News: Still Messing With Z-Band Server Code

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I didn't post yesterday as there wasn't much to post about. Yesterday and today I worked on the Z-Band server code for registration and score updating. Mostly finalizing any account check stuff, getting the score database for a user generated the first time they get a score in a game, and cleaning up the code and the way all the processes go. As well as covering a few security holes.

As is, it would almost be ready to be made public if I wanted. But there's still a couple minor issues I have to fix before I'd consider making it available for people to mess with.

Soon I should start considering what I would want to do about what info is stored in the database, and optimizing how its stored if need be. Currently of the 3 games I have listed as supported, 4 if you count SMK race and battle modes separately, the only things that are kept track of are wins/losses. I did think to make space in the database for each game/mode to keep track of winning and losing streaks, but haven't yet coded anything to actually process and store that info. There's probably other things users might like to keep track of too. For winning/losing streaks, after thinking about it more, it would probably be best to divide that up into 2. Best streak, and current streak. Other then streaks, I'm open to suggestions. I think I've thought of things before but didn't write them down. I think of ideas for these programs all the time, and often do write them down, but when I don't, they tend to be lost completely.

As of this news post, there's about 12 days left on the poll. After things picked up a few days ago, they seem to have slowed down again. So either it was a weekend thing mixed with my previously posted theory, or someone was cheating it. But anyway, it's still looking borderline possible that it will reach it's goal. I was hoping it wouldn't be so borderline. If it seemed like a it was going to go beyond the 50, or just plain hit that sooner, I was going to get started on polishing it up that much sooner, but if it was going to seem almost clearly that it wasn't going to hit the goal, I could move on that much sooner. Bummer, but I guess it is what it is. Oh well.

Still, I'm going to remind people since it's looking like it might barely hit 50. That is the goal for me to just polish up what I have and release it as is. Meaning I won't be planning on adding features/improvements at all. And I can't give my personal guarantee that I'll put much if any effort into supporting it, like fixing bugs that crop up. I don't have a very solid plan right now, but the gist of my plan if it hits 50 is over 1-2 weeks (or until I just get sick off it) work on cleaning up the code, and try to locate what bugs that I can. At some point during that time, get a couple testers, get them to put it through some trials, fix anything more that comes up, and release it. That may sound like enough, but it isn't to me. I would want to put more effort into refining and testing a project before releasing it then that. At best the program would be just as good as zbattle. But if there are any annoying bugs, I may not have the will to fix them. In the past with my projects, the details people would give me on bug reports wasn't much. Little more then "it doesn't work right". It was like pulling teeth to get more details out of them so I could reproduce the issues. It was exhausting and frustrating. I would probably make a blog page for bugs to be posted, and check it and get to them only if/when I feel like it. With this release plan, just nothing is certain, and again, all I could say is that I can't promise anything. =/

However once released, if the user base grows well enough beyond what I was expecting from the 50 vote indications, I would be willing to reassess it's future and my interest in it.

Onto another, but related topic. There has still been no word from veeb. It would be disappointing to see him suddenly bring zbattle back again once my project is out there... again... Add on to that, it would be uncomfortable since my project is an exact clone. Granted, the zbattle users and I would have given him PLENTY of time to post to a forum, respond to my email, or inform someone trustworthy to do so. So if anyone has a problem with my clone existing while the original is around, I suppose the blame is all on him. If my project is released after 50 votes, then at any time zbattle is brought back, my project won't change. I won't put effort into trying to stop people from using it. I won't suddenly try to make it not be an exact clone and re-release it. I won't even completely declare my support for it dropped. Whether I release my project or not, I still might decide to release Z-Band some day. But I can't say for sure if that would be a replacement/upgrade for my clone project, or just an alternative. So both the clone and the original could be trying to coexist at the same time. I can't say for sure which project would be more successful. To many factors play into it all. But it isn't impossible for my clone to end up more well received and populated. And if it did, I would try not to feel to bad about my project doing it at the cost of population of the original.


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