Dev Blog

Site Admin
admin

Apr 7, 2019, 13:47 pm

11 new smilies added today. Also fixed BBCode for the profile customization. :tired:
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Sep 20, 2019, 03:11 am

I have been doing a lot of stuff lately and just not recording it here.
Tons of bug fixes. Tons of feature improvements. Specifically the CLI tool has been improved for its acp language variables, there was a bug with default avatars (still are several more I need to fix), and the loginator has been improved to be able to post replies and send discord alerts for us when appropriate. A new add user extension has been created and added to the admin, along with a tagging system for @ username on the forums. A moderation bot has been created to trigger based on specific phrases it detects on the forums (it will typically log things for a mod to look into later and send a discord notification, but sometimes it will reply with a post to try and stop a fight before it escalates). Tons of new art has been done (specifically for tilesets of the map and hair items), and a lot of work has been going on for the rpg story as well. The musical main theme for lasria is in its final stages (probably be complete in the next month), and lots of discussion has been had around our moderator application and moderators themselves to make sure that this site stays above board on those fronts.

The site has been made GDPR compliant, with a CSV exporting system for the "Right to Access" that is both comprehensive and also does not reveal the infrastructure of our systems...and with a perma-delete button that will erase accounts.

The registration process has been tweaked to instead of having a "one correct column" structure (with a throwaway category) now be "two correct columns" where if you sort one column correctly the other will automatically also be correct. This will still dissuade bots from registering, but it will make it easier for us humans to get past it since the previous version was a bit unintuitive given the phrasing, like a multiple choice where you must NOT select the true answer.

Some error notices with the admin hammer have been fixed, and probably a ton of other stuff that I don't even remember anymore. Anyway, stuff is still happening, I promise, its just mostly happening without any dev blog updates because I am forgetful.
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Sep 25, 2019, 01:16 am

I have been down quite the rabbit hole as of late--decrypting my own code from 3+ years ago. Its not technically encrypted in the first place, but I didn't leave myself many/any comments and some of the variable names were...pretty ignorant.

You should never assume that you will remember and understand your code from a year ago.

I've gotten better about this over the years, and nowadays always write code as if a beginner who has never programmed would be following behind me, setting ANYONE up for success as much as possible rather than semi-encrypting my work to maintain some level of control over the codes so that others could not steal them. If I want some degree of control I'll just pay for an encryption software later (or write one myself), because in this world there is no way to 100% protect all your work once its out on the internet.

It took a bit of doing but I did manage to 'crack the code' of the code that my previous self had written, there wasn't technically anything wrong with it, I just at some point lost some database data I had to work with and haven't really understood what specific fields are for since then. They all make sense again now, and are functional now that they have appropriate data being stored in them. I did store a few things as complex blob/strings (nothing JSON encoded or php serialized or anything that should be criminal like that in my RDBS) but just a few things with multiple values in 1 field so that I wouldn't have to make a separate table just to store those few pieces of data. I think that's fine for now though, especially now that I've added comments to the fields so that I know what they're for again.
I rediscovered some of my code for fancy things with the hair stylist job, but I don't think I'll be digging deep into that and restoring that functionality for a while so I'm going to leave it out.
I did gut some lighting style code I had from a while back, now that we have an in-game lighting engine saving 3 separate layers for all items (rather than 2 for what we have now) to ensure that highlights and shadows would work properly seems a bit ridiculous, and a lot of extra effort for the art team (the second layer can be largely automatically generated, only one really has to be hand drawn to any significant degree).
I did a lot of styling work for the avatar and *SECRET* page, and they're looking pretty hawt if I do say so myself. Still need some more work, but I was pleased to see that the super secret special sauce page is actually almost entirely functional still with no decryption necessary. I am optimistic that I'll have both systems in ship-shape by the end of the week.
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Sep 29, 2019, 23:48 pm

Been fixing a ton of bugs. Avatars on PMs and profiles have been broken for who knows how long (for the defaults) they're fixed again now, mobile view for the cards game is fixed now so that it doesn't overlap and also fits properly onto the cards. The anonymous navigation had no background color, now it does, the crafting page has been set into testing mode, I have redone a lot of permissions work, and fixed a lot of mobile responsive styling. I have fixed several debugger warnings and notifications, and went through a pretty comprehensive speed up job of caching queries that are costing performance time on various pages. Fixed an issue with the daily grant that was preventing it from granting money so it should be working again, and also began redesign planning for the searching and PM systems. I made the close modal functionality work on anything that is clicked that isn't part of the modal. I am also trying to phase out some of the modals because they interrupt the user experience. Some padding has been added to the mobile navigation menu to make it easier to click between items. 1/3 of my bug list has been taken care of, and I'll be knocking out the remaining items over the next week or two along with a new version update for the overall site.
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Oct 6, 2019, 17:51 pm

