Archives September 2011

Blizzcon, Minecon and 1.9!

Yay, it's almost that time of year again! Where I spend over a full day travelling to meet some friends at blizzcon and waste all my money :D

I'm getting my flights, hotel and blizzcon tickets paid for by Curse, so this year that's a huge load off my mind. I got my flight info through yesterday... doesn't look so good. 3 stops both ways, and each one is in US :( I don't like being manhandled by US customs!

Unfortunately only a couple of my friends from MMO-Champion will be there this year, but I should see a bunch of other people whom I know and it should be a lot of fun. Any of you guys going too? :D

I won't be working on Bukkit while I'm out... unless mojang release while we're out and then I'll have to. But let's hope it doesn't come to that. I go on holidays to avoid work, not to find new scenery to work in :(

Speaking of, I have a nasty feeling that Notch wants to release Minecraft live at Minecon in november. The entire Bukkit team will be there, so it may look like we're all going to have to work together in person to get that some. Should be... interesting!

1.9 should hit us fairly soon, and we've been doing everything we can to prep for it. It shouldn't be as large of an update as 1.8 was, but it's still fairly big in terms of code changed. I managed to get a build of Bukkit working on 1.9 pre-1 but I decided instead to work on optimizing our deobfuscation stuff, which means I have to redo 1.9 pre-1 but it ...

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Bukkit 1.8 dev diary

So I woke up Thursday morning to a strange surprise. I had a few tweets saying "good luck with 1.8" and suddenly many more "when is 1.8 gonna be updated lol" than I usually had. What a curious thing!

Unfortunately, sleepy me didn't realise what this meant at this point in time, and was unaware that he was better off just staying in bed all day, so he decided to go investigate. Some time later, it hit me. Like a wall full of irc highlights. Mojang released 1.8 much earlier than we thought they would. Uhoh!

IRC update checker bot

It appeared that I was a couple of hours late, so I thought, maybe it's ok and we've already started to work on it. But checking our repos and irc channels... it seems I was the only one who was available to handle it. It was just a bad time for all of us. The best part about our team is also the worst part; we're each in a separate timezone so there's always one of us awake for the major hours, but times like this it's just not possible for anyone else.

What's a bone supposed to do, but update the server by himself? First things first, though, is to tell everyone DON'T PANIC and that I'm working on it. Done! That wasn't so hard. Things might be easier than I expected!

So, to the actual updating. We have a top-secret-ultra-sensitive-really-hackish 3 step process of handling updates. Four, if you count the pizza time afterwards. The first two steps are essentially deobfuscation, and the third is almost rewriting the entirety of Craftbukkits net.minecraft.server section. That's a whole lotta code. We have some very fancy tools written by ...

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How dare Mojang test things!

So it's common knowledge now that Mojang have started to test updates with small groups of people before releasing them. We, Bukkit, are one such group and we're usually first in line. People don't seem to like this idea though, thinking that testing builds before releasing them is a complete waste of time and that testing is their job as a player during Beta.

This is quite strange. Every update before now that contained any bug of any type, people screamed loud and clear: "WHY DON'T MOJANG TEST THESE THINGS BEFORE RELEASING?!". Huh.

See, there's a huge difference between us testing cutting-edge builds and the general community testing the gameplay. We make sure you can actually run the game, that it doesn't crash on launch, and that things work. The communiy tests the gameplay and everything else.

To give you some small examples of things we've encountered so far:

  • Entities of any type can become invisible or even half invisible.
  • The game will crash if you die.
  • Sometimes, everyone else + the server will crash if you die.
  • The game will crash if you join a server.
  • Destroying one particular block will corrupt your world and you have to start anew.
  • Furnaces are evil.

Here's a few examples of things that were left inside release builds and the community absolutely hated:

  • Some crashes of various types, usually in rare situations
  • Pistons can sometimes dupe or get rid of blocks
  • HP is reset upon travelling between worlds
  • Certain combinations of redstone don't produce the "expected" output
  • Some mobs become clientside and unkillable
  • Pistons could corrupt a map

Some used the argument, "ok we test those and then we get .1 .2 .3 .4 etc". Really? Why not just the initial release and no ...

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Pig Tails!

I has a pig! :D

Piggy shot 1 Piggy shot 2

Ok, there's a story to this I promise. It's not just because I love fluffy toys. That only had a small part in it!

Back when we were house hunting, you may remember that we found a house that came with its very own pig. A toy pig, mind, but a pig none the less. We didn't get the house, and this was a great loss - who can go back to regular houses after something like that? We need a pig with our house now!

So the good chap Grum, another one of the bukkit team, realised this and decided to send us our very own piggy. He also bought one for himself too, because piggies. It came from an Amazon seller somewhere in England; I live in England and Grum lives in Netherlands.

This was about 3 weeks ago. His came almost instantly, from England to Netherlands. Mine never came at all. After many yellings at the sellers, he got a refund a few days ago and bought one off ebay instead - and here it is!

Yay piggy! Thanks Grum :D

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