Open-sourcing the Super 12

It's built in PHP code for a PostgreSQL database on Linux. And it helps you pick rugby scores.

It's built in PHP code for a PostgreSQL database on Linux and helps you pick rugby scores.

Wellington developer Paul Waite has marked the launch of the year's Super 12 tournament with an addition to his Haka website - a web-based automated tool to help groups of friends run their own weekly sweeps on the rugby.

Sports fans can visit the new competitions section of Haka and form their own groups to vie with each other to pick results and margins in the Super 12.

Once the group is formed, the system will email every member weekly with a unique URL where each competitor can make a pick by clicking buttons and pull-down menus and also see the other picks in the group. Groups can decide whether they want to pick simple results, results with margins or actual scores.

After each weekend's play, another email goes out with a URL for the group members' results and standings.

Waite began building Haka after the Rugby World Cup in 1995, which saw a big boost in rugby's internet following. It is now hosted by Wellington's Catalyst IT, where Waite is a director, and traffic reaches about 4Gb a month at the height of the test rugby season.

Waite, a self-confessed rugby traditionalist, says he runs the site "for the love of the game, and its history and traditions and because I think its good to provide non-mainstream forums for publishing opinions on what's happening in the game.

"There's also the kick of applying IT know-how to an area totally different from the normal IT project. It's a vehicle for continual development of my knowledge in IT and in using new techniques."

Waite says he honed the system with the help of a group of refugees from the rec.sport.rugby.union newsgroup, for whom he administers a mailing list on which a variety of issues are vigorously discussed.

For the international rugby season, Waite will be bringing back RugbyLive, his real-time graphical commentary tool for those unable to receive conventional broadcasts.

Waite says he'd like to make a 3D version of RugbyLive: "I have the ideas and knowhow to do it, but we need some development money."

Alongside contributions from fellow denizens of Waite's mailing list, the site now takes rugby news stories from Catalyst partner NewsRoom. Waite would like to build up the news service and "add more data, including a reference repository for all New Zealand results, starting with the All Blacks. This would be queryable

on the web."

"I've always thought the NZRFU should take ownership of that one, but whenever I've mentioned it to them in the past they've not been interested."

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