Thursday, October 8, 2020

API Release: 1.16.116

API release 1.16.116 is an API-only release that does not alter any parts of the Manager.

Instead, it upgrades the API and the API's Administration panel with tools that will allow me to document and publish information about releases of the Manager, the API and any future platforms that end up being a part of this project.

Among other things, this new feature of the API will allow me to share information about fixes, enhancements and new features before I release them in order to provide users with more insight into what's coming next.

This is one of the first major changes that I alluded to in the 3.105.188 release and should provide a sense of the direction in which this project is moving.

And, since this new feature of the API will basically work like a blog, API release 1.16.116 also makes this blog redundant.

I might do one or two more posts here on this blog to make sure that anyone who finds their way here is able to figure out where to go for release info, but that's about it.

The next release of the actual Manager will include release notes and a change log that are displayed within the Manager itself. 

So, as usual, hit the jump for details on the release.

And thanks for using the Manager!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Change Log: 3.106.1893

As promised, the break/fix release for 3.105.1888 is ready ahead of this weekend and includes most of the major issues that cropped up in the wake of the big deployment on Wednesday.

In terms of fixes, there is actually not much to discuss about 3.106.1893: it provides fixes for a couple of minor API bugs and addresses problems with Survivor Search.

This tiny release actually pushes a feature, as well: dashboard alerts are back. Unlike last time, the UI is a lot cleaner/simpler and Subscribers may choose to disable them.

Hit the jump for full notes!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Change Log: 3.105.1888

Phoenix Armor Kit and Phoenix Mask!
Painted by yours truly; find more
at https://blog.thelaborinvain.com
This change log actually details two releases: API release 1.12.62, which went into production in early November 2019, and webapp 3.105.1888 (including API 1.14.92) which is finally live today, almost a year later.

API release 1.12.62 went into production without a change log because it was a patch/hotfix release that addressed some critical authentication issues that were preventing some users from using the webapp. The scope of the changes in the 1.12.62 release was limited what was required to address that issue.

If you hit the jump and review the full notes for today's release, you will notice that some lines are prefixed with 1.12.62: that is to disambiguate them from the changes that went live today in API release 1.14.92.

And, speaking of changes going live today, webapp release 3.105.1888 is an absolute beast that pushes a huge collection of fixes, enhancements and new features that I have been working on for almost a year now.

Which, if you read this blog, probably did not expect to see, as you probably remember that new features and enhancements were something that I said I wasn't going to do for this application after October 2019.

Back in October, the theory was that the current version of the Manager was going to go into a kind of "maintenance mode" while I worked on some other projects, one of which was its successor, the Advanced KDM-Manager project.

As of right now, AKDM-M is officially on hold with no plans for future development, though a lot of what I was working on for that project has made its way into today's release, and will be included in subsequent feature releases that will ultimately take the current version of the Manager from three to four.

(To my way of thinking, 3.105.1888 is a transitional release similar to the (also huge) release I did for the API right before I moved the API from major version zero to major version one: I think of it as transitional because it makes it almost, but not quite all of the way to the next major version.)

At any rate, over the next few releases, the Manager's major version number will eventually increase from three to four and I will probably change GitHub repositories as I continue to integrate AKDM-M features into the classic/legacy version of the Manager. 

Finally, if you do not plan to hit the jump and review the complete notes (which are extensive), here is a high-level summary of what 3.105.1888 adds, in terms of application features:
  1. The Settlement and Survivor Sheets have tabs now. If your device has a keyboard, you can use arrow keys to navigate among them.
  2. Settlement and Survivor Sheets have both been substantially refactored in a number of respects to make them a.) easier for me to maintain/improve and b.) fully support three meaningful CSS breakpoints that allow the Manager to work on the widest variety of modern devices.
  3. The main, left-side menu is now one half of a "curtain" that covers the whole view when the menu is opened, similar to how Amazon's app works on your phone. The other half blocks the right side of the view, which was previously viewable.
  4. So-called "night mode" or high-contrast is officially out of beta. Subscribers may enable it on the "System" panel on the dashboard.
  5. The Gear Card Lookup feature has also been substantially enhanced and improved in this release.
As you can probably guess, this release is going to generate a ton of bug reports, so look for the next release to a.) be a break/fix release and b.) to come out very soon: I definitely do not plan on waiting another year for the next one.

Thanks for using the Manager!


Monday, October 28, 2019

Change Log: 3.87.1666

People of the Sun Miko (finished). See
more at https://blog.thelaborinvain.com!
Release 3.87.1666 adds support for the 10th Anniversary expansion content: the 10th Anniversary White Speaker and the 10th Anniversary Survivors.

