NEWS

NEWS & UPDATES ABOUT THE XENOBYTE.XYZ CYBERVERSE

■ 20/07/2021
XENOBYTE.XYZ v5.2, POCKET_PHP v2.1 & CLIENT SERVER MIGRATION
Prompted by a recent (still in development) request, POCKET_PHP has seen it's internal session management upgraded. This includes more detailed request tracking, manual cleanup of death SID files, session hijacking protection and some minor API changes. This is (ironically) a bigger update than v2.0, make sure to read this deblog entry for a complete overview of v2.1. All our client's projects and XENOBYE.XYZ have been accordingly updated.

On a side note, due to techincal issues (among other things) we had to migrate two servers hosting client projects to a new VPS service. The involved clients were notified about the potential downtime though the migration went by smoothly.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
■ 31/05/2021
POCKET_PHP v2.0 & MEDIA GALLERY OPTIMIZATIONS
Pocket_php has been updated to consolidate the small, post-v1.5 updates and a significant interface change into v2.0.
This update was originally larger, including many bits of useful code that were written for unrelated web projects running on pocket_php, alas, they were scraped to keep the engine clean. Instead, we'll be aiming to release a few more project samples to use both as framework documentation and as a showcase on how to adapt pocket_php to different designs. Check this devlog entry for more info.

XENOBYTE.XYZ itself also underwent some changes, mostly aesthetic and mobile layout details, but there were performance changes as well. The media gallery was reportedly loading at a glacial pace, occasionally preventing the rest of the page from loading correctly, leaving the background image and a handful of files empty. Among the issues were the server's limited bandwith bottlenecking the video file transfer, the site's VHS scan lines CSS SFX bugging Firefox as it tried to parse the files, but namely it was the fact that the gallery had grown too large to be served directly. No doubt it will eventually need a CDN, however, for the time being all files in the media gallery are now independently loaded by clicking the thumbnails. The site's overal CSS and backend were also upgraded, moving the project to V5.0.

Finally, we've setup a new public github account. Like the previous third-party git servies we've used it will be used exclusively as a means to reach a larger audience and to offer an alternative source code host. The original development repos and all client projects will continue to be hosted in our private gitea service.

■ 17/04/2021
POCKET_PHP v1.5 & PRIVATE CAPTCHAS
CAPTCHA SAMPLE


This is a locally generated and managed, 4 character long basic captcha

Our high performance backend engine, pocket_php, has been updated to v1.52. It mainly introduces an internal captcha generator to gatekeep online forms without having to rely on subversive third parties. The pocket_php implementation requires only the php-gd library, readily available in all package managers that matter and easily enabled by uncommenting the extention in the php.ini file. See the updated installation guide or this devlog entry for more info.

Accordingly, our mailing list form has been further secured.
■ 21/03/2021
RSS REACTIVATION AND HEXMACS VER 1.7

RSS

The website's RSS feed has been reactivated after years of neglect, you can add it to your RSS reader of choice by appending this link to the URL list. From now on, (public) project updates and site changes will also be announced via RSS, eventually we will be adding a public alternative as a secondary means to reach our userbase, in the meantime, we emphasize that as of March 2021, XENOBYTE HAS NO PUBLIC PRESENCE IN ANY MAINSTREAM SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM.

On a side note, our custom EMACS configuration HEXmacs was also updated by removing obsolete packages and shifting the PHP autocomplete configuration from ac-php and php-extras to lsp-mode, which has been steadily replacing most autocomplete solutions for a while now.
The rest of the configs will be updated in due time.
■ 28/01/2021
LOCAL PROJECT HOSTING & NEW GITEA INSTANCE
Starting today, all our projects are being locally hosted for direct download in their respective sections, their source code will also be available in our new, public gitea instance available at git.xenobyte.xyz. To keep the codebase clean, the repo trees have been reset to remove deprecated files from versions that are no longer supported, both SkeletonGL example programs were updated to V2.0 as well.


This git host migration from third-party to locally served isn't necessarily a permanent departure from the various public git service providers but a preventive backup to ensure our projects remain online and as a safer, private way for our clients to keep track of their request's development. As for the previous public git accounts, they will remain inactive until the local repos are ready, once that's done they'll be cloned into a public git host for distribution purposes just as before.

It's been a busy winter so far, with many unrelated setbacks and sleepless nights but fortunately the development goals that were set the past year have been succesfully met, clearing the way for future endevours that would otherwise be postponed. This will be one interesting year.
■ 16/01/2021
SERVER UPGRADE & SITE UPDATES
The XENOBYTE.XYZ server has been upgraded to slightly beefier hardware to accommodate for incoming changes including the return to locally hosted copies of all our freeware source code, as well as re-enabling the TOR hidden service that has been offline for around three months now. TOR traffic is almost negligible in comparison to that of the clearnet but the growing uncertainty around the internet's legal limits and the shameless censorship of independent websites leaves us with no choice.

