Blog

New Theme And Other Changes

When it comes to the design of my site, the previous theme worked but it wasn’t good enough. The main reason why I chose to go with a new theme was that I wanted to emphasize programming a bit more. To accomplish this I wanted a theme with a header image containing some code from one of my projects. I looked at so many themes trying to find one that worked for me and finally stumbled upon the one you’re looking at now.

Another change I have decided to make is the inclusion of the Contact and Donate pages to the main menu section. They were previously located in the footer on the left-hand side. This doesn’t really help things as someone may wish to get in contact with me or want to donate. The visibility of these links was a necessary part of this theme change.

Another change is that the archives page is now a child of the links page and can be found by hovering over the links item in the top menu.

The social media buttons are now no longer part of the footer but in the header area as smaller buttons.

And as always, do enjoy your stay on my site!

Take Two, Live Chat Restored And Changes

Widgetbot, which is what powers the web chat widget on this website, unfortunately has never been truly stable and because of this, the reliability of the chat experience hasn’t been guaranteed. However, that was version 1 of the software. Earlier today I went to the discord server for the project and asked for support. They told me to sign up for their beta version which I did. They also said that the beta version, also known as version 2, is much more reliable and is recommended. So,  I have decided to go ahead with that.

Another change you’ll notice is that I’ve removed the live chat page. Previously, I was using the embedded version and it was provided on the live chat page. Now, there is a button to the lower right that when clicked will open up the web chat interface. Much more user-friendly because it appears on all the pages, so you can chat from whatever page you’re on!

Battle.Net Services Update

At the bottom of my website in the footer section there used to be a link called Services. This went to a small page that listed the location of my JBLS server, JBLS statistics, and a link to Battle.Net Hashes. That link changed to go directly to the Battle.Net Hashes page (it changed rather recently so I doubt anyone noticed). I’ve since changed the name to Battle.Net Resources. It goes to https://davnit.net/battle-net-resources/. I primarily made this change because I don’t want to manage the distribution of Battle.Net hashes anymore.

I have also removed the sub-domain jbls.codespeak.org as I don’t wish to have that as a service anymore. I actually stopped hosting a public JBLS awhile ago and it was simply a redirect to bnls.bnetdocs.org. As I decide where I want to focus development on I want to focus less on Battle.Net development and more on other things.

About the Code Speak Distribution System

You’ve probably been wondering what on earth this project is and why is it taking so long? It’s a large project and the largest I’ve ever undertaken myself. It involves a lot of knowledge I previously didn’t have much of so on that note it’s a great project to get me to learn new things. So, as of this writing I’m learning WordPress plugin development in order to be able to work on part of the project. In this post I’ll go over what the project is so you have a pretty good idea on what exactly it is.

Also, I’m doing something different this time. Since previous projects of mine, such as Maelstrom and Simplicity, made use of Visual Basic 6 (VB6) which is over 20 years old at this point and obsolete, this time around I chose a new language to focus on: Java. Part of the reason for this was cross-compatibility with Windows, Linux and Mac, something that I had not focused on in my other projects. Another thing is that it’s modern, so no need to download special runtime libraries just to be able to use it. All you need is Java! With that said, I’d like to describe what this project is exactly.

What is the Code Speak Distribution System?

This project aims to provide a centralized means of access for programs that I make available to download. While projects like Simplicity and Maelstrom are accessible via my GitHub repository, I wanted a way where programs could be accessed in a single place. The way things work right now just aren’t centralized and so a system like this would introduce more flexibility for me. Also, something that I’ve been wanting to do is statistics tracking. It would be nice to track usage data for programs to get an idea of exactly how many people are using such programs. Not completely sure how I want to do that but that is something that’s been on my mind.

There are two main parts to this project intended for you to use: the client and the web frontend. The client is the program that you download. The way it works is similar to the Blizzard Launcher or even elements of the Steam client . It will keep track of which programs you download and automatically (or manually, depending on a setting) update any program that requires an update. You can also launch programs from the client. The web frontend will allow you to have access to these programs from this website. If you’re unable to download the client or for whatever reason don’t wish to download it you can still access programs this way.

Conclusion

This is by far not a simple project. A lot of work has gone into the planning of it and there is still a lot more to do to figure out exactly how this project is going to go. It serves specific needs I have that make the whole process of managing project releases so much easier. And it will also hopefully make things easier for you too.

