Technic Blog

Launcher Version 4.231 Is Live!

On Tuesday, I wrote a newspost about our latest Beta version, and said that we were going to try to push it Stable before this weekend.  Well, it's Thursday afternoon, and the update is live!  You probably noticed during the update process that the fonts are now downloaded separately from the launcher, and that means that you won't have to download them again.  The fonts are now sitting safely in your Technic install, and your updates will only include the great new features and bugfixes that we have planned.  That saves you time and us money.

Secondly, we've spooled up a brand new API on a new service, written in NodeJS.  The new API allows us to scale hardware dynamically, with no wait.  If we have a tough weekend, we can throw some extra workers at the problem for a few hours then bring them back down.  And with NodeJS, our ability to handle your launcher requests is better than ever.  Lastly, the API and site are now on entirely different hardware, so heavy load on one won't affect the other.  This will allow the website to stay up even when there is extremely heavy load, and make ending DDOS attacks a cinch.

Finally, we have many important bugfixes for everything from Minecraft performance to behavior when the API is unavailable.  Take a look at these patch notes (changes since v4.211):

  • Removed the fonts from the launcher package. They will now be downloaded to your .technic folder if they are not present, meaning that you can download and update the launcher without dealing with the large file size.
  • The font Open Sans Bold has been temporarily removed. This will temporarily reduce the visual quality of author names and the News alert, but will reduce the size of launcher asset downloads by 30%.
  • Re-architected the autoupdate system to allow us to add byte patching later.
  • Rebound the platform API from www.technicpack.net/api/ to api.technicpack.net. This URL points at some experimental API hardware that will hopefully allow us to fix the platform's performance on weekends.
  • The launcher will no longer peg a processor at 100% while Minecraft is running.
  • Added Czech language support
  • Fixed typos and translation errors in French & German translations.
  • Fixed typos and translation errors in Portuguese (Brazil) translation.
  • Additional logging was added for Mojang authentication errors.
  • The Technic launcher will now follow 300-level redirects across protocol boundaries (HTTP to HTTPS and HTTPS to HTTP) when downloading mods and libraries and communicating with services.
  • Packs deleted or disabled on the platform, and solder-enabled packs with an inaccessible solder service will now identify as "Offline" in the launcher, and act appropriately.
  • The Launcher startup splash screen is now somewhat less aggressive about its own visibility.
  • The launcher will now function in environments where translucent window support is unavailable, but it will look 30% less rad in those environments.
  • Offline packs with no installation will give a message box declaring themselves as unavailable, instead of throwing an exception.
  • Using unpromoted builds will no longer update to older ones if you are configured to use the beta stream.
  • Added a few utilities which will allow us to make the Java version selectable at a later date.
  • We will no longer fail to update a pack or install portable mode in situations where the launcher wants to move a file to a place where it already is.
  • In cases when the installer dialog is running standalone during the initial installation, clicking the close button at the top right no longer throws an error.
  • In cases when the installer dialog is running standalone during the initial installation, closing the dialog from the operating system (for instance, selecting close from the Windows taskbar) will no longer leave the process hanging.

So try it out, let us know how the launcher and site are performing now, and while you're at it, stop by our new subreddit at http://www.reddit.com/r/technicplatform/ and show us what you're building, and what you're planning on playing this weekend.

Check out Technic Platform's newest social media! /r/technicplatform!

Hey guys

We created a subreddit called /r/technicplatform for all of you redditors out there! Share screenshots and builds from your favorite modpacks!

Here are some quick rules to remeber:

  • Be kind to everyone and try to help out as best you can

  • Do not spam. That means you ggggggggggggggg.

  • Only post content relating to Technic or content on the Technic Platform

  • Keep "Drama" posts at a MAXIMUM.

  • NO SERVER OR MODPACK ADS! Feel free to share your favorite mods.

