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Since I mainly access the API using Java, thats what I'll be blogging about. I am most definitely not an expert java programmer, but I am getting very good at reading the Javadoc.

If I post something which is incorrect or something which could be made more efficient somehow, post a comment. I really don't have a problem with criticism of any kind. Even cruel criticism has something to be learned from and since you get a finite number of days allocated to you, any day you don't learn something is one of those days wasted.
Rating: 5 votes, 3.80 average.

FROSTY P....done it again, sorry.

Posted 01-18-2009 at 01:40 PM by ThanksFish
Vossie suggested that I start writing a blog on here in a reply to one of my posts, so I'll have a go at it - with the disclaimer that everyone keep in mind that I consider myself very much a beginner at both coding and working with the Betfair API.

A bit of background first though. I'm an Australian living in the UK, having met the lady who is now my wife in a napster (remember napster? Before it was rubbish? I do) chatroom. After eighteen months and a combined total of £2000 of telephone bills, we decided it would be cheaper to talk to each other face to face.

So, I dropped out of my degree in Journalism and came over to the UK for a six month visit in late 2002. In 2004 I came over here permanently and in early 2006, I started studying at the Open University, with the idea that I start with a subject which was out of my comfort zone, to get me back into the habit of studying. After I had finished that, I was going to move on into my real interest, which was computing and programming.

Accordingly, having hated every second of my first subject (You and Your Money: Personal Finance in Perspective - as I said, totally out of my comfort zone, but useful nonetheless) but managing to get reasonable marks for it, I started in on Java programming courses and Cisco network engineering.

Now the only programming I had ever done before was attempting to write a lottery number picker in VB6 and failing miserably (have you ever had visual studio tell you a module was too big? I have. Just over a megabyte uncompressed), I seemed to take to Java pretty well.

About the same time I started that course, a friend introduced me to Betfair and it didn't take long for me to find the Betfair Developers Program and the free API.

Now in Australia, soccer (or football as it is known in the UK) wasn't a terribly big sport until the 2006 world cup, which saw Australia in the finals for the first time in years. Being in the UK though, I've been watching it with more and more enthusiasm since I came over. Watching the matches in-play on Betfair gave me extra interest and before long, I was making manual bets using a system of my own devising.

Putting two and two together, I started writing my first betfair bot with that system in mind and it was ready to start raking in the cash on the last day of the premier league season in 2007. Bit of a bummer that, but never mind.

That bot, with the same basic theory is now in its third iteration (working on the fourth currently) and seems now to be working nicely.

What I plan to do with this blog is go through some of the mechanics of getting the thing going. As I said at the top of this post, I am by no means a master coder, so if I say anything in my posts which is wrong, correct me. If you get anything useful from it, use it. Let me know if you do use it if you like, but if you couldn't be bothered, thats fine too. What I'm hoping to do is chunter away quietly to myself, talking myself through the problems I encounter and hopefully learning a bit along the way. Since programmers generally hate to have to reinvent the wheel, making the solutions I come up with available just might help other new API developers.

These are the main areas I will be focusing on in the foreseeable future. Which is probably a good week or two.
  • General Java Programming;
  • Cuncurrency/Multithreading;
  • Persistence;
  • The Betfair API;
  • General Babble.

So with all that out of the way, I will hopefully not be waxing rhetorical on my next post.

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“If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.”
(Edsger W. Dijkstra)
Posted in Java, General Chat
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