Over the past few weeks, I’ve made a couple of stable builds with the version 2.0.3. The first one of those was made a bit early as I was about to leave for a trip abroad, and mainly included one bug fix for Hexen related to saving and restoring object state from save files. Recently I’ve made a couple of additional stable builds to investigate and fix a problem with the Ubuntu Launchpad build scripts, where the “doomsday-stable” packages were correctly built but nothing was actually included in the generated DEB packages.
On the whole, progress has been somewhat slow. Perhaps the biggest advance was in the dengine.net website backend, where I’ve now split the API functionality to a separate api.dengine.net server, so that things like master server and update queries won’t interfere with the normal operation of the project home page and forums. I hope this will alleviate the issue of dengine.net sometimes failing to respond to requests.
Prompted by a forum post, over the weekend I was investigating an audio volume issue on Windows. It turns out there is a problem with the SDL_mixer music volume controls. I have yet to determine if there is a workaround that Doomsday can do to avoid the issue. Such a workaround would be preferable to disabling SDL_mixer music on Windows completely, since SDL_mixer does bring value to the table (e.g., music formats). The situation is also slightly tricky because SDL and SDL_mixer are built in to the engine, so there isn’t a plugin to take out or something simple like that.
In preparation of the 2.0 release of Doomsday I have redesigned the dengine.net website from the ground up. The new design went live today.
While the old design has been perfectly adequate during the past years, I felt that a bit of freshness would do the site good. I also took the opportunity to tie all the parts of the site together and reconsider the overall organization.
There is a new navigation bar visible on all pages, even in the Autobuilder and Bug Tracker that have previously been detached from the rest of the site. This should make it easier to move around and find what you’re looking for. In the bottom of most pages, you can find the latest news and blog posts, recent builds, and currently running multiplayer servers — these were previously only shown on the dengine.net front page.
Following the migration of the forums, the Doomsday Engine Wiki has been replaced with the more focused and structured Manual. It uses DokuWiki, which makes it considerably less complex and lighter to run than MediaWiki. The old wiki will remain accessible at its old address (as read-only).
I quite enjoyed the chance to do some web development. The new implementation aims to be as light-weight as possible: there are no frameworks or toolkits in use beyond basic PHP and MySQL. Shared elements like the top bar are easily inserted into other pages via PHP includes. File caching is used in many places to reduce database access and other repeated processing. I’ve also been paying attention to making the CSS responsive and mobile-friendly.
Let me know if you find anything that seems broken. I will undoubtedly continue doing minor tweaks to the site over the coming weeks.
Things have been a little stagnant here on dengine.net for a while, so I’ve made some improvements.
The discussion forums have been migrated to a new platform. phpBB was getting really old and clunky so I made the decision to replace it with something more sleek and modern. You can find the announcement on Talk.
Another nice improvement is that the autobuilder now has a proper database stored here on dengine.net. This means that the download pages can show you the latest files instantly, and the build feed actually reflects the currently available data. The feed itself is dynamically generated from the database instead of being just a static file. Plus I’ve given the build report pages a facelift so they’re nicer to look at. Finally, all downloads are hosted primarily here on dengine.net, but they are also mirrored on SourceForge as before. The mirror download buttons can be found on the build report pages.
Time for another weekly update. This week I’ve been working on a new style for the API documentation and a couple of minor bug fixes. Continue reading Prettier API docs, Source page updated
The wiki has received a major facelift. I admit I have a soft spot for pretty document styling, so I’ve been planning to improve the looks of the wiki for quite some time now. Since I’ve been fine-tuning things elsewhere on the site, I decided to align the wiki style with the homepage appearance as well.
There are also functional improvements: I’ve enabled a mobile view extension that works much better than desktop view on phones. Another new extension provides syntax highlighting for source code blocks.
There is still plenty of work left with updating the contents of the wiki. Many of the articles will become obsolete once Snowberry leaves the picture. The build instructions are also still for qmake, although we’ve switched to CMake. It would be great to have a revised, concise User Manual section in the wiki, too.
You may recall that last year, I decided to move my developer blog posts from the forums onto a separate blog. A number of other Doomsday web resources have also been sprouting outside dengine.net (like the bug tracker and commit tag index). When it came time to renew hosting of the website, I came to realize that it was time to sort out this situation and commit to the idea of a consolidated web presence for Doomsday — this was the motivation for moving to a domain of our own in the first place.
Continue reading Consolidation