Thanks to all who signed up on the first couple days. I had a lot more sign ups then I expected; even some outside of USA teams. The software has already sent out a few notifications. If there are ANY mistakes (old tournaments, not in your region, bargled text, etc.) please let me know in this thread. This helps me improve the software and fix bugs I may have missed.

If you have feature requests, LMK of this also. To this effect: I’m currently looking into including the RobotEvents tournement link in the notifications.

Everything seems to working fine, i have attached the email i got so you can check everything is working as intended. The only complain i would have is the formatting makes it a wee bit difficult to read with more than one event.
Email for refrence.PNG

Thanks for the feedback. I agree with this. I just changed the formatting to include the robot events link, and I think its much more clear now:

I am using a newline whitespace as the deliminator between events.

What do you think of this? Alternatively we can try something with a table. LMK.

Definitely a step in the right direction. If i may i would suggest trying to line up the dates but i don’t know how hard that would be to implement .

Not hard at all. Formatting text is relatively easy, especially with python. I’ll take a look at cleaning that up over the weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.

Happy to help

@Sporeray I’m not sure if lining up the dates is the best way to approach this. The problem is that on small displays (like phones) stuff overflows into the next line and looks really ugly. Perhaps I can remove the names of the tournaments and just provide the RobotEvents link. I’ll also clean up the date by removing the time (which is almost always left unconfigured anyway) So it looks like this:

Alternatively, I can provide the names on a separate line I do the links. I’m not sure if the names are really all that important, especially since they can be accessed so easily from RobotEvents anyway.

Your thoughts?

Fair point. Another possible way to reduce space might be to simplify something like “2018-02-16T00:00:00+00:00” to 16th February as exact time doesn’t really matter and the year is redundant. Might be annoying to program though. Also if you plan to do this on a wider scale, if you haven’t already considered this, you should probably automate/use a bot to handle requests.

I personally prefer to have the year in there. I’m going to keep it. (I use this thing for myself LOL). However, switching the month to its name is probably a good plan. Lets do that.

As for the bot thing, could you clarify? The bot already automatically grabs data from VexDB, and sends out the mail. Do you mean a bot for sign ups? I’ll probably do a web page for that. PHP backend that writes directly to my email/region database file.

Yeah i was referring to a the sign up. Webpage is a good idea.

Just some updates…

Everything is going great! With 30 unique teams in over a dozen regions (including multiple US states, UK, and Puerto Rico) the server is holding up just fine. Its already sent out 25 tournament notifications, and so far all the ones I checked were reported to be correct. Thank you to all the users who helped test this so early on without a 100% guarantee that it would work. I think its now safe to say: it does. With that being said, there is more we can do with this.

I added RobotEvents links to the messages, as well as reformatting them to be more clean (thanks to @Sporeray suggestion) as you might have seen if you got a notification in the past couple days. However, we still want to clean this up more, so if you have any feedback let me know.

The next planned feature is a webpage for auto sign ups, so I don’t have to take PM sign ups anymore. I’ll post here again when thats ready, until then, you can PM me for this. Me and one of my teammates on 2496 are also looking into the IQ service, and we will try to see if we can get that going. To clarify, this currently works for VRC High school, VRC Middle school, and VEXU.

Thanks to @DarkMatterMatt who helped review my code and find some optimizations, this is always appreciated. I’ll be putting in these changes soon, when I can ensure that they are stable like the current version.

Finally, I figured this went without saying, but its happened a couple times: please don’t reply to the emails! They are sent by a bot account which I don’t check unless needed and I don’t have anything set up to receive a response. If you want to contact me, just PM me or if its really important email the account in my info. I suppose I should’ve put a .noreply in the bot’s address :stuck_out_tongue:

On side note, new tournament postings have been awfully disappointing in my region of CA since I made this bot :frowning:

You could put a signature asking that people not reply.

yup, gonna do that. Ty.

Hi ashwin