The original xenobyte.xyz server with a whopping 480MB of RAM
The upgraded server sporting 25G of storage and an entire GB of RAM
In the meantime, we've made some minor changes to the site's frontend, sorted the media gallery, and added new content to the scripts section. Version 4.3 will hopefully be ready before February.
■ 01/12/2020
SKELETONGL VERSION 2.0 RELEASED
After months of short yet consistent bursts of effort the Skeleton Graphics Library version 2.0 is finally here!
SKELETONGL V2.0


This marks a very important milestone for the library as it is now in its first stable release with all it's promised features plus some more:

SkeletonGL VER 2.0 features
  • ■ Updated to compile with C++20
  • ■ Full .INI configuration file parser
  • ■ Runs on both legacy and modern hardware
  • ■ Fully compatible with legacy systems like WindowsXP
  • ■ Integrated logging, and hardware profiling tools
  • ■ Specialized shader and OpenGL debugging
  • ■ Can be compiled for virtually any modern operating system
  • ■ Compatible with all modern (version 3.3+) OpenGL versions
  • ■ Simple yet fully featured 2D rendering
  • ■ GPU accelerated primitive geometry rendering (including circles!)
  • ■ Sprite and primitive batching
  • ■ Full access to both custom and default shaders
  • ■ Automated asset loading and management
  • ■ Support for TTF and Bitmap font rendering
  • ■ Texture atlas capabilities
  • ■ Deterministic (FPS limited) and uncapped rendering
  • ■ Included post-processor with custom shader support
  • ■ Lag free input system for mice, keyboards, gamepads and joysticks
  • ■ VSYNC options, window management and multi-monitor support
  • ■ Project template and makefiles included
  • ■ OpenGL blending modes for all renderers
  • ■ Tiny codebase, has five dependencies (all free)
  • ■ Doxygen commented, includes example programs
  • ■ Fully exposed OpenGL rendering pipeline for customized builds

There were also many changes to the engine codebase to comply with better practices as well as to allow for almost total customization of the rendering pipeline. It was also stripped of all vestigial, legacy code that served as testing grounds for what today are features. See the CHANGELOG for a thorough list of the updates and this devlog entry for more information on the ver 2.0 release.

For the time being the project will be prioritizing stability, bug fixing, updating the available example programs and finishing its third official game, Risk Vector.
■ 04/11/2020
PROJECT REBRAND: NEOHEX.XYZ -> XENOBYTE.XYZ
It has been quite an interesting project so far, soon approaching it's first anniversay as NEOHEX.XYZ though it has been online under different names since around early 2018. Originally, the site was created to publish my projects and experiments away from the scrutiny (and staleness) of the mainstream alternatives, an independent digital sanbox from which to further my ideas. Not that it has deviated from it's purpose, but around late 2018 I began taking on project requests from a handful online contacts and eventually the public at large, promoting the then humble personal hub into the half-assed crypto-business it is today. Mindlessly jumping through different domain names as they expire is thus coming to a close to help solidify the brand.

2018 - 2019: XENSPACE.NET

2019 - 2020: NEOHEX.XYZ

2020 - ????: XENOBYTE.XYZ <--- YOU ARE HERE



The change usually happens when the domain name is close to expiry to make the most out of the original investment as well as to refresh the project's aesthetic by giving it a cool new domain every year. NEOHEX.XYZ (the third domain so far) still has around hundred days left in the registry and it has already seen the highest amount of traffic of all the different names previously used with around 3K unique visitors every month with no marketing effort whatsoever.

Local traffic analysis (with around 20 days of missing data)
Interestingly enough, this past year has seen an increase in third-party usage of the same brand name, some of these companies / individuals even provide (comically) similar services, unnecessarily obfuscating the project from its respective result pool, and a very small one at that.

The site is still in the process of being rebranded but should be fully updated to ver 4.0 later this week. NEOHEX.XYZ will be redirected to XENOBYTE.XYZ for the remaining of its registry.
■ 16/10/2020
DEVELOPMENT TOOLS UPDATE
Both of our current development tools were updated to match the new versions of their respective base software. HEXmacs is now working on EMACS ver. 27+ which now has native JSON parsing (via libjansson) for much faster lsp-mode completion. This change alone has deprecated the alternatives, if you use the default javascript configuration included in HEXmacs (or any other lsp related packages) you should definately upgrade. The HEXmacs installation guide has also been finished.

