17/06/2008: Mailing List 17/06/2008

Dear FreeNATTER,

I hope this finds you well with your uptimes up and downtimes down.

1. Neverending Alpha Test to Actually End

Following a lengthy process of annoying users kind enough to foolishly offer advice/testing help the system is finally ready for a stable beta release. The UI still sucks but I'm keen to open it up to a wider userbase and stop pushing out updates with totally untested code for general use. What impact this will have we shall see but takeup of the alpha has been promising and I think this label put off a lot of people (as intended). This may well melt my web server (more owing to size of the VM rather than any sort of massive popularity) but that is what it's there for.

Sincere thanks go out to all the users who partook in the alpha testing by reporting bugs, making suggestions, testing crazy scripts or just submitting automated feedback.

I am more convinced than ever in the benefit of open-source free software if only for getting people far cleverer than me to do my alpha testing for me ;o)

2. Delays in test-threaded to "Smooth Out" Results

In the current (and later) versions node test sessions will (by default) be spawned a second apart from each other. You can change this delay with the test.spawndelay variable (it supports decimals). This should not actually affect anything save that - if you have a large number of nodes - new nodes (and nodes later in the list) may take longer than five minutes to do their FIRST test (later tests will take part about five minutes later - the test-threaded scripts will just overlap).

This should remove the "first test is the longest" problem mentioned in the forum which brings us to...

3. Forum Prizes

In a desperate attempt to stroke my own ego I am offering highly sought-after prizes for the first few people who aren't me to post to the forum. I think had the forum been there from the start it would have seen some action but the highest rate of user contact I had was around the 02.30-02.51 bugfest stages and so pre-forum.

Glamarous prizes I can think of immediately include... A signed high-res scan of the actual back of the envelope the early FreeNATS schema was designed on... A limited-edition screenshot of VTMS, a kind of crazy SOAP-based node monitor and what the style at least of FreeNATS is based on... How to turn off the sublimiminal messaging in the monitor screen. Prizes will be at least this bad, if not worse.

Post to win at http://forum.purplepixie.org

As always best wishes and please let me know any bugs or suggestions through the forum or feedback link.



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