Greetings, WoWfans! Our holiday schedule is a bit off, but rest assured that we will be back to the grind in the New Year.
Bilal Akil, now an 18-year-old studying computer science at the University of Sydney, developed an interest in programming at an early age.
“I started programming in basic forms at the age of 13 when I figured out how Warcraft 3 map Triggers worked,” he explained. “It was rather difficult for me then because I hadn’t discovered the power of Google and didn’t know anybody with similar hobbies. It was just me, struggling through the immense world of programming.”
Despite these setbacks, Bilal continued exploring Warcraft 3, finding its World Editor helpful since he could program without worrying about the syntax and particularities of programming languages. With the World Editor tool, Akil was able to grasp the concepts of “if-else statements” and variables. He began playing World of Warcraft (WoW) while tackling “loops.”
“I quickly grew interested in creating WoW AddOns,” he said.
Bilal had discovered WoWWiki and Curse as resources, since programming through Notepad, as well as the particularity of programming languages, had become challenging. He began to download small and simple AddOns, modifying and grouping them together into bigger AddOns.
“After figuring out how they (the bigger AddOns) worked, I started adding more options to them,” he said. “I started making AddOns of my own, but required constant references to WoWWiki and WoWProgramming.”
Now, Bilal puts together “ridiculously simple but potentially useful” AddOns, containing features which, he believes, the normal game lacks. This is the concept behind his AddOns SAC (Simple AddOn Control), SAHT (Simple Auction House Totals) and the new SIC (Simple Item Counter), which will be released soon.
Meanwhile Bilal, a lifelong resident of Sydney, came to appreciate his Aussie roots after his first trip outside the continent this September – to Italy.
Despite its food, history and beauty, Akil found Italy also has massive crowds of tourists, overcrowded apartments and traffic.
“I realized how easy life in Sydney was,” he said. “It was an eye opener and I really enjoyed the experience.”
Besides traveling, Bilal also enjoys playing pool or table tennis and plans this year to organize an “NRL (National Rugby League) Tipping Competition,” which is similar to an American office football pool, with friends and family. His passion for programming also takes up his spare time.
“I’m in the planning phase of a web development company that I’ll be running with the business experience of my father...programming all sorts of things where I see potential improvement,” he said.
Simple AddOn Control is just that - it allows the user to control which AddOns are active while logged into WoW. You would normally be limited to activating or deactivating AddOns from the main WoW AddOns Control Panel, launched from the lower left of the Character Selection Screen.
Succinct and to the point, it has options to enable or disable all AddOns or to allow you to activate or deactivate a specific AddOn by checking and unchecking its respective select box.
Although settings are saved as you click each checkbox, you do need to reload the interface before you will see the changes take affect. Bilal includes a handy button to do the work for you or you can always enter /console reloadui at the chat/command line interface, in-game.
Simple Auction House Tools, much like the previous AddOn is very much 'to the point'. SAHT adds a single line across the bottom of the 'Auctions' tab that shows how much a user can expect if their items are bid or bought out.
The nice part about the line only appearing on the Auctions tab is that it will not interfere with other AddOns that may add buttons or other information to the bottom of other Auction House frames.
From the looks of things, we should expect to see some other cool creations from our Aussie amigo, be prepared!
That just about puts the wraps on things this week and this year... wishing you and yours all the best, today, and always!