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Bi-Weekly Updates Bi-Weekly Updates are SWGEmu's cornerstone updates, posted every two weeks.

 
 
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:56 AM
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Max Max is offline
Communications Director (On Leave)
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,096
Bi-Weekly Update for 10/30/09

Bi-Weekly Update for 10/30/09
1) Update Overview (TOC):

  • OR Progress
  • Berkeley Database
  • Changing of Focus: TC and the OR
  • DevChat - November 7 2009
  • Jedi / BH Changes
  • Speed Hack Detector Improvements
  • Forum Tweaks and Improvements
  • Donations
  • AFK Grinding and Sampling
  • IRC Etiquette
  • NPO and Incorporation Progress
  • Staff Changes
  • Bug Fixes
  • Quick Stats


2) Body:

OR Progress

Oru and TheAnswer have recently released some major modifications to Engine3, assisting in the ongoing development of the Object Restructure. IDL updates and changes to the Core3Client (a dummy testing client) continue, and bobius’ work on the StfStrings has recently concluded. Thoop’s investigations into a map-based resource manager which aims to be twice as accurate have begun. Now that Engine3 has been released, game systems will begin to be migrated including a new resource system, weather system, mission system, AI, buildings and cells.




Berkeley Database

The first stages of integrating the Berkeley Database system into Core3 began in late September, with the moving of the objects database to BerkeleyDB 4.8. Bobius has continued this work through October by adding the ability to create permanent objects that are saved in their own static objects database so that these objects can survive server wipes. NPC buildings and dungeons are also loaded from this new database. The implementation of Berkeley will go a long way to improving the performance of every Core3 server.




Changing of Focus: TC and the OR

As many will now know, with the new Engine3 now released, the SWGEmu Developers are gearing up to start on the Object Restructure's Core3 systems. With that new priority also comes a shifting in focus and resources, however. With the fastest possible roll out of the OR being top priority at this stage, the developers will be keeping that in mind when dealing with TC bugs and fixes from now on. Minor fixes which take no more than a few minutes will still be performed, however no feature changes or fixes will be made after the outstanding Jedi and Bounty Hunter work is complete. This is to allow all developers the time to focus completely on the OR and not on TC problems; which is in effect a dead codeset. Since only a minimal amount of code from the current TC revision can be reused in the Object Restructure, it would be futile for long term development to raise the TC code to a level of perfection. This is an unfortunate consequence of performing such a large scale restructure, however in the end it will yield a codebase which is as good as it possibly can be.

Please continue to play as you currently do. Bugs in statistics and equations are still important and will need to be noted in the future, however functionality bugs and errors will not be addressed.

To help keep the TC up as much as possible, we have implemented a simple auto-restarting program. This will restart the TC within a few minutes of a crash. However, at this time we have no way of it detecting deadlocks.




DevChat - November 7 2009

We will be holding a developer chat on November 7, starting at 6PM EST and running for an estimated two hours.

For other timezones:
3-5PM PST, 4-6PM MST, 11PM-1AM GMT

The discussion will be regarding The OR, progress and the current TC's codebase status. You can join us by going on IRC (an online IRC app can be found by clicking IRC in the left-hand navigation menu) and joining the devchat room. User /join #devchat when joining to join the room.

We hope to see you all there!




Speed Hack Detector Improvements


Since reactivating the speed hack detector (“the rubber band” as it is commonly known), it became increasingly obvious that the rubber banding was causing serious issues for almost everyone online. Because of this, TheAnswer, Kyle, Dannuic and cRush have spent time writing new algorithms to try and detect true speed hacks more accurately. The formula is still imperfect, however, and when added with server lag can still cause rubber banding while walking. We can’t apologize enough for the trouble this is causing. Please know that work continues, and by improving the system now, we are securing a hack free future.




Jedi / BH Changes

Many will have noticed that since the 28th, Jedi have been under siege from Boba Fett and his gang of imperial bounty hunters. Unfortunately, when first introduced, Boba was a little too eager to exterminate any and every jedi he found, when he found them. This has since been corrected. As long as you are not TEF'd and not hanging around for too long, Boba should pay you no mention. All remaining Bounty Hunter problems should also be corrected over the coming week or two.





Forum / Website Tweaks and Improvements

Max has been busy over the last two weeks improving various aspects of the forum’s look and feel, as well as its flow and content. Old news, but a Roleplayer’s forum has been added. The forum’s color scheme, layout and iconography has also been updated to a much more liquid and smooth style. You can now choose to hide the side navigation bar by clicking “Click to Hide” under server status. For the rebels out there, you can change to the rebel-heading theme by selecting “rebel” from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page. We hope these changes can convince those orange-theme stragglers to upgrade and get up to date!

The main website is also back online after being optimized for increased efficiency. Sorry for the downtime. As long as it's operation does not detract from overall performance it will remain online indefinitely.




Donations

Donations, by their very definition, are voluntary payments of money made to another person or organization. A demanded payment is not a donation. A payment in re-imbursement for a service or product is not a donation.
When you donate, you are trusting that your money will be used appropriately. With SWGEmu, that money goes towards funding the TC and Web dedicated servers, any licensing fees we incur from software use, and also long term saving for future SWGEmu Expenses and also the operation of SunCrusher.

We will never ask you to donate, and we ask that everyone else in the community follow suit. It is completely inappropriate to tell someone to donate, or to brag about how much you yourself contribute. Donating does not make you above the law, and it will not gain you anything in return except the success of the project itself.

To help increase financial transparency, monthly budgets will be posted citing the income, expenditure and savings of the project’s funds. Pending some final details, the September budget should be posted this week. We hope this gives people further peace of mind regarding donation and lets everyone see where their money could be spent.