As with the last White Box release, some of the new expansion content required some minor, presentation-level updates to the legacy webapp. As I have mentioned in a the last few posts, I consider these types of minor updates to be "maintenance", and will continue to make them for as long as the legacy webapp is around.

The good news with this content, as, indeed, with all the expansion content that has come out in 2019, is that the updates are mostly trivial or outside of the scope of record-keeping (e.g. they only require minor presentation updates or they have to do with how to build decks, etc.).

At any rate, subscribers of the Manager who enable the new content on their settlements will notice that the recipes for the "Pattern" gear (from the 10th Anniversary Survivors white box) include the "Crafting Process" requirements from the pattern cards associated with the gear.

Beyond that, the 3.87.1666 release includes a couple of minor presentation fixes for gear "cards" (in the Gear Card Lookup) and one typo fix that actually stopped the "White Dragon Gauntlets" from appearing in the Gear Lookup tool (oops!).

Finally, now that all of that is out of the way, I would like to mention that I (finally) launched the official hobby blog for The Labor in Vain: please check it out at https://blog.thelaborinvain.com and let me know what you think!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Change Log: 3.86.1665 (GenCon 2019 expansion content support)

Gencon 2019 content support has arrived!

As of 3.86.1665, the Manager now supports the following expansion content:


Typically, when I add one-off expansion content to the Manager, I end up having to make at least a few code changes in addition to just keying in new content.

This update is no exception and I actually used the code changes required to support the new content as an opportunity to improve some things I had been meaning to improve for a while now.

Release 3.86.1665 therefore includes a handful of significant optimizations around asset initialization (in the API), a handful of presentation fixes, and, most importantly, some updates to the Gear Card Lookup feature in the legacy webapp to support the new content.

re: the Lookup feature updates/enhancements, I actually debated whether or not to do them at all, since I am no longer adding new features to the legacy webapp, but I ultimately decided that they fell under the heading of "maintenance" and went ahead.

As a general rule, I think my stance is going to be that if new content requires expanding an existing feature of the webapp, I will do the work. If new content requires new functionality, that's officially out of scope for the legacy webapp.

Finally, power users of the Manager will notice that the "White Box & Promo" expansion is now just called "Promo". With the Sword Hunter release, it seems like the format for White Box expansions has been sort of finalized, and from now on, White Box KD content will be separate from general/non-canonical Promo-only content in the Manager.

As usual, hit the jump for complete release notes!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Change Log: 3.85.1654

Release 3.85.1654 is mostly focused on adding API enhancements that will allow me to do more administrative work without having to shell into the server.

Since the production version of the Manager is pretty much stabilized and I am not doing feature work anymore, there's almost nothing user-facing in this one except some low-key break/fix stuff (that most people probably didn't even notice was broken in the first place).

In fact, the most significant user-facing aspect of this release is that it continues the deprecation of https://thewatcher.io, which will go away officially in January 2020: the old watcher.io URLs now forward to https://api.kdm-manager.com URLs and, as I mentioned on the Manager's Twitter:


Since it is officially deprecated as of today, I'm not going to print the email address here, but the tweet basically confirms that the old support email at https://thewatcher.io is officially shut down and will bounce.

Finally, as everyone knows by now, the indefinite delay of Waves three and four will continue for at least another year, but I still have plans for new KD software in 2019.

With any luck, I will be able to announce some specifics of those plans very soon! Could even be the first week of September 2019.

Watch this space for updates and, as usual, hit the jump for complete release notes.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Change Log: 3.85.1643

CPU utilization before and after the last release.
Release 3.85.1643 brings the big migration to a close: the Manager and the new version of the API are fully migrated to their new provision and all errors associated with the migration have been addressed!

In the last post, I spoke a bit about optimization and utilization. The graphic at the top of this post shows CPU utilization before and after the last release went out to production. As you can see, the difference is stark!

(For those interested, the tl;dr version is this: those CPU utilization spikes happen when the world daemon refreshes old data in the warehouse. Before the last release, which included critical fixes for averaging queries and added indexes to the main MongoDB collections, the world daemon was using 100% of the CPU whenever it ran!)

At any rate, there is, once again, almost nothing user-facing in this release except for one critical bug fix: creating a new survivor with an avatar no longer fails.

3.85.1643 will probably be the last release for a while, but I expect to have a major announcement before the end of the month, so watch this space!