Could you use some extra gold from the Auction House? Who couldn't! You should give Abigail a try.
Abigail is a new auctioning add-on focused on performing a single task: finding great bargains. It scans the entire Auction House for items being sold below their normal price, allowing you to quickly buy and resell them for large profits. It's the speculator's dream mod! This is definitely a good addition to any player's mod collection, even if you already have a favorite auctioning mod.
Additionally, Abigail comes packed with supplementary features, such as creating a shopping list for items that have proven to be profitable, or adding pricing information to item tooltips.
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the add-on's developer, Philburt:
Why did you decide to create your own Action House add-on?
Initially I was using an addon called Auctioneer Classic, which was a very simple to use addon that let me make lotes of money, for very little time spent. After a while this addon stopped working and was replaced by Auctioneer Suite, which I found too complicated, with options set all over the place, and couldn,t get it to work at all. Having a background in programming, I decided to teach myself LUA and XML, with the aim of producing a simple addon that would do what I wanted.
Does it behave well alongside other auction mods?
Abigail was originally designed as a stand-alone addon, since it was not my intention to release it for others to use. Not because I'm selfish, but I didn't think anyone else would be interested in another AH addon. When I had got it finished, and ironed out most the bugs, I decided to release it on a couple of addon sites, CurseForge being one of them. I was immediately asked if it could be made to work alongside Auctionator, and after a little thought I started looking at that code and seeing how Abigail could be altered to do just that.
It became obvious that other addon users may wish to use some of the features in Abigail, so I put a couple of routines in that would allow Abigail to respond to AH events from other addons, although the only addon I have directly tied Abigail to is Auctionator 3.0.0.
How was the experience of working with the Blizzard UI? Did you come across any problems?
I was working with the World of Warcraft Programming book, first edition. This was somewhat out of date since the WoW API keeps changing, sometimes quite dramatically, so after spending many nights trying to get what the book said would work and failing, searching the internet fast became a way of double checking command syntax.
It almost seemed that everytime I'd got Abigail working, a new patch would be released, and it would be broken again. These problems were often hard to solve, because it could be something as simple as another return parameter added on to a function. In fact, the Cataclysm release gave me many problems like this, but they were solved eventually and Abigail now works quite well.
Reading through other peoples code (not to steal it, but just to understand it), was quite hard especially as I was learning LUA and XML at the time. It took me several months just to understand the process of reading the auction house, asking permissions, waiting for replies and responding to events.
Do you have plans for new addons in the future?
I don't intend creating any other addons at the moment, I'm still finding the odd bug with Abigail and it will be a while before I'm completely happy with it. The current release version is 1.21, but my time is spent working on version 2.0 which is to be released when MoP goes live. I'll not be signing up for beta keys, since Abigail taps into Auctionator and the default Auction House and Mailbox codes, hooking some functions and using their variables to make things work, so it will be important for these to be working correctly first before Abigail can be modified to handle the changes.
Having said that, there are several changes planned for version 2.0, with the emphasis still being on having it easy to use, so I've a lot to keep me busy until MoP finally comes out.
Abigail has its own website, which is checked daily for suggestions, as well as the main sites (such as CurseForge) that host Abigail. Responding to suggestions and bug reports can take a while, but if people are interested enough to make a response, I feel I should at least try to help them, and if needed fix a bug as soon as possible.
Do you have any advice for others who would like to start modding?
Get the World of Warcraft Programming book - second edition, and sign up to the website that accompanies it. J.W.Whitehead gives LOTS of help to new programmers.
Also try getting hold of Addon Studio for World of Warcraft, but only version 1.0 (or 1.1), since version 2 was never finished. This will let you concentrate on leaning the LUA side of things, while it handles the XML. (XML is the bit that say what your addon looks like - frames and buttons etc, where LUA is the programming language that makes everything happen)
Lastly, don't give up. You'll spend days (or even weeks) trying to get a simple function to work, but keep at it. Search books and the internet for help and you'll get there in the end. Even download addons similar to what you want to do and see how they did it.
Thank you to Philburt for answering our questions and developing this add-on.