The New Blog

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Welcome to my new blog!

Picture: Maho eating Pocky. Why? Because awesomeness.

This was supposed to have all of the old posts imported from Wordpress by now and look nice and all that, but I'm lazy, and I've been distracted by other things, and <insert more excuses here>, so it hasn't happened yet. Why am I writing this then? Because I wanted to get this alive and leaving a random post about Chocotto Sister being available on a video library that doesn't exist anymore is actually back up again, as the first post seemed a bit odd.

I felt like writing, and so here I am, writing. Why does that matter? Because I have not felt like writing a random blog post in years, maybe as long as 5 years, maybe its more (if I had actually done that whole blog import thing I was supposed to have done I could answer that), and the point is I don't want to waste that feeling or enthusiasm.

So what is the deal with this new blog then? Well actually it is the forum. I have basically made a hidden sub forum, taken it off the forum index and made it into a blog. It makes perfect sense, the forum has a way better interface, it works with the gallery so I can drop random pictures of Rin or Maho - er I mean I can upload relevant and interesting media to it, there is no need for wordpress (yuk) or annoying plug-ins that randomly stop working, or the risk of 300,000 spam comments pilling up unnoticed with no sane way to deal with it.

If you are reading this (why tho?) and thinking "Hey I had an FTV blog and you deleted it!!" Well yes I did, because you and everyone else had abandoned their blogs and I was sick of dealing with the mess. That said, I have kept all of the Wordpress data, so if I get this import lark to work, and you want your old blog imported into the forum like mine, then sure I can do that for you. Also if you just want one of these setup empty without the old data, that is even easier, drop me a pm, or comment below (because OMG yes that is now a thing we can do again). And yes, I promise I'll never use 'OMG' again.

This blog (well the old wordpress one) started out as an anime blog, then I got a bit distracted and made MATV, yeah that was one hell of a distraction, but anyway, then I added some random posts about figures and dolls and the such. Some posts about MATV too. That was a long time ago, MATV got really big, and since died, I somehow became the owner of FTV and that also died. The point, is that I feel there should be a 'Developer's Blog' for all those random slightly technical bits that not many people will read. Therefore, this new incarnation of the blog, shall be a mix of the anime, figures, dolls and MATV/FTV tech. Oh and weird randomness from my odd personality, which is usually lost to editing, partly because on the forum, in the main areas I feel I need to be more coherent or serious or something, on here it doesn't matter, this is 'me' and it is 'my place' or my corner of my place or something.

Translation: This will be the extended edition of my contribution to the "What are you doing thread", with less editing, and far less coherence.

Extra bonus: If I ever do manage to write something coherent on here, I can promote it as an article on the front page, can't do that with yuk wordpress!

So why, after all this time do I suddenly have the enthusiasm to write? Well you will need to read the next post, as that is a different topic!
Ok so I changed my mind, I was going to split this up into two posts, but the picture of Maho looks so good when it is the top post I can't just push it down right away! And also, that picture sets the mood perfectly how I feel at the moment, so lets continue.

So why, after all this time do I suddenly have the enthusiasm to write?
Well there are two reasons, firstly I was feeling pretty down last Sunday, so much so that I basically gave up on FTV/MATV. It lasted the entire day, evening, over night and into the next day. I think I had around 1-2 hours of sleep, and felt crap because of that too. In about the middle of that I wrote the 'seeking interest in FTV' post, that at the time of writing this is still pinned on the front page. I'm leaving it on there for the moment, partly because my method of dealing with things is to just leave it until the last minute and partly because it is still very true. Yes I love FTV, but it has died, and maybe someone else could do better, and it also gives the chance for all the nay-Sayers who have been critical of my management to put their money where their mouth is (figuratively) and have the guts to come up with something. I do note by the way, that you have all been rather quiet, in fact the silence is deafening.

Anyway, back on topic, after coming out of that I got a new enthusiasm to go back and do some code. Ok cool, so what code? Well most of my code is in or was MATV. MATV wasn't a forum, it was an anime tool, a way to find anime and manage it, that was what it was good at it, that is what made it what it was, and that is what I wanted to fix. See, MATV had two code sets, the DDL system and the stream system. The stream system was built in a mega hurry as an emergency to replace the ddl system. It was born out of an idea to compliment the DDLs, but then all hell broke loose, Animesuki went bye-bye, torrents went all UDP, FTV dropped DDLs, pulse was the new thing and we seemed to be loosing fansub groups and ddls. And the whole worry of DMCA etc. So I took the stream idea and rushed it, hey it works ok, but it was never fully integrated into the main system like the DDLs were.

This little fact, is what shaped the future, see the old main and DDL code was well very old, it was written in outdated php, something like version 4 or 5, all procedural, the old mysql (non I ) and all that. The stream code was much newer, it was procedural but built as functions and was modular. All of this meant it was much easier to update and to convert to object orientated, class based code that could run inside Invision Power Board. Therefore, when I went on holiday one summer, that is what I did in the off-time, I converted and updated it, it was meant to be the big update, the whole FTV next generation project that I had started in 2016. Unfortunately problems with the next release of the IPB forum really hit hard, it required yet another total rewrite and update of the code, the forum software itself was terrible, I spent weeks just trying to make the white FTV theme and failed. That was why the whole project got delayed, and why we had to go on a long hunt for new forum software.

The thing is, FTV, and MATV, being in this sort of limbo state where they are forums but not a lot else, has been a real issue for me for a long time. So much so it has been like a mill stone around my neck, the problems for both sites have been long and numerous, loosing the hard drives, the backups, pulse, the torrenter changing, animesuki, the forum software all piled up with the site not doing much, it sapped every bit of enthusiasm out of me. I had code that could help, but it didn't work, it was too old. Even if it did work, how would I make it work in yet another new forum software. So nothing happened, it stalled. I slowly managed to get little things done of course, the first bit of progress was fixing the style by domain name. In case no one has noticed, now if you go to it comes up in FTV's colours, and if you go to it comes up in MATV's colours, and both sites display the right banners too. It might seem a small thing, but it means everything to me, up until that point MATV had been sort of lost to Fansub, merged away into nothingness, nothing more than a secondary colour scheme. I got that working by taking one person's example of how to make a Listener class for the forum which forced a user style, nothing to do with domains, but it was enough to show me where to start, and now we have it working, mostly right. I actually have another new version of that code ready to go that is currently on the dev server which is even better, more on that in a later post, probably.

So I said there were two reasons, (that was like 4 pages back by now...) so what is the second?
Well I did a bit of code, just a little bit, to see I could get the streaming code to work in Xenforo (the new forum), I already had a rough add-on in the form of a widget, and it could show the streaming updates, so I tried a bit more, and suddenly it just clicked, before I knew it I had almost all of the front end for it working. I was really impressed with the power of it, I can put the widget on the front page, inside a page, on the side bar, and it works really well. So I decided to try the impossible, could i get the old DDL code up, would it convert, could any of it run?.

After 3 days the progress has been nothing short of amazing, I had never thought that kind of progress would be possible, it is not finished, I am talking just the front end here, not even looked at the back end yet and I know the torrenter is broken, but it works, it actually bloody works. And that, is why I have my enthusiasm to write, because after all these years I am writing code again, and I am finally making progress on MATV/FTV. How does this affect Fansub? The looking for interest post? I don't know, like I already said, that post is still up there, technically my code is MATV, Fansub has just been using it.

Will I bring back the streaming? The DDLs? No idea, but I like having the option. Right now I have a goal, a task, a purpose and even if I don't actually use the code, it means I can move on, and past this huge roadblock with MATV and FTV. I need to fix this, and doing so will resolve something in my head, so I am going to keep going at the code, at least for now.
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Maiku Ando

Maiku Ando

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