News

Website & project updates.
(Click the post title for a direct link)

[#133] [Thu, 13 Jan 2022 21:06:13 CST][news]
// RSS RE-RE-REACTIVATION & DEVLOG CLEANUP

RSS
The RSS feed has been reactivated (again) after much neglect. This time for good (srsly). Previously, the rss file was one of many that had to be manually edited each time there was an update to report, each with their own minor niches that had to be accounted for. Updating any of the projects in the freeware section, for example, meant editing the website's HTML file, the project's included README.md, the RSS feed, and any potential news entry.

Since I was already in the process of updating the site's backend, I took the time to streamline the entire feed deployment pipeline into a single script, and cleaned up about two years worth of deprecated, irrelevant news from the log.
[#132] [Mon, 10 Jan 2022 14:33:48 CST][news]
// CYRPTOGRAPHY KEY UPDATE & PROJECT F.A.Q.

We've updated our official cryptographic public key to correctly reflect our new contact info. As always, we strongly suggest you encrypt messages of sensitive nature!

PGP KEY [public encryption key]

Fingerprint: 5CD6 489B 7DD7 0F48 398F F0C1 AF88 A0A0 89BD 9B72


In other news, we're very happy to announce that XENOBYTE.XYZ saw a 300% increase in (human) traffic in the past year, totaling at ~40,000 unique visitors. This with no shilling or even social media presence of any kind.

~40K visitors! we should start a cult or something


Our email inbox naturally received a lot more action. Be it project requests, greetings from fellow cybernauts or questions regarding our freeware, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, some messages were very kind and insightful! I also took the advice to publish a F.A.Q. blog post to clear up some of the more popoular misconceptions about the site's technical details and overal purpose. I couldn't squeeze everyhting into a single blog post, the rest will follow in the future.
[#130] [Sat, 01 Jan 2022 06:13:28 CST][news]
// NEW YEAR 2022

Another twelve-month trip around the Sun. One not as dynamically chaotic as the first year of the pandemic, but thoroughly crippled by the ongoing damage. Many plans were shattered just to compensate for the extra effort required to survive, forcing some serious reconsideration as to what is truly worth pursuing and what can be set aside to make way for realistic goals, an admittedly painful process when our carefully crafted, utopic vision of the future begins to crack.
Alas, despite the most unusual hardships of the new world we find ourselves in, we also remain at the verge of maximizing the human potential. And though the challenges to come will no doubt be just as merciless as the ones already conquered, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to face and grow from the adversity.

Happy New Year

[#128] [Thu, 11 Nov 2021 11:52:43 CST][news]
// DOMAIN NAME RENOVATION & THE FUTURE

As long time visitors know, every year the site's domain name is intentionally changed during the last days of its registration period to refresh the site's brand and to encourage the constant redesign of the platform's front-end. However, in lieu of still undergoing global chaos and the sacrifices required to compensate, the current domain names of XENOBYTE.XYZ and its git.xenobyte.xyz subdomain will remain the official links in hopes of instead reaching this year's work metrics. Even if we keep receiving the occasional email meant for some other site with a similar domain.

With that out of the way, the last days of the year should see the release of at least two (free!) projects that have been slowly (but steadily) nearing completion. One of them is a C++20 network debugging tool to help develop performance-critical internet applications such as online game servers and scalping bots called Netbugger. This software, originally a client commission, was meant to be released after the game server it was being used to develop was ready, only to get indefinitely delayed along the rest of the backlog. Shortly before the client request was successfully completed, a blog post was published detailing the software architecture with at least two more posts covering the development process planned for the public release, including an update revision of the (now outdated) first entry.

The second project, also a client commission, is a Pocket_PHP-backed website that will no doubt be the framework's most ambitious showcase yet, not to mention its second, publicly available service.

Soon™.
[#126] [Sun, 03 Oct 2021 09:42:17 CST][news]
// CONTACT CHANGES & POCKET_PHP v2.2

Staying true to the current Pocket_PHP update streak, v2.2 has been released. The included templating engine was reworked to better fit non website related projects like REST APIs without compromising performance. Basic directory management functionality was added as well. Check this devlog post for a full overview of this small yet important update.

XENOBYTE.XYZ and all client services running Pocket_PHP have been accordingly updated. The notification email recipients may have noticed that it was sent from our new email address;



Henceforth, this will be our only official email.

Prompted by a recent (still in development) request, POCKET_PHP has seen its 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 devlog 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 technical 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.
[#120] [Mon, 31 May 2021 16:47:31 CST][news]
// 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 bandwidth bottle necking 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 overall CSS and backend were also upgraded, moving the project to V5.0.

Finally, we've set up a new public github account. Like the previous third-party git services, 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.

[#117] [Sun, 17 Apr 2021 13:11:28 CST][news]
// 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 gate keep 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 extension 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.
[#113] [Sun, 21 Mar 2021 11:53:44 CST][news]
// 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 user base, 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.
[#110] [Thu, 28 Jan 2021 18:26:39 CST][news]
// 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, rather 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, fortunately the development goals that were set the past year have been successfully met, clearing the way for future endeavors that would otherwise be postponed. This will be one interesting year.