Our ricing files were also updated for the October release of arch (01/10/2020), all configurations are now working for the latest available version of their software. The volume bug that happened when toggling mute/unmute using AwesomeWM hotkeys and the unreliable image rendering in URXVT + ranger were also fixed.

Finally, the site saw some quality of life changes including modal media loading in the gallery, mobile rendering improvements and some contact changes. Updating to ver 3.5.
■ 19/09/2020
NEW SECTION: CODE SNIPPETS
The site has been updated with a section for code snippets worth preserving, either as educational tools or just out of pure interest. We'll be adding a tutorials section in the near future as well, there are quite a few subjects releveant to our work that could use some additional literature.

Updating to version 3.4.
■ 03/08/2020
PROJECT UPDATES: SKELETONGL VER 1.9 & SITE OPTIMIZATION
Between the impending economic doom and the almost year long quarantine it's been quite a challenge to keep up with the current development roadmap. However, thanks to our clients preference, most of our free software projects are now production ready with a few of them collectively powering almost half a dozen projects.

Some of our clients have agreed for their projects to be develped with our inhouse engines and frameworks, SkeletonGL is currently powering a (closed source) data visualization tool for crypto market analysis, while pocket_php is managing seven websites and two REST API servers with another one soon to launch.

A big thank you for your preference!

There's an interesting project that will be officially announced in the coming weeks and that damn arcade game is close to being done. For the time being, SkeletonGL will be getting its last update before version 2.0 releases with its third exmaple application, and the site has been further optimized in preparation for even bigger changes.

Expect some interesting news before November!
■ 27/07/2020
NEOHEX.XYZ VER 3.0 RELEASE & THE FUTURE
It's been almost five months since the re-release of NEOHEX. in that time span the site has gone through an alpha and beta phase, has seen around 9K unique visitors (with zero marketing efforts), has successfully completed fourteen freelance projects for anonymous clients, collected 81 blog posts, hosted a Tibia TFS 7.4 and CS game servers, has been relentlessly hounded by Chinese webbots since launch and survived bouncing around local VPS services as they went bankrupt.

second half access log

A painful a birth as it may have been, the NEOHEX project has slowly but steadily been nurtured into the platform it was envisioned to be, receiving today its biggest update yet. Finally graduating from BETA to RELEASE.

NEOHEX.XYZ version 3.0
  • ■ The entire site has been redesigned
  • ■ Gorillions of grammar error finally fixed
  • ■ Every single project has been cleaned, updated and (better) documented
  • ■ Journal navigation updated
  • ■ Contact information updated
  • ■ Added more images to the gallery

Everything seems to indicate that the second half of the year is going to be just as wild if not more, such an uncertain future keeps plans halted and efforts costly, but never abandoned.
■ 01/07/2020
NEW SSL CERTIFICATE & HONG KONG IP RANGE BAN
NEOHEX.xyz has been getting swarmed with port scans and failed ssh attempts from IPs in the range designated to Hong Kong. Since the site isn't relying on a middleman (like cloudfare) to mitigate most fake requests, we've resorted to range banning Hong Kong for the foreseeable future.

The site's SSL certificate was also renewed.
■ 07/06/2020
CAS-SGL: OPEN SOURCE CELLULAR AUTOMATTA SIMULATOR
Last week we received a request from an engineering student (hailing from an unspecified college) asking for help with his programming final project. It turned out to be a Conway's game of life, a very simple cellular automata simulation that can produce some truly astonishing results. Being a software engineering class there were a few, specific features the program had to honor that raised the complexity from a straightforward triviality and there was a relatively tight time constraint as well. The client opted to outsource the development to us and was happy enough with the final product to he gave us his blessings to release the source code for free, making it another SGL example. The project has been wiped clean of the client's data and added to the NEOHEX projects page here.
■ 20/05/2020
QUARANTINE UPDATE
Business has been rough, two thirds of our local clients either had to cut all non immediately essential costs or straight up closed due to the financial stress this irresponsible quarantine has caused. Residing in a particularly dry area for R&D with a trendy preference for outsourcing was challenging enough without the current financial meltdown laying waste to what was left of our already crippled economy. On the flip side, our privacy focused, online engineering services have grown to an average of about 3 finished requests per month. That's 3 more requests than originally expected, specially when taking into account the absolute lack of promotional effort.

