What happened to the website?

Sorry for the long downtime. My previous host went poof. I have no idea what happened.

As such, that puts an absolute answer on what to do with the old forum data: Lose it.
Yup. The forums are gone. I’m not sure how far back the last backup of it is, but I don’t have a recent one. As such, we’re free to start with an all new forum/communication channel. More on that soon.

This is an entirely new server with completely new installations. The links have been reshuffled a bit but I added some mappings so things should move over fairly seamlessly; always expect the occasional hiccups, though.

A huge thanks is owed to the folks at CreeperHost for hosting me.  I should also apologize to them for dragging my feet on getting everything moved over.  They’ve put up with me through that and even helped me out. 😀 You guys rock!

I’ve also set up a new wiki for Mystcraft. I’m not sure signups are working, so give it a test and let me know.

I had actually moved over everything but the forums, so that’s the only thing lost.  Not my first choice of thing to lose, but there it is.  I’ll see about getting some kind of forum solution up in the near future.

Enjoy!
-XComp

Random History note: The last blog transition happened in July 2012, from my own blog implementation to WordPress.(http://blog.xcompwiz.com/2012/07/15/new-system-same-old-music/). Keeping all of the posts was a lot easier this time! 😀

Trello Boards Changes

(This post was written some time in August but never made it to “Published” for some reason. Here it is now. :P)

While playing with Trello, I realized that archived lists are not viewable unless returned to the board. I tried playing with archiving the cards independently, but that just gives you a list of all archived cards… not so useful.

Since I’d like to leave an archive of what was completed when and make it publicly viewable, I tried to find some solution to this. The best I could find/come up with is to use two boards; one for upcoming and one for completed. Thus the Mystcraft Trello board will stay about as it has been in terms of roadmap, but now a new board exists to show the releases.

I think the process for this will be roughly the same, where I move completed tasks to a list as I do them, but now I’ll move that whole list to another board when I release it.

Should be a functional system, if I can remember to do it. 😛

Let me know what you think of this process!
-XComp

Servers: Update and Progress

Greetings! 😀 I’m steadily getting back to all the things involved in modding, including my website and server stuff.
Particularly, I’m putting my maven repo back together. 🙂

Sometime late April, when I was starting my return to modding, I tried making a build only to find that my maven repo was gone. Guess that happens when one is away for half a year.
Outside of the loss of data I wasn’t too worried; the community around Minecraft has a number of wonderful elements, and one of those is those groups willing to provide productive modders and creators with hosting so we can focus on making cool things. Really, every group that is willing to do this is awesome for it. 😀

I’ve ended up with two such groups offering to help. This puts me in the uncomfortable situation of needing to choose which one I partner with. I have no one to blame for that but myself, though.

Almost entirely out of personal preference stemming from the fact that I know more people there, I’ve decided to partner with CreeperHost. I’ve known many of them a long time, now, and they have some really impressive hardware they are going to let me use. Thanks, guys!

This new server should be a really cool thing for my website and stuff. Ultimately I’ll be moving all of my website and server usage over to the VPS they are providing me, but for now it just has a maven repo set up on it. This means my maven repo should be back in working order soon… though it doesn’t have the old builds on it for now. I’ll see about putting them up if anyone wants them, but since I was the one to find out the maven repo was gone I expect everyone who wanted to use it already had.

As always, I am slowed by my eternal enemy: Time. (See what I did there?) How fast I manage to get all of this done depends on how much time I have to spend on doing it. Wish me luck.
In the coming weeks I’d like to put more information up for how others could help me out. The more people engaged in seeing Mystcraft and LookingGlass evolve and develop the faster I’ll be able to create things. 😀

Cheers!

The Dawn of the Fifth Day

OK, I know it’s been a lot more than five days. And, no, you weren’t holding Helm’s Deep during this time (which is probably for the best).
Just let me have my Gandalf moment, OK?

It’s been a while. This post is to serve as a recap and explanation as to why. It’s also the announcement of my return, I suppose.