AFK Grinding and Sampling


A quick note about AFK grinding and sampling: Many people are confused as to the rules in these situations. Simply put, as long as you aren’t disrupting or disturbing other people’s ability to test, there is no issue. AFK grinding is, of course, frowned upon. AFK sampling is a much less contentious issue. AFK sampling is perfectly fine since you cannot disrupt others by sampling in one spot, with as many others as will fit. Just remember not to include any spam in your macro!





IRC Etiquette
A message from Audune, IRC Moderator

Hi Everyone. I know with more and more updates and all the exciting things going on, you can feel just a little riled up. I understand, I'm excited too. But at the same moment of feeling excited, I'd like to ask that you take a quick reality check before coming onto the IRC server and spamming main chat with your questions.

Some important things to remember:
1) #status and #test do not update automatically. It can take a few minutes after people get booted off the server for the bot to kick in and change the message.

2) If you get booted off the server, chances are, others have too. Please don’t ask if the server is down in #swgemu. Unfortunately, with the constant joining/parting that occurs during downtime, some of the less flavorful comments leak in and flaming begins.

3) When the channel gets muted, the moderator has a reason. It can be anything from stopping a fight that’s occurring to needing the channel quiet so we let a bunch of people in and then posting any update messages that we may have. Please stop asking "Why don’t you just ban the offenders?" because its simply this: The time needed and spent to kick a bunch of people just doesn't out weight the speed and necessity to just mute the channel. If its bad enough, we'll mute, kick offenders, and then un-mute.

All in all, the main channel does have its ups and downs time. We do try to keep it friendly, but sometimes it doesn't always work. And I’m sure I speak for all of the Mods when I say that we'd REALLY appreciate it if you can read the IRC rules before getting upset at us when we mute/warn/kick/ban someone. You can find the rules here.





NPO and Incorporation Progress

SWGEmu is still planning to move ahead and create a new organization to function as SWGEmu’s parent corporation, something that we haven’t spoken of in a while. Incorporation will allow the SWGEmu Team to function on an industry level and with non-profit status. This will also help donors by providing tax exemptions and peace of mind when contributing or supporting the project.

We are currently in the process of deciding on the name of this organization. There will be change ahead before we are at incorporation, however it is undoubtedly an exciting step for the whole open source gaming community.





Staff Changes

The SWGEmu Team has gained and lost some members over the past month. Here is a short summary:


  • Serpentkaa has rejoined the GM team after a long, professional absence. It's a massive joy to have her back!
  • Uli has left the team.
  • Bobius has stepped up as an Active Developer once again, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Licrei Lightwave has formally joined the team as a Forum Moderator.
  • Odwill has taken on the position of Support Manager
  • Max has taken on the position of Public Relations Director

Last but not least, we'd especially like to thank the Support Volunteers who have been overwhelmingly helpful with IRC support over the last month. We'd never get anything done without them!
Thanks to: Tiger, Corbaer, Mijom, Leodextrin, Elyssia, Shotter, Tovo, KarlDeux and sam_enock




Bug Fixes

  • Many many many!




Quick Stats (13 September- 25 October 2009)

Developer Code Commits: 43

Average Web/Forum Daily Hits: 65,000
Total Web/Forum Hits: 834,634
Total Users who used the Website: 37,405

Average TC Daily Logins: 8,500
Total TC Logins: 355,673
Total Users who used the TC: 26,505




3) Developer Perspective ("Round Table")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobius
NOTE: I will no longer be working on TC fixes. I am focusing my full attention on the OR.

My work on StringIds is finished. The code is being reviewed to make sure there are no bugs. It should hit the SVN soon. I've also finished setting up the permanent object database. I've got the static buildings and cells loading from this.

Now, I'm working on further improvements for Buildings that will make it much easier to implement future features into OR.

GO SAINTS!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakis
I am currently in the planning phase of a new weather system for the OR. It will include differing weather for each region of the planet (currently it's the same for the whole planet), as well as new effects such as wounds from sandstorms and rain healing fire dots. These will be optional features and can be turned off by the server administrators.

You can read and add to the discussion here: http://www.swgemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33982. I look forward to reading your ideas!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRush
We have been doing a lot of organization and charting/planning for the Object Restructure, and things are really starting to pickup pace in that regard. I will be working on making the status server more reliable and expandable in the days to come as well as working with Bobius to get ALL buildings ready for full implementation. Also, I will be working on better account management and forum integration across major platforms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannuic
I have been splitting my time working on efficient and accurate speedhack detection for use in OR and on TC, doing some packet research, and school. I've pretty much gotten what I needed in the packet research department, am testing some fun new speedhack algorithms, and enjoying physics and math in school. I would say altogether everything is going rather swimmingly. Pretty soon we (devs) will pretty much leave TC in its reasonably playable state and work on implementing all we learned in the TC patch and more into OR in such a way that maintains readability and promotes sructure and forethought of design. Very exciting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoop
I've been very busy with school lately but I'm very excited to see all of this great work being done on the OR. We're lucky to have these awesome people involved in this project. TA pointed me in the direction of the Perlin Noise implementation of heightmaps which will be used in the density calculations of resource maps. This will further our ResourceManager closer towards 100% pre-cu accuracy.



4) Closing:

It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks, however it goes to show that no matter how bad things seem to get, development and progress does not stop. There is so much to this project. Looking at it is like looking at a tree and wondering just how deep the roots run beneath. It’s not always easy to see the right path to go. This is new for us all, and no one has all the answers.

We stuffed up. And I’m sorry.
__________________
Max
Communications Director (On Leave)


www.swgemu.com | max@swgemu.com

SWGEmu is a non-profit, open source community project.

Last edited by Max; 10-30-2009 at 06:13 AM.
 

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