  • Any other rule we didn't think of

  • We reserve the right to ban users and remove posts on a case by case basis depending on if they break any of these rules

/r/technicplatform

Spread the word and join us!

 

 

The Big Beta Is Now Live

Last Tuesday, I posted a rundown of where we were at with the Launcher updater and our plans moving forward.  This week, I'm happy to announce results.  I've just promoted version 4.224 to Beta, and it includes some key improvements.  We don't have byte patching in this new beta launcher, but we do have the next best thing: we've removed the font files from the launcher package and have them download separately to your hard drive during the update process.  They're big, but we don't change them, so once you have them, you have them for good.  No more 20Mb updates, welcome back to 2Mb launcher updates.

That doesn't mean that the byte patcher isn't coming.  But it is a large amount of work, and we determined that this was a change we could make now to get updates out to you guys in the short term.  It should solve basically all of your updating woes after the initial update, so we think you're going to appreciate it.  

The second major change we're making in this update is we're hooking the launcher up to a new API.  We know that performance on the Platform has been rough since the relaunch, especially on the weekend.  That stings especially hard because one of the core promises we made about the new launcher was that performance would be better.  This past weekend was not great, but we collected a lot of data and made a solid plan that we've been working on around the clock.  We've ported the launcher API, which accounts for 75-80% of our site traffic, to NodeJS.  According to our experiments, using NodeJS and a service that autoscales our hardware according to trafffic, we can handle several times the launcher traffic for the same amount of money.  Moving the launcher API off of our web hardware will also protect the site from buckling under launcher pressure and also protect us from DDOS.  It's a big win for everyone, and today's Beta tests out this new API as well as the bindings, so it's extremely important to test, because we want to roll out these changes in time to save the site this weekend.

We also have a variety of bugfixes, translation updates from the community, and plenty of other awesome updates, check out the changelog since the last Stable build (v4.211):

  • Removed the fonts from the launcher package. They will now be downloaded to your .technic folder if they are not present, meaning that you can download and update the launcher without dealing with the large file size.
  • The font Open Sans Bold has been temporarily removed. This will temporarily reduce the visual quality of author names and the News alert, but will reduce the size of launcher asset downloads by 30%.
  • Re-architected the autoupdate system to allow us to add byte patching later.
  • Rebound the platform API from www.technicpack.net/api/ to api.technicpack.net. This URL points at some experimental API hardware that will hopefully allow us to fix the platform's performance on weekends.
  • The launcher will no longer peg a processor at 100% while Minecraft is running.
  • Added Czech language support
  • Fixed typos and translation errors in French & German translations.
  • Fixed typos and translation errors in Portuguese (Brazil) translation.
  • Additional logging was added for Mojang authentication errors.
  • The Technic launcher will now follow 300-level redirects across protocol boundaries (HTTP to HTTPS and HTTPS to HTTP) when downloading mods and libraries and communicating with services.
  • Packs deleted or disabled on the platform, and solder-enabled packs with an inaccessible solder service will now identify as "Offline" in the launcher, and act appropriately.
  • The Launcher startup splash screen is now somewhat less aggressive about its own visibility.
  • The launcher will now function in environments where translucent window support is unavailable, but it will look 30% less rad in those environments.
  • Offline packs with no installation will give a message box declaring themselves as unavailable, instead of throwing an exception.
  • Using unpromoted builds will no longer update to older ones if you are configured to use the beta stream.
  • Added a few utilities which will allow us to make the Java version selectable at a later date.
  • We will no longer fail to update a pack or install portable mode in situations where the launcher wants to move a file to a place where it already is.
  • In cases when the installer dialog is running standalone during the initial installation, clicking the close button at the top right no longer throws an error.
  • In cases when the installer dialog is running standalone during the initial installation, closing the dialog from the operating system (for instance, selecting close from the Windows taskbar) will no longer leave the process hanging.

