My first extension, sort of

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 13:41. 1 comment

puzzle piece3 years later, I’m still playing WoW. With the recent expansion, we’ve seen a return to lengthy queues and frequent server downtimes as issues are patched. As the father of two small children, I don’t get a lot of time to play, so last night I went looking for a tool that would show me the status of my realm at a glance so I would know whether to even bother trying to log in.

I naturally ended up looking at Firefox extensions, and quickly found the World of Warcraft Realm Status Tool. It sounded ideal, and I gave it a try.

The extension did give me the realm information I wanted. Unfortunately, the only way to access that information was by navigating 2 levels of menus each and every time, or by opening a separate window that would show me the status for *all* realms. Personally, I like my at-a-glance information to live in the status bar where I can, you know, glance at it. I’m also not really sure about needing to see the status for all 236 US realms at once. I don’t think anyone outside of Blizzard needs that much realm status information, and I’m almost certain they have their own tools.

Rather than simply bitching and complaining, I tried to fix the problem (after bitching and complaining, of course). After a few hours work, I present to you:

And yes, before you ask, the realms were down and that’s one of the reasons why I had time to work on this.

There are some limitations, only some of which were newly introduced by me. Notably:

  • The original extension allows you to monitor multiple realms from the menu, but the status bar only shows the status of the first realm in the list. I only have characters on two different realms, and one of those realms only has a single L11 BE priest, so this isn’t a big limitation for me.
  • EU server status parsing is broken. I updated the extension to grab the status xml from the new, correct location, but parsing still fails. Since I only play on US servers, I have little incentive to fix this. Scotch makes a fine proxy for incentive, for people keeping track at home.
  • RP-PVP server parsing seems to broken. Again, I don’t play on those servers.
  • I don’t use the DTD files in the locale directory at all for this new functionality (yet). There are only en-US strings in there right now anyway.

I haven’t talked to the original author, but I’m hoping he’s amenable to taking patches and maybe getting this updated version up on AMO.

Technically-speaking, I didn’t have much trouble working with the extension code. The XMLHttpRequest code was already there, and I deconstructed my installed Greasemonkey addon to figure out how to update status bar images. I found the docs on creating a dynamic status bar extension from MDC very useful. The xpi packaging scripts that come included with extensions created by Ted’s Extension Wizard also saved me a lot of time at the end.

Current Tunes: Chicane - From Blue To Green | Filed under Firefox, Gaming, Open Web, Software, WoW |

One Reply

  1. So, I’d call you a total dork, but it’d be that whole “kettle, black” thing. At least fix the EU servers, the scots need a little something, something for their fine whiskey. I’ll share a dram or two of the portwood, even. Of course, that’d mean you and the fam coming over for dinner.

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