About a year ago (Jan of last year) I was in a bit of a predicament; my residence permit to live in Finland was to expire as February ended. Since I didn’t want this to happen, I needed a source of income to apply for a new permit.
At this time I had been trying to start a PhD for some time. I had managed to find some potential supervisors, but funding was much more scarce. It never pulled through.
So, as February rolled around I basically entered panic mode. Bailing on getting a PhD position, I simply tried for any research or teaching position I could get. Fortunately, this tactic worked much better, as someone who recognized my name called me up wanting me to build cool things for him. I counted myself very lucky.
so, for the past year (Feb to Feb) I was working as a researcher on an interesting augmented reality project based out of Padova Italy. The work was interesting, the people were fun, and I learned a lot. I don’t think I could have asked for more given the circumstances.

Some of the more attentive folks might be able to correlate March with a sudden boost to my modding time and productivity. Essentially, I suddenly had the time and comfort to enable me to be more creative. Unfortunately it didn’t last. Come August I was informed that my contract would not be renewed when it expired in Feb. This coupled with the project needing to finish soon and the theatre group I’m in starting it’s latest production (in Sept; performed last week) pretty much killed all that time and desire to work on my personal projects.
And that’s when the big gap started.

I managed a few sporadic fixes and updates since, but I honestly had some difficulty wanting to work on anything due to the stress I was already under. I will honestly tell you that making a mod as big as Mystcraft is stressful not for the work doing it, but for dealing with the community around it. I didn’t want to interact with that source of stress, and so I distanced myself from all of it.

Leap forward to January of this year. I, once again, found myself with an expiring residence permit. I’d been doing the same as the previous round, trying to start my PhD, but the climate for that is even worse now than before.
And so I bailed on academia and went looking for a job at a game company.

In the end, come late Jan/early Feb, I secured a contract with Mindfield Games here in Finland, and I could not be happier. It has been so much fun and is exactly the kind of work I love doing and am well suited for. The peopel I’m working with are awesome as well.

Thus ends the Workplace Saga. At least for the foreseeable future, as this contract is indefinite. 😀

However, February and March ended up a very busy time for me. Between the new job and the theatre production (which I’d now been upgraded to both a main character and the producer for) I simply didn’t have any real free time. (One thing to another, my life is.)
The shows (Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! adapted by Stephen Briggs) occurred last week. I spent Easter weekend recovering.

And now I’m back to being able to do fun stuff.

There’s a small hill of things I’ve been putting off that I’ll be working through (including setting up/finishing building a computer I got over Christmas) but I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove of Mystcraft and LookingGlass. It’ll be slow for a while, but I’m on my way back.

Cheers!

Hey, XComp, where’d you go?

(This post is very “personal life” oriented. Steer clear if you don’t care.)
I’ve been staying pretty quiet about my hiatus. It wasn’t planned (or I’d have given warning) and has lasted much longer than I’d have liked.

The reasons are pretty mundane. I’m not dying (any faster than usual; at least such that I can tell). I’m not sick. I’m not even getting married or something significant like that (I’d probably have mentioned that if I were).

I’m just working full time on a project (for work at the Uni) that has been in crunch mode since about August. Keeps one busy.
At the same time, my motivation has been a little upended. This has to do partially with work as well, but the reverse direction.

About August (what is it with August this year?), I was informed that at the end of my current contract I cannot be guaranteed funding. This isn’t the problem most people would expect for me. While, ya, not being paid is problematic, I could try to get money from other sources (I could mod more and depend on Patreon again). The problem for me is residence permit. In order for me to get a permit to live in Finland I need to have an income. Thus, no funding means I can’t get a residence permit beyond my current contract.
I don’t think I need to say that the possibility of being kicked out of the country one considers home is a bit stressful.

Thus I’ve been looking for other ways to stay here in Finland. The first looks were how to stay in academia, but I’ve largely given up on that. There isn’t any money in the universities here and most of them are in a recruiting freeze because of it. At this point I’m trying to get a job “in the real world/industry.” It’s made a little more complex by wanting to stay in Finland.

I have some time, still, before “Volcano Day,” but it’s still stressful to the point of deterring me from working on Mystcraft.