For the time being, Monero has been added to the payment options with a few more cryptocoins on their way. Updating to 2.8.
■ 05/05/2020
RISK VECTOR
FREEWARE GAME MADE IN SGL
I've been working on the next SkeletonGL example game to pass the quarantine, hence the constant commits to the repository and the lack of updates to the site. It will sport a much more complete and stable template that complements what SGL was originally built to do: render. Though it will be a simple arcade game running on a much more capable engine, its completion will finalize the development of SGL 2.0 which will enable further plans to blossom into projects.


The server underwent an unexpected ten minute maintenance this past Sunday, removed some clutter and changed some contact info as well. Updated NEOHEX to 2.6.
■ 21/04/2020
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: INTERNET OVERLOADS & SLOW CONNECTIONS
If you're experiencing unusual lag, the issue most likely lies in your ISP acting as a bottleneck for the unprecedented amount of traffic currently flowing through.

As the ongoing quarantine confines more people that would otherwise be working to their homes, the increased demand for bandwidth has overloaded ISPs worldwide. Some have been affected harder than others but overall, the stability of the internet has taken a noticeable hit that will most likely last for as long as the quarantine. That being said, should the speed of any of our services reach unusability they will be immediately tended to.
■ 03/04/2020
SERVER MIGRATION & DECONTAMINATION EFFORTS
The economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus chaos bankrupted the small VPS service provider that previously hosted the NEOHEX website as well of one of our client's project. Both of which have been successfully migrated to new hardware. Needless to say, as we yet again approach the point of no return maintaing all of our client's services online becomes an increasingly difficult challenge that we will not shy away from.

A few rendering issues on devices with unreasonably low resolution were also fixed, updating to ver 2.5.
stay safe, lads

■ 25/03/2020
WWW. PREFIX REMOVAL, BUG FIXES & CORONA VIRUS DELAYS
Calls to neohex.xyz using the www. prefix of ye'olde now redirect to clean versions of the URL.
This to simplify linking to the site and to properly deprecate old standards that don't serve a purpose anymore. A few backend bugs were also squashed and some contact data was updated.

Needless to say, due the current coronavirus panic server uptime can't be guaranteed, should services fail beyond a day expect an email with a status update. For the time being I have no option but to delay the planned announcements until the shitstorm wanes down, if it ever does.

Have a fun apocalypse!
■ 12/03/2020
DOMAIN NAME CHANGED: XENSPACE.NET -> NEOHEX.XYZ
IP's and DNS entries have once again been updated. Same project, new name.

NEOHEX.XYZ

IPv4: 149.28.231.115
IPv6: 2001:19f0:5:563e:814:98f3:f10b:43cd
Domain name: NEOHEX.XYZ
Click the image for a link to the old BG, it was originally made for a lainchan "glitchart" thread but is sadly no longer relevant.


■ 26/02/2020
VPS MIGRATION & UPDATED UI
XENSPACE.NET has been moved to a new VPS host, since both IPs were changed as well make sure to update any configuration file for a XENSPACE.NET service that doesn't use DNS, should you have any.

IPv4: 45.63.15.88
IPv6: 2001:19f0:5:2903:5400:02ff:fe94:0a59

UI updates, minor bug fixes and a few other changes took place as well. XENSPACE.NET has been updated to ver 2.2.
■ 21/02/2020
NEW PROJECT REPOS & BLOG #TAGS
Due to much needed cleanup, the XENSPACE projects have been indefinately moved to a new git account here. The previous account will remain active until further notice, however, it won't be getting further updates.

Lastly, a few additions were made to the blog, namely the content hashtags that will allow for keyword based filtering of the now many entries.
Updated to VER 2.1
■ 16/02/2020
INCOMING GIT CLEANSE
The XENSPACE.NET software repos will be moved to a new home in the near future. The current git trees lack standarization and most of the first commits are so old they are pointlessly complicating their respective records.
■ 13/02/2020
XENSPACE.NET [BETA] ANNOUNCEMENT
p class="blueberry"> Though the site has been officially online since 2018 its services and content have been so far limited to a (very) select few, being held back by an early development status and its relative lack of priority as a side project.
Despite the slow progress, steady additions to the XENSPACE project have paved way to its open BETA.

13/02/2020 - VER_2.0 [BETA]

  • ■ Revamped the entire site
  • ■ Added content tags to the journal
  • ■ Renewed SSL certificates
  • ■ Updated the contact info (including the PGP keys)
  • ■ Added support for mobile home icon access
  • ■ Enabled acess for both IPv4 and IPv6
  • ■ Removed all JS dependencies (except the navbar's uptime counter)
  • ■ Updated the media gallery contents


Though there is still much to be done before declaring the site feature complete, the foundations for the future have been laid.