Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas, Here Are Some Updates

Hello, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season. The holidays are always a great time of the year for me because it allows me to spend more time catching up on projects (such as Techtronix) that I otherwise would spend less time on. I have some updates to share with all of you to bring an end to 2018 and start off 2019.

New Website

One of the biggest things you all will notice is that Techtronix has a new website! Indeed, for the longest time when you would enter techtronix.net into your browser, it would point to the Techtronix subreddit.

I really got tired of directing everyone to a Reddit wiki for when they wanted information on the network. It never really was a proper solution to start off with, but it was "decent" for a long while since I wanted to avoid having to host my own web server. Reddit provided a decent forum-like experience along with a wiki. However, Reddit is going in a different direction and I decided that I want to no longer rely on what they have going forward.

The new website is powered by the new Google Sites platform, and it turned out much better than I imagined. I am able to have a beautiful, platform-agnostic website that is easy to manage and I don't have to host myself. It renders beautifully on desktop and mobile and it is easy to navigate. Some pages haven't been moved over from the old Reddit wiki yet, particularly the ones that are restricted to only certain groups of people. Once Google implements page-level access on the new Sites, everything will be migrated over.

New Blog

Along with the new website, I have created a new blog as well for where I will write announcements, such as this one. I've ported over all of the announcement posts from the subreddit. Discussion and quote posts haven't been moved over, mostly because I'm debating on opening some kind of quote database for Techtronix.

Server Updates

Along with the new website, InspIRCd and Anope received updates as well. InspIRCd is updated to 2.0.27 and Anope received some updated third-party modules. Most of the updates are bug fixes or improvements for the operator-side of things, though.

Infobot has also been updated.


While I have mentioned this in #lounge as well, I will mention it here: I'm working on bringing GameServ to Anope 2, as inspired by Atheme. So far I've written implementations for roulette and 8ball, as well as another easter-egg feature. I can add additional minigames as well, although I don't plan on implementing as many features as Infobot has. This is entirely an enjoyment-based project. I'll try to match as many features as Atheme's GameServ has.

Third-party developers will also be able to write modules to work with GameServ, it is virtually identical to the other pseudo-clients in Anope 2 in terms of adding features.

Deprecation of TLS 1.0

To wrap up the new year, Techtronix will be (slowly) phasing out TLS 1.0 connections in favor of 1.1 and up. TLS v1 has been deprecated for a while now, and all modern iterations of popular SSL libraries support at least 1.2 and up.

I expect this change to only affect old clients that have not been compiled against a newer SSL library version, or legacy clients like the Flash-based LightIRC, which in itself will be phased out by 2020 when Adobe stops supporting Flash.

Plaintext connections are still heavily discouraged and will remain restricted. Existing exemptions will be phased out as well unless absolutely necessary. At this point, piping an insecure connection through a bouncer like ZNC is trivial and anything else is laziness.

Anything Else

I'm also working on some other projects for Techtronix, such as bringing an ASCII Swhois module that will allow members to have custom ASCII art play along with their /whois output. That module is very early testing right now, although it works well on my development environment. I'll make another post when that is ready.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of you who continue to use Techtronix, it means a lot to me. I appreciate the small community of dedicated chatters that Techtronix has, and I hope to gather more in 2019. Please invite your friends if you like it here.

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