February 14, 2021
It's been a while since I wrote a post on here, and a lot has changed! Here's a not-entirely-quick review of all the new stuff.
Overall, there's a lot more stuff on this site now. To be honest, I forget how much stuff was already added back when I made the last post, so it's possible I'll end up being redundant or leaving some things out. Anyway, the point is that this site is actually quite a bit more useful now. Ideally, I wouldn't need any other sites or accounts, and I could just do everything here! That'll probably never happen, but I think it's a good goal to reach for.
I believe I may have had an early version of my music page around when I wrote the last post, but in any case, it's now a bit cooler! If your browser supports it, you can now listen to each song online without having to download it. One small thing I should address: if you're one of the two people who listened to the original Beeps from the Box album on SoundCloud, you might remember that I included some cover songs. These have been removed for the release on this site to avoid copyright problems; I'd like the content on this site to be as original as possible.
One of the fancier additions is a section of the site where you can watch videos I've made. If you have a modern browser, you can stream the videos online thanks to fancy HTML5 video embedding. Alternatively, you can download the videos to watch whenever you want. I haven't linked to it on the videos page yet, but all the videos are licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, the same license I'm using for my music.
For now, the only videos I've uploaded are some speedruns of games, which are nice because their file sizes are generally pretty low. If you've followed my YouTube channel, you'll know that I also made some piano covers a while back. However, I don't intend to upload these to my site for the same reason as the BeepBox covers I talked about above. (Technically the legality of speedruns and gameplay videos is also debatable, but as far as I'm aware, the general consensus is that they're okay.)
This is a public index of all my self-hosted Git repositories, generated using Stagit. This makes it perhaps the only part of my site that isn't entirely written or generated by me, although I do have a script that does a little post-processing of the output to tweak some things to my liking. Anyhow, this part of this site might be nice if you want to browse the source code of my projects online, subscribe via RSS, or clone them over HTTPS.
This part of the site has been updated with links to binary and source downloads of my projects where applicable. This means you won't have to go through another service like GitHub or itch.io if you want to download them. Another point for maugrift.com!
I've added this page just in case any generous people with spare cash feel like supporting what I do. For now, I'm only accepting donations via PayPal and itch.io, but I may support some cryptocurrencies when I get around to finding good wallets. Keep in mind that donations are totally optional and I'm going to keep making and releasing free stuff as long as I can!
In addition to this website, I'm now hosting a few neat chat servers here on maugrift.com!
I'm not a long-time IRC user like many others out there, but it seems like a very nice, minimal chat protocol. I'm hosting my own IRC server using UnrealIRCd, which is pretty quiet for the time being, but it's there if anyone wants to chat! I plan on switching to Oragono some time Soon(TM), since it has built-in IRC services and good IRCv3 support.
In case you're not familiar, Mumble is another seemingly old-school chat program, although it specializes in voice chat more so than text chat. I host a Mumble server using the Murmur daemon, so if you want to talk to me using your vocal cords, send me an email or IRC message and we can meet on there.
I've considered hosting a Matrix server, although I haven't found a server implementation that I'm fond of yet. Synapse, the reference implementation written in Python, seems convoluted to set up and maintain; Dendrite, the new Go-based implementation, doesn't seem stable enough yet; and it doesn't seem like other community-made server software like Construct is up to scratch yet other.
Furthermore, I haven't found any amazing Matrix clients yet either. I really dislike Element because it's an Electron application and thus is accompanied by all the nonsense that comes with any Electron application. (See Electron considered harmful and Electron is flash for the desktop.) Gomuks seems pretty good, although it doesn't quite have feature parity with Element, so you still need Element for a lot of things.
As a protocol, I have nothing against Matrix; it seems like a good, general-purpose chat protocol that's more modern than IRC without making too many compromises. I just want the ecosystem around it to mature some more before I get involved.
In addition to the more visible changes, I've done some tinkering on the backend to make this site a lot more maintainable so that I can keep adding to it more easily. If you don't care about random technical stuff, feel free to skip over this whole section.
This is an improvement that may not be obvious to viewers of the site, but is hugely useful on the backend. I've updated my static site generator to generate index pages for the blog, videos, projects, and the main page. The organization of these parts of the site has changed a bit to make the generation easier; most notably, every post and video is in a series of directories corresponding to the date. For instance, this post is in
/blog/2021/02/14/site-updates/. This seems to be a pretty standard convention on other sites, and it makes sorting posts much easier.
Another automation improvement comes from a new script to generate RSS feeds automatically. One (small) reason why I hadn't been making any posts after creating the RSS feeds is because I was reluctant to go and manually update the RSS feed. But no more! Now with the power of shell scripts, I can simply run my static site generator and the RSS feeds are created automatically, as they should be.
... I think. Tune in again soon for a very overdue announcement of a new project!