What have I done this week?

Tried writing a few things, got this blog back together. It’s going to be a while before I’m happy with it again, since there’s a lot of Hugo features I’m totally not familiar with.

I’ve been playing with LibGDX a bit, but I’ve been a bit stuck trying to motivate myself to build something in it. I’ve been working on a little Sudoku game using the Scene2d drawing library, but I just can’t bring myself to finish it. I’m not sure this is the kind of thing I want to be doing. I don’t really feel challenged or excited trying to build something on top of a high-level library, and I figure I’d rather be learning how game engines work at a lower level. I’m not very good at creating graphic assets, and I’m more interested in perhaps generating them programmatically.

On backpack.tf side: removed the last piece of insecure content on the site, which was a POST form for TF2 Outpost’s search feature. ZAM does not like SSL because it’s a glorified ad network – only a few ad publishers support SSL because of restrictions on mixed content served in iframes, and ZAM isn’t one of these, so TF2 Outpost does not have HTTPS. We have to bake such forms into the DOM to work around same-origin policy; browsers will see these forms as using an insecure protocol and mark the the entire page as insecure content. Frustrated with the lack of SSL on Outpost’s side, I decided to create a simple outgoing gateway to handle these POST requests. Now, the flow for a user is to click search -> get internal forwarding page in new tab that executes the POST request -> get redirected to Outpost. This doesn’t really impact user experience all that much, and finally means all pages have a green padlock.

Given that securing your website with SSL is practically free these days, there’s no reason to not do it. Users will be getting more and more wary of putting personal information into a site that appears to be insecure, which is important for backpack.tf as a site which integrates with a payment gateway. Although, this might have consequences in the future – I feel users will learn to always trust a green padlock, which is going to backfire considering how easy it is for a phishing site to obtain an SSL cert. Bad UI decisions, like Safari replacing the domain with the name of an EV certificate, doesn’t help either.

What should I try to improve?

I need to stop trying to start multiple projects at once, because it’s a total drain. It cascades easily once you end up with multiple projects you just can’t finish. I feel like I’m making no progress at all.

What I’ve learned is that closure is important. I need to complete stuff I’ve started instead of leaving it in limbo. I’d probably fare a lot better if I was working on an already established project, and not writing fundamentals for new projects over and over.

What am I going to do next?

Honestly, I’m a little lost right now. I’m in need of some inspiration, motivation and generally a dopamine release. But here’s a few things I had in mind:

  • Finish some LibGDX stuff: A small Sudoku game really shouldn’t be hard to finish. I need to find the motivation to complete this.
  • Work on some Hackerrank exercises: I’ve found small programming challenges to be pretty good at keeping my mind active and forcing me out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed Advent of Code, which is what I used to learn Golang.
  • Shader programs: I have been reading a little of The Book of Shaders. Shaders were something I avoided when working on a little C++ game from a couple months ago. I might have to play with WebGL again at some point in an attempt to try Demoscene.
  • IntelliJ plugins: I’ve been working on a Twig plugin for quite some time now. I’ve had to learn a lot, and I’m nowhere near done. Writing a feature-complete plugin is a mammoth task. I noticed there is no Hugo plugin for IntelliJ, which is something I might consider doing in the future. BUT ABSOLUTELY NOT NOW BECAUSE I HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO