Disasters ahead…

Disclaimer: please don’t panic on this post. We need to see what actually will happen before we come to firm conclusions. I want to give a heads-up here to what lies ahead so people don’t wonder why we don’t update to the latest version.

So Mojang just released a snapshot for the next version and described in the changes list that they changed the way blocks are named.

This is a major issue since a LOT of our code is customized to deal.with the current way. A lot of plugins areas well. If this will happen, all item related stuff will break. That means mainly deposit and shop functions but also other huge things such as per-world inventory and so on.

There are several things that need to happen to deal with this:

  • Current, maintained plugins need to be updated, we will have to wait for that (that’s the easy part).
  • Unmaintained plugins will have to be fixed or replaced. This is really tricky since the main one, websend, which we use as the one and only interface between Minecraft and my code is one of those. I am not good at all at Java and to deal with such a fundamental change might be impossible for me to deal with.
  • Then, all my code will have to change so we can deal with the new methods. This is some work, but might be feasible with some effort, but it will take a while.
  • Then, we need to change all the stored information about blocks. For the system to tell you what stuff is in your deposit, it needs tables of data that we at times created together from the wiki information. We have to recreate those tables. Maybe I can write a converter, maybe we have to rebuild it from scratch. Who knows. This can be done as a team effort – hopefully.
  • Then we have to change the databases that store such information. This can be tricky, but if done with care should be over quickly. The problem here is if we can maintain the existing data or if the change is so dramatic that everything will be lost. That would mean that all shop stuff, deposits, historical data might disappear. If the changes are more transparent, I might be able to convert it.

So there you go. The issue here is that the update to the new version might take months just to wait for other plugins to update and then again months for me to re-code everything.

The thing that makes all of this so much worse is that I am right now traveling 3-4 days a week and don’t have the time or energy to take care of such massive changes – if they happen. I will be busy likely until at least April like that. Further, my wife is pregnant again and we expect our second kid end of March where I will be busy for the next reason.

So you see where this is heading. If the changes in the Minecraft code are dramatic, we might not upgrade for quite a while unless someone with either Java or PHP knowledge steps in and helps me deal with the workload.

That said, I base all of this on the change log I linked above. Maybe it’s all harmless. Maybe it’s a disaster. We will see. Please be patient.

10 thoughts on “Disasters ahead…

  1. I wish I could help but I don’t even have the first clue in how to doing anything code related. Hopefully, the changes won’t be too catastrophic.

    And congratulations on the news of your second child!

  2. I don’t consider it a disaster to have to play for several months in an old version.

    • Actually as far as I’m concerned I would be happy enough playing forever in the current version ;p

  3. jaaaa same opinion as Steph – guess the core of the commuity will not run away :)

  4. Congrats on the child!

    To echo everyone else, we don’t mind waiting. We understand how busy you are so take your time.

  5. I don’t mind waiting either. If you end up having any data entry related tasks, I could volunteer lots of time! Shadow could probably contribute PHP and Java once he finishes those classes next term. And congrats on the baby!

  6. Should any of us make preparations to empty our deposits? I’ve been using them to hold my hundreds of thousands of items instead of making enormous chest rooms. But if this might wipe out our deposits I’ll get those chest rooms underway.

    • No, definitely not.
      To add some more info: My biggest worry is not that people will lose stuff. My worry is rather that, in order for people NOT to lose stuff, we might postpone the upgrade to the next version too long. While a lot of regular players might not mind that, I am worried that this is quite bad for getting new players. The more new, interesting mobs, blocks and features are added in the future, the more existing players might wander off to see them on other servers etc.

      Anyhow, we currently do not know how much the new data structure affects us. It might be that we have to switch off some irrelevant/rarely used things, but still keep on going. Let’s wait and see.

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