I just felt that you all deserved to know why Mystcraft stopped updating around August and where I’ve been. Thank you to everyone and I hope I can be back on playing around with Mystcraft fairly soon.
Cheers!
-XCompWiz

Mystcraft Trello Board

Lots of posts in a short span of time, but everything kind of fell together at once. 😛

Mystcraft now has a (public) Trello board. https://trello.com/b/0iPcFEAy

I’ve gone through a a few iterations on it for a little while, and I’ve settled on a timeline-like format. The upcoming features are to the right, and past things are to the left. Older versions are archived.
I’ve been on this format for a little while now and found that it works well for me. I can quickly arrange things based on when I think I will get to them, structure larger arcs of development, and put features which depend on stuff after the things they depend on.
While it’s not strictly a timeline, in that sometimes a feature might get warped from a later list to suddenly being an active task as things come up, it helps give a general impression.

I’ve opened it up so that anyone may comment on it, and there is a voting system, so let me know your thoughts. 🙂
(Note that, if the public commenting should turn out to be an issue, I will just turn it back off and we’ll just discuss everything on the forums like we have been. :P)

Maven Repo!

(Forewarning: This post is mostly intended for other modders. It’s a cool thing and means neat stuff for the future, but the immediate applicability of it is limited to modders…)

Dev and API jars Mystcraft and LookingGlass are now possible to pull from a maven repo. maven.xcompwiz.com

Example GradleCode:

	repositories {
		maven {
			name "xcompwiz"
			url "http://maven.xcompwiz.com"
		}
	}
	dependencies {
		compile "com.xcompwiz.lookingglass:lookingglass:0.2.0.00:dev"
	}

I am no longer the author of Mystcraft

Which is to say, I am no longer the author of just Mystcraft.

In the past month I have released two new mods (OK, a mod and a half) and demonstrated parts of a third. I can no longer arrange myself as if I am the author of only one Minecraft mod; I now have many.
This means that some areas of my site need to reorganize, particularly treating the site as the home of Me and Mystcraft. Now it needs to be my home, where we can discuss all of the things I’m working on, not just the oldest mod I have.
I’ve already rearranged the forums here, setting things up into a more categorized setup. The layout might change some depending on feedback, but the addition of the categories and space for other mod discussions should be very helpful. The blog and overall site layout will be changing in the near future. I have awesome people who are working on that for me.
I still need to rearrange the wiki, but… that’s more than slightly daunting and also feels like wasted effort. It’s a waste because I plan on killing the wiki.

Now I don’t plan on killing the wiki without a replacement, so don’t worry there.
A long time ago, when creating the wiki for Mystcraft here, I sat down with the other people in the community and we chose DokuWiki. Doku has served well enough, but I regret the choice.
At this point I wish we’d selected MediaWiki. MediaWiki supports much more advanced templating and macros right out of the box. SillyBits wrote a plugin for Doku at one point to add more to it, but it never got added in for various reasons.
At any rate, lots of things are going on in the back here and at some point I’ll swap the wiki out. Depending on how and when we might keep the existing wiki around to help with populating the new wiki, but one of the problems with the existing wiki is that it’s written really badly. More like a forum board or reference manual than a wiki.
Before I let people at the next wiki I intend to specify how it will work and layout some macros, templates, and standards first. I didn’t touch the existing wiki much, intending to allow it to evolve naturally. Natural evolution can end badly, though, is a good lesson here.
I do appreciate the people who have put information into the wiki. They have been really helpful to the community at large. It’s just that the wiki lacks a definite structure and newcomers to it often have difficulty finding anything in it. I want to fix that with the reboot.

This is an upcoming thing, though, and the site redesign is ongoing, so hang on to your chairs and we’ll try to keep you off the ceiling.
Cheers, and I look forward to where this is going. 🙂
-XComp, author of a bunch of things

We’re not gonna make it, Cap’ain!

I have had something every night this week, most of them deadlines and/or very late running activities. While, for the most part, I’ve really enjoyed these things, this has cut into my dev time.
Normally I’d recover on the weekend, but this weekend is similarly busy; events all day, everyday. I won’t even be home until Sunday night.

So, the purpose of this post is a forewarning to a probable lack of builds this weekend. I know everyone is eagerly awaiting the LookingGlass API, but it’s no use to anyone if I release it half baked. Particularly without enough javadoc.

I *might* be able to push builds early next week (Monday or Tues), but I’ll probably just hold off until next weekend, effectively skipping this week.

Sorry for the gap. I hope to not make a habit of this. I’ve managed pretty well thus far, since starting my weekly release schedule.
Cheers!