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Over the weekend I've been working on the collection of data, so I've been to a few more systems and stations, I've been checking the algorithm for finding the best route, and I've been giving myself some feedback...
The first two things I immediately wanted was the program to remember the last folder used, and also as I captured data, to be able to refresh the loaded information without having to close & open the tool again. Basic stuff.
So, loading the data looks like this now:
Lets say we've got courier missions from LHS 1914 to FK5 2550, we select the start system, so LHS 1914:
This instantly populates the Stations and total list of commodities in columns 2 and 3 there. We can select the specific station we're docked in as well:
Reducing the number of commodities, now we could just select Fk5 2550 from the destination system list, just to see what would bring us the most profit in running into that system:
The answer here is then given in the top right box, that result will stay there now until we change system or destination system, we can get the same search just without the station select from the second column also, but then the search would start from all stations in the source system on the left.
This search alone wasn't enough however, because I needed to be able to quickly find a supply of certain commodities, hence the new controls in the right bottom.
Lets say we want to find Beryllium for a specific mission goal, we can select that commodity by name from the drop down:
The results are the source of Beryllium from the database in best price (for purchase) order. Obviously, if you've selected a commodity you've never seen before then you get no reply, unfortunately in the current context there is no distance, or connectivity in the database, so we don't know if these items are close or not, that is still a player decision*.
The other feature added there is the "Demand For" search, this simply lists those commodities in the database which are wanted somewhere, the results are given in best price (for sale) order, this allows you to quickly marry up any profit (if any) there maybe to be had, I find it most useful if the upper algorithm driven box comes up with an illegal selection.
* However, I do envisage changing the data collection so as data is captured from system to system we have a basic web of where it connected to where by input, this basic webbing could then be used to add "how many jumps" a commodity is from the selected source or destination systems. However, to add all this functionality I need your help!