 As always, if you'd like to join the Beta stream, you can do so from the Launcher Options dialog in your launcher, and we'd appreciate you sharing your Beta experiences with us in our IRC channel.  Thanks for playing, and we'll see you this weekend!

Technic Launcher Updates

I wanted to take a moment to talk about our recent launch, and where we're going to go from here with Launcher updates.  As some of you are are aware, our new launcher has a much larger file size than the old one.  In fact, the current public build is more than 10 times the size of the old launcher.  Some have suggested that the new interface design is responsible, but the culprit is actually our new multi-lingual support.  18 out of 20 Mb of the current Launcher file size is the three fonts that currently ship with the launcher.  They are 6Mb each because of the universal language support they include.  

Multi-lingual support is really important to us, but the status quo cannot continue: you're tired of the launcher taking so long to update, our network gets saturated on the weekends from people updating the launcher, which makes it harder for you to update your launcher and install our official modpacks.  Nobody appreciates these problems, so let's talk about what we're doing to fix it:

  • First, we've started research and development into a byte-patching API.  When finished, you won't have to redownload the same fonts over and over again, and updates will be even faster than before!
  • Second, we've suspended all promotions to the Stable launcher stream until the byte patching system is in.  This means that you won't see any more updates for a couple weeks.  We will continue doing Beta promotions weekly until then, so if you are suffering from bugs or issues, feel free to see if the Beta stream helps you out.
  • We've removed one of our three fonts, Open Sans Bold, from the launcher for a little while.  It's not used in very many places (although it does look very good where it's used), and it reduced the Launcher installation size by 30% to remove it.  This will hopefully help those who do feel the need to use the Beta promotions update a little bit faster.
  • Lastly, we know that several people have been upset by the update spam we sometimes put out, and so we've implemented a policy that will reduce the number of updates we release.  Every Tuesday, we'll promote a build to Beta, and when the byte-patching system is in, we'll also update the previous week's Beta build to Stable.  Sometimes we'll have to send out some hotfixes in order to fix urgent issues (this is especially possible on the Beta stream), but we'll avoid deviating from this new schedule as much as possible, so that we don't interrupt your play experience.

Last night, I promoted build #216 to Beta.  If you're interested in using the Beta stream, we'd really appreciate it if you joined us in #technic so that we can discuss your thoughts about the current build.  It's also a good place to get help for any other issues you might be encountering.

In addition to the byte-patching update system, over the next weeks and months, we have a lot of great stuff coming to the launcher that we think you'll be pretty excited about.  We can't talk about all of it yet, but here are a few highly-sought-after features that are currently in development:

  • The ability to deactivate the clipboard-sniffer and start the launcher directly into the Modpacks tab.
  • Improved automatic error report generation to help us to diagnose crashes better.
  • Functionality to add packs to your launcher using network sync instead of through the clipboard.
  • The ability to select which java version to use to launch minecraft.
  • Functionality to allow pack authors to declare RAM and java version requirements.
  • And of course, support for even more languages and dialects.

And these only cover new launcher features!  We'll continue to keep you up to date on these developments as they get worked on.  Thanks for playing Technic!

Platform updated to 2.0.3

A new update was pushed last night with several improvements and optimizations to make your experience on the Platform a better one.

- NEW: Modpacks using Solder will now show a mod list
- FIXED: Help/Permissions pages now correctly show up when they have content
- FIXED: Modpacks using Solder will now show the proper modpack version and minecraft version in their pages header
- FIXED: Minecraft avatars will now show up properly in the launcher for feed items
- FIXED: Changed OSX link on downloads page to use the .jar download
- FIXED: Linking a new modpack to Solder that hasn't been imported has been fixed and will now link and unlink properly
- FIXED: Users modpack limit no longer counts soft deleted modpacks
- FIXED: Comment replies now show their own reply time instead of their parents reply time

Along with the above changes we have also made several optimizations across the board as well as re-enabled personal dashboards. They should load much faster now!