A Breakdown, A Breakthrough and a Direction

Introduction

Well this is it… something I had wanted to tell for over 2 years. It’s a story of failure and success. It is the story of a moment where my life turned around and for the next few months gave me a kind of energy that I hadn’t had before. It is the story of a breakdown I had that caused me to face my failures of the past and was an event that changed my life for the future. This is an event in my life that I feel has a lot of significance and I would like to share it with you.

I am still experiencing the ripple effects that occurred since this event.  There was another significant event that transpired afterwards in a friend’s community that I would like to explain as well. I think it holds significance since it would have never occurred if the breakdown didn’t. I know this sounds odd, but I am thankful to the individuals that were responsible for this whole thing as my life has changed a lot since then.

The Break

About 2 months or so before the breakdown, I wanted to do two things: I wanted to take a break from Innectis, which was a Minecraft community I owned at the time, and take a break from Team Fortress 2, which was a game that I had a lot of interest in at the time. I was not focusing real well in either of them and felt taking a break to focus on other things would be a great way to clear my mind and re-energize. I figured at the time that the best way for me to do this was to jump back into a previous project that I had not worked on for about 3 3/4 years, Maelstrom CD-Key Tester.

However, there was a big problem in taking a break. There was no second-in-command. A big mistake on my part was not choosing someone that could stand in if I were to decide to step away for any length of time. So the community was left to run without any significant server updates during the time of the break. I still committed code to the Innectis server but not as much since my focus was not on Innectis at all but on putting my mind towards something else so that I could think clearly and recuperate.

During the break I focused mostly on Maelstrom. I wasn’t sure of how long of a break I was going to take but wanted to focus on something big. So, I worked on re-writing a large part of Maelstrom’s code base and added some major features to it. After I was finished with that, which took about 2 months, I decided then that it was time to return to Innectis. And I was not expecting at all what was to come.

A Very Significant Moment

The events leading to the breakdown transpired over our Skype group. As the community didn’t have any direction during the time of my break there was of course frustration aimed at me. One individual created a post on the Innectis forums linking to a strawpoll.me poll asking the community if they wanted someone else to take over for me since I was not putting in the effort that was expected of me. I promptly deleted the forum thread because I was disgusted such a thing was posted. This forum thread was what would throw me into the darkest period of my life.

The morning after the day I had deleted the post I got up out of bed and for the next few hour or so was in the worst mental state of my life. I was in tears for much of it, and fortunately had someone around to comfort me and help me through what had happened. I had vivid flashbacks of various failures I had made in life. They all came to the surface as if I was currently experiencing them. All of the previous failures happened in places I had no control over. But for something such as Innectis, I failed at something that I did have control over. Now that was a big issue for me!

When the dust had settled and I could think clearly again, I noticed something had changed right away. Not only did I feel energy in ways I hadn’t felt before, the racing thoughts that I used to have were now gone, and I felt like I had renewed focus! 3 days after the breakdown I had a breakthrough! Something else that changed was that I wanted to get ideas out of my head and into a text file. The less I had wanted to do in my head, the more I could think clearly as those ideas were now somewhere else. So, for the months that followed I did some things that in my opinion were some of the biggest non-gameplay-related contributions that I had given to the community. You can read about them in the 3 status reports I kept here, here and here.

A Community Changed

One of the effects of the breakdown occurred in a friend’s community. I have hung out in a private IRC server with a friend for a few years at this point. They own a community and for years the staff have laid rather dormant, not really enthusiastic about improving the community. Well, my friend, knowing about the breakdown and how it affected me, suggested that I should tell my story to those of the community. I thought this was a really good idea since the breakdown affected me deeply. So, I told them about the event and how it gave me energy that I hadn’t had before, and explained some changes I made in my life as a result. I made that conversation available here. Names have been changed per request of my friend.

Since I talked to them about the event, I noticed a shift in mindset that I hadn’t seen from them before. It was as if new life was breathed into them after the story was told. So, later on during an event they were having I was given an award for giving them new energy by telling them this story!

Conclusion

The breakdown led to some pretty noticeable changes in my life. I developed a greater relationship with my family. I started getting ideas out of my head by writing them down which was something I hadn’t really done before. I had more of a drive and passion to improve Innectis as well as my life. While I wasn’t able to fully address the problems with Innectis and it ultimately failed, my life has improved because of this event.