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We occasionally get days that hint that summer should be here – days like Saturday, when the sky was blue and almost free of clouds (in a way that I tend to think of as typically Canadian) and I sat on the grassy hillside referred to at the end of PH Blue Shadow’s long speech about how much she missed Hazel with a double latte, waiting for inspiration on what to code next. Naturally, it’s been overcast since then, and no ray of inspiration has struck me yet, so you’ll have to excuse a rambling blog.

Since the last blog, I’ve done the basics of taking some of the NPC modifications we did, and made them blend better with the original vanilla mobs which is why we will be seeing Faction Mobs this summer.

Meh actually I’m not in the mood for writing, see you guys later. x

The last time I blogged, I was right in the middle of the Keynote crunch addressing concerns about the closure of Squidwolf Collaboration. This time, I’m hoping I can hit on some more fun topics without causing a scandal.

One thing we noticed is that people have been wondering where all the smaller projects that we hand over to Squidwolf Syndicate have gone; They were curiously absent from the content release we are currently running starting with Timelines I, but the reason isn’t that all devs like Squidwolf Minecraft best. The EMAID department at Project: hazel has the practice of assigning devs to a single project, which allows them to develop and focus on a single thing without getting distracted by other shiny things. These things are coming but they will probably wait until after MIKA, so expect them to show up in Novemberish.

Next we are in the middle of finishing off Colossus when we got attacked. We have a set protocols to deal with this sort of thing and the first thing we do is to pull everything which has been made live but not throughly tested by STARS ensuring that everything on the network stays safe. It has worked in the past and it worked now, but naturally it means a delay on things.

Look at this:

image

What? Relay?

Greetings fellow Squidwolf enthusiasts, we are Equipment Maintenance And Installation Division and the topic of today will be the Squidwolf SMTP Relay.

The Squidwolf SMTP Relay is a new little protocol that makes sure your outgoing email is delivered and is always flying onto the Internet. You might think that email is just supposed to get delivered (so do we) but new guidelines from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) say that email servers are no longer approved to run from Dynamic IP Addresses.

We call bullshit on this

Ah! So when is it coming?

The release date of the Squidwolf SMTP Relay is moving ever closer. We are hoping to move completely over to using the new relay as the new delivery system around the middle of july.

Being careful is the primary concern when we do the release of the new relay, which is why you don’t have it already, as it changes some fundamental and ancient things that have not been touched in quite some time (circa. Blue Light), such as the update mechanism of the network. After all, we don’t want members to end up with a broken email system (in which case, not that it ever happens at all ever :).

To sum up what the Squidwolf SMTP Relay does: The Squidwolf SMTP Relay uses sophisticated links of computer code crafted from the bones of Pterodactyls and varnished with the tears of a three-legged octopus to deliver your email. If you are into sophisticated things like opera and hamburgers and want to take a closer look…well you can’t, says us.

First off you need to join one of Project: Hazel’s member organisations, there is a full list of those available on our website.

Next you need to rise in the ranks of that organisation and you’ll finally be formally invited to join Polaris.

It’s been quite a while since I first announced that I was working on changes to the infrastructure of how bugs are reported and processed in Squidwolf Syndicate (first announced here). I’ve been rolling out changes in phases, starting internally here at Project: Hazel with the bigger shakeups, and slowly moving outwards while maintaining and upgrading from those initial foundations.

I’ve finally reached the point were external changes are starting to happen, although they’re initially minor to members, they involve some huge changes for our volunteer bug hunters and Polaris Devs.

The good old Eve-Insider bug reporting form is there, with one or two things that were only marginally useful pruned away, and much more information provided on-hand to inform everyone about the ways to submit reports that are likely to help the most, and hence get things fixed quicker.

The bug reporting forms were removed in the last patch in anticipation of this (some more vocal people seemed to think that had meant we’d removed them completely in order to keep everyone quiet, which just wasn’t true). Those pages were highly misleading, and many people thought they were acted upon in a similar way to support queries, which made it clear to me that the way we were presenting them was deeply flawed and obviously causing confusion and frustration.

The important changes are mostly under the hood. We now have the ability to expand things to allow for 2 way communication in a variety of ways, all of which need some careful consideration and preferably gradual implementation to see how we go and refine ideas on what we need to do to get to bug fixing nirvana.

Changes have also allowed me to give direct access for the bughunter volunteer group to our internal defect lists (and far improved general access for Polaris), which allows them to work with us and coordinate without having a big wall obstructing communication both ways. As you’d hope, this allows us to take much better advantage of their knowledge as well as much faster. Instead of two lists that things sit in waiting to go through and be dealt with (external bug reports, internal filtered reports pending processing), we’re now down to a single list of items pending filtering, which also means things are much less likely to get lost in the cracks that develop from these big lists without individual responsibility.

I hope that sheds some light on why I’m quite optimisitic that the changes I’m working on really are going to lead to a better experience on tranquility, and also gives you a break from STARS Shelby for a blog 😉 [I’m jealous really!]

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