Put up a new game, "Turtle Hurtle" for the Ludum dare challenge this weekend ("Start with nothing"). I also updated the PHP version of the entire site from 7.1 to 7.3 and increased the phpbb version from 3.2.7 to 3.2.8 (that update will go into effect later tonight). It may feel like not much since its only 3 main items, but since they were all rather large ones, I am happy with what got done for Lasria this weekend. :)
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Oct 12, 2019, 21:49 pm

A lot of work being done on bug and styling fixes, and also researching security. I have run several vulnerability scans and pentests on lasria at this point and I think I have a pretty good idea what is (and is not) super important or particularly dangerous, so I am focusing in on those items and trying to get them fixed. I made another improvement to the registration humanity check by removing "chicken" and "fish" from one of the sortables asking people to separate food from animals :lol: Didn't mean for that one to be as difficult as it possibly was. The elements vs colors one also got modified to remove "Cobalt" and "Iron" and "Tungsten" as those can also all be used as color names... I've got a running list of security things + bugs and styling issues to tackle (its got about 30 things on it total atm) that I am slowly getting through, likely won't be done for at least another couple weeks. The inventory page styling has been vastly improved, and the mobile styling for the avatar page as well. The crafting system's styling was pretty awful so it has been touched up for both mobile and desktop, and I have added a progress bar feature to the feedback page so what when the site actually does launch the users who are most-invested in voting for new features can also see the current progress towards those new features.
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Oct 30, 2019, 02:19 am

"What's new" notification and page are now up along with a new searching system (more in depth). I'm still not fully committed on that one. I cleaned up the PM styling, need to do more work there still though. A lot of work has been happening behind the scenes for things like security, mobile responsiveness and testing coverage. Its not glamorous, but someone's gotta do it, and it is getting done. :)
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Nov 3, 2019, 23:23 pm

Redesigns have been happening for several systems, including the market, the avatar system, and the inventory system. Additionally, the storage, searching and sorting functionality was implemented for the inventory system. I've been sneaking in as much work as possible on multiple systems, mainly focusing on the market and inventory lately. I pulled in the standard phpbb testing coverage, haven't gotten it working/functional yet though, but I wanted to see what was covered and what wasn't (and fill in the blind spots with new tests, and add some for the extensions I've built). The ACP and a few systems have been getting more language variables and cached variables put in, and the feedback system is getting a small touch up later tonight as part of a larger set of changes soon to come. The backend codes for the inventory system also got some pretty big modifications as part of the storage update, so that future additions to that system will be easier. Mobile responsiveness has been cleaned up a bit for the chevron tabs that you see on various pages of the site. I spent some time inside the points system as well, working on getting the points landing page to a presentable state and removing some features (robbery, bank) from the frontend since we likely will not be supporting them. Its been a lot of work, but I think things are looking better every day!
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...
Site Admin
admin

Nov 11, 2019, 23:42 pm

The post where I explain why I spent almost a week on PHPUnit and test coverage...

Yep. So now at least the core framework has testing coverage restored again now. I'll be adding it in for the extensions sometime soon, aiming to have the entire site covered by tests. Right now we have backend tests (currently grouped as UI, slow and functional), UI/frontend tests, and a CSS screenshot comparison system that is about 50% completed. It got pretty tricky with composer phar installing into subdirectories...but we made it.

In the process, I went ahead and upgraded all of the vendor libraries to their current versions, so now we have up to date everything, yay!

I have also been taking a harder look at the environment spin up process for onboarding devs, trying to streamline it a bit so that everytime phpbb or php or javascript or *whatever* comes out with a new version its not a major headache. I made an extension specifically for this that will enable/disable all the site's extensions when this is necessary (there are probably 30 or so extensions at this point...) and I've also been cleaning up some of my very poorly executed efforts to modify things in core places I shouldn't have. Its mostly language variables and minor things and there are only about a dozen lines total, but its gross and I want it to be automatic as much as possible. Right now its about a 5 minute process to get a copy of the local environment working, but its probably another 10-15m to deal with all the manual file changes which is not great. Hoping to have those all removed by end of next week, but you know....Pokemon...

The main theme song for Lasria has been completed for composition, instrumentation, and levels. Its sounding pretty great, but I am biased. :) I put in a request to copyright it last week, so should have that done in another few months. Later this month, I will be purchasing a copy of Ableton and learning that software better so that I can finish orchestration of the remaining songs rather than trying to use free demo-versions of fancy software.

That's all for now, folks!
Ten percent of nothin' is... let me do the math here... nothin' into nothin'... carry the nothin'...