Worldwide winner for best Internet enabled ActiveX application
This contest was sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. The contest required all entrants to create internet enabled applications using ActiveX.
A number of factors went into choosing the winners, including originality and innovation, best user interface, high utility value, educational value, and most potential for re-use. There were 4 judges; Chris Flores, the technical product manager of Visual Basic at Microsoft, Ron Schwarz, co-author of Que’s Special Edition Using VBScript, Andrew King, associate producer of electronic products at Fawcette Technical Publications, and Mike Sturdivant, production associate of electronic products at Fawcette Technical Publications.
All 4 judges agreed unanimously that the Cricket Site, developed by David Brebner, deserved top honours.
Description of Winning Site
The Active Cricket Site, developed by David Brebner, included live updates, play-by-play scores and statistics for Test cricket. It also featured information on One Day International cricket and First Class cricket as well as in-depth profiles of players, news articles, video interviews and weather updates.
Cricket site featured nine live, interactive pop-up graphs that provided the user with a wealth of customised information on scores, teams, player stats, innings etc. David’s brother Paul attended games and used the scoring application to upload what happened every ball to the server.
Ron Schwarz said,” I know zilch about cricket, but this is one kick-ass control. Amazing use of graphs, zoom segments and live mouse updates. There are tons of applications for this beyond sports scores.”
Patrick Smits, third-place prize winner, agreed that Cricket Site deserved to win. “The number one winner was the best choice the jury could make. It truly is a great control.”
Packing in the Data
We covered the England and Sri Lanka tours of New Zealand in particular these included test matches which had 4 innings and could last five days!!! The challenge was how to transmit every ball of the match every few minutes in as small as file as possible (so people can analyse the game and draw graphs).
When you consider that 90 overs of 6 balls are bowled in one day of a (possibly) 5 day test match, that’s 2700 possible balls in a match! Now to store the complete possible occurrences that can occur off a single ball is pretty complicated, here is a short list of the sort of things to store;
Who the bowler was
Who the batsman was
Delivery # (6 balls in an over, but can be up to 12)
Over # (many overs in an innings)
Innings # (maximum of 4 innings in match)
Wide delivery (& how many runs were scored)
No Ball (& how many runs, & if a batsman was dismissed, & who ran them out)
Runs Scored (& how many runs & where they were scored)
Byes or Leg Byes (& how many runs, & if a batsman was dismissed, & who ran them out)
Dot ball (no runs scored)
Caught (& who caught them & where)
Out Bowled, Leg Before Wicket, Stumped (who stumped them) or Hit Wicket
Run Out (& how many runs, & which batsman was dismissed, & who ran them out)
Retired, Retired Hurt
Mankad (bowler stumps the batsman at their end before bowling)
Many sheets of scrap paper later, I managed to squeeze this into 6 bytes per ball. So even in a full test match the file being download is still only 2700 * 6 = 16k.