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Self-Hosted Option

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:12 am    Post subject: Self-Hosted Option Reply with quote

Hi Mario, I have read over your "Why Snipe?" section and agree with your logic, except for this point:

Disadvantage: You may feel uneasy about sharing your eBay username and password with a third party. There is no way around it, as online sniping services need your login info in order to submit a bid for you.

One way around this would be to self-host your own sniper. However, I haven't been able to find any simple options for this route. Do you know of any open source sniping services out there? Have you ever considered releasing your code to help those who want to self-host? It would help add to the glory, and i don't think it would impact your mirror service at all.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:12 am    Post subject: Self-Hosted Option

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mario
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but even if I was willing to share the code, which I am not for several reasons, it's not feasible anyway. Gixen is nowdays quite a complex system, and since it was never envisioned as a standalone sniper it would require a major work to transform it to that.

There are, however, standalone snipers around, and I can even recommend one - jbidwatcher. It's the only one I know is maintained reasonably well, made by Morgan Schweers, and it's free. In addition, since it's made in Java, it's portable and works well on every platform. If I recall well, source code is also available, although it requires major expertise to understand and modify, as Morgan is truly an expert.

Note that all standalone snipers suffer from the reality that problems are not detected as quickly (as there is no centralized database of tens of thousands of snipes in which it's much easier to detect problems), and even when problems are fixed you need to update the software, which you will typically find about only when your snipes fail (unless a notification system was developed since the last time I looked). Also, as you probably know, your home internet connection is no match for connection of servers colocated in a hosting facility.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mario wrote:
Sorry, but even if I was willing to share the code, which I am not for several reasons, it's not feasible anyway.

Fair enough, and thanks for the response. I am curious about the reasons, is it because of security concerns?

Quote:
...which you will typically find about only when your snipes fail (unless a notification system was developed since the last time I looked).

Is this something that happens fairly often? I am guessing typically it will be based on eBay making changes to their site, does that seem like the biggest source of errors in your experience?

Quote:
Also, as you probably know, your home internet connection is no match for connection of servers colocated in a hosting facility.

All of your points are very good. This one is particularly why I am interested in the idea of self-hosting. I'd probably try to run something off AWS or an equivalent, but I know it would not be very cheap. And because AWS servers can be rather expensive, it makes me question your motives. Usually in my experience if I am not paying for something, I am the product. I'm not saying that you are untrustworthy and the fact that you've been developing this project for so long is a positive indicator, but the anonymity of the internet makes trust difficult.
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Joined: 09 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

card,

In my experience of using this service, for many years, it is most often changes that Ebay make that are the cause of changes needing to be made... and that happens several times per year.

I would also note that attacking a persons integrity, when they do not give you everything you want, is not the best way to make friends and influence people.

Many people do contribute to this service by paying for the Mirror extension... and that, along with a small amount of revenue from hosting adverts appears to be enough to make it free for the standard service, for people like you that don't contribute... I don't think it is any longer the case that Mario has to fund the service, which is indeed expensive, from his own pocket... I think that is only right and proper.
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mario
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

card, Gixen main service is free, but that doesn't mean that Gixen is non-profit. It isn't. The main motivation for not releasing the code is not to make it available to competition, as is the main motivator of any other commercial software vendor.

I assure you that you are not the product, user inconvenience stops with ads being served, and mirror subscribers don't even see that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
I would also note that attacking a persons integrity, when they do not give you everything you want, is not the best way to make friends and influence people.

I was not trying to convince Mario to release his code, I was just explaining why I was personally interested in self-hosting. I was also careful to not attack his integrity, I just stated a core principle of any situation where participants are anonymous. I am fairly hesitant to enter some of my most precious credentials into a site which could potentially do anything with them.

mario wrote:
card, Gixen main service is free, but that doesn't mean that Gixen is non-profit. It isn't. The main motivation for not releasing the code is not to make it available to competition, as is the main motivator of any other commercial software vendor.

I assure you that you are not the product, user inconvenience stops with ads being served, and mirror subscribers don't even see that.


OK I see. Once again thanks for responding and I hope you realize that I am not attacking you. I'm just trying to evaluate your service as a potential user. The way that you phrased the FAQ made me a little suspicious that the service was operating at a loss, which would not make sense to do for so long without some other source of income.

Quote:
How do you make money out of this?

I don't make any money out of this, I do it for glory. Hopefully I will be able to recoup expenses with Google ads some time in the future. Update (March 30th, 2007): Gixen now started making some money with Gixen Mirror, an optional add-on service to Gixen. Read more about it when you log in to your account.
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Joined: 09 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the 2007 update makes it clear that the funding situation moved on many years ago.

This site is not Marios' only source of income... there has never been any intention to indicate that might be the case, so I apologise if you gained that impression from something I have said here... as far as I am aware it remains a sideline and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One quick comment regarding JBidWatcher.

I was a happy JBidWatcher user for many years, and only moved to Gixen quite recently.

Unfortunately, JBidWatcher was last updated in May 2014, and a number of the features no longer work or are flaky. This is no reflection on Morgan (who is a great guy), but a combination of the many undocumented changes that eBay make, the complexity of his product, and the reality of having to feed his family means that a product that he makes no money from is inevitably going to drop down his priority stack.

(As an aside, this is something that I have seen many times - both on PC and mobile apps - where a person creates a great product, gives it away for free, and then eventually either burns out or just can't cope with the volume of updates being requested by the user base.)
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