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Officially AFK

My departure from Cryptic has been made official.

After successfully launching Free for All, our stalwart Champions Online Executive Producer Shannon "Poz" Posniewski has left Cryptic to vacation, explore Africa and climb a storied mountain. No joke. Shannon is planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

"Working at Cryptic Studios has been incredible for me. Both the Cryptic team and its fans are amazing, and working with them over the last eight years has been hugely rewarding," said Shannon. "I'm very proud of everything we've done for Champions Online: Free for All, and I know there's more great stuff coming. But for me it's time to recharge a bit; for something new and completely different. I'm thinking open skies, tall mountains and perhaps death by exposure."

Stepping up to run Champions Online and lead our free-to-play heroic MMO into a bold new future is our own beloved super-producer, Rob Overmeyer.

"I have been part of the Champs team since day one and it has been quite an adventure," said Rob. "I look forward to continuing that adventure and seeing Champions get better and better with each new day. Believe me when I say the most exciting part is still on the road ahead."

UPDATE: Shannon has apparently been set upon by Giant Gray Apes in the far-flung reaches of Africa while questing for precious diamonds. Thankfully, he appears to have his trusty diamond-laser handy so that he can deliver swift, burning justice to his simian foes.

Our fans had also noticed that I hadn't been too vocal for a while, and had started stalking me looking here to see if they could get any clues. Now they know! (Hello, fans!) Rob is doing awesome work; Champs is in good hands.

Foam Totem Connect Update

I'm putting the final touches on my changes to Foam Totem. Of course, the very first attempt to comment on my last post failed (for everyone) because I didn't test posts that originated on Foam Totem and were then cross-posted to Facebook. I've fixed that now, as far as I know. In addition, the post is checked to make sure it's actually on Facebook somewhere before I try to send the comment there. (If it's not on Facebook, the comment is saved just on Foam Totem.)

I've made dozens of cleanup changes from simple code polish to finding and removing detritus and other temporary files that were left around. And, now that I basically finished all the dangerous work, I put it all into revision control. There were probably two occasions when I wish I had done so earlier.

I cleaned up the Atom feed once again. I removed my daily run from the feed because it seemed noisy (if you prefer it back in there, let me know). I added some better heuristics for building titles that don't entirely suck.

Welcome to the NUEVO MUNDO! See? You're much less bored now!

The only remaining thing I might tackle is making a better map for Runmeter. Their maps are pretty good, but I've been wanting a map which colors the route depending on how fast I'm running. (So, it might be red where I stop, and green when I'm going fast.) I've done the fiddly parts of this already (e.g. dereferencing the short URL to find the KML file). The next thing to do would be to copy it locally and use Perl to frob the file to manufacture a colored path. The data is already in there, but not currently in a place Google Maps can get to it.

It's been pretty stable today as I've been exercising it. I wonder if this version of the code will last as long as the last one (which was around 8 years). If Facebook changes its API or its data schema, that stuff won't work any more but everything else still should.

(This post is more to mark when this code was done that it is to amuse or delight the reader. I don't expect to post many more of these. From here on out it will be all amusement and delightfulness!)

Foam Totem Connect

missing my nap
(UPDATE UPDATE: I think it's fixed now!)
(UPDATE: it turns out that there's a bug on posts like this one. :-) I'll fix it tomorrow.)

Facebook is now connected to Foam Totem! Items that I post on Facebook are reflected to Foam Totem automatically, which is pretty cool. Even more cool is that comments made on the these items on Facebook also appear on Foam Totem. But the really, REALLY cool thing is that comments you make on Foam Totem (assuming you're logged in to Facebook) are sent BACK to Facebook.

You can also leave comments on Foam Totem without logging in to Facebook. These comments stay on Foam Totem and aren't sent anywhere else.

This is all barely tested, so you may run into problems if you exercise it. If you do find a problem, I'd be a kindness if you copied the error message and email to me.

There is still some tweaking to be done. Currently, you can attempt to "Facebook Comment" on items that aren't on Facebook. This will likely evaporate your attempted comment. I'll get to that soon, so don't oomplain about that. :-)

The point of this whole endeavor (besides letting me knock some rust off with Javascript and seeing what the Facebook API is like) is to collect my data onto a storage device I control. It bothers me that I'm putting stuff into Facebook with no guarantee that it'll ever come back out. If they were to vanish (or shut me out) that data would be irretrievable. That's not cool, as far as I'm concerned. I've been keeping a web log since 1997. Imagine if I had hosted it on Geocities back then. Or MySpace. I feel better when I have a bit more control over my digital artifacts.