Technic Blog

Platform Updated to 2.0.4 & Launcher Updated to 4.242

Now that we seem to have a grasp on the stability of the website it has given us time to work on finishing several features for the Platform and Launcher. These are features people have been requesting for a long time so it feels good to finally be able to get them in your hands. The biggest new feature is we added the contribution system to the Platform. This lets you add other users as contributors to your modpack and they will be able to help post status updates, modify settings, upload resources, update versions and so on. It will not let them do any harmful actions such as delete your pack. I will go into further detail about how this system, and the other new platform bits works later in this post. First, let's list what has changed!

Platform 2.0.4

  • Added the contribution system, which allows users to invite others to help work on a single pack.
  • You can now request to transfer your modpack to another user.
  • Modpack API URLs have been corrected to point to the new api.technicpack.net.
  • A new support system has been setup and is accessible at multiple points throughout the site.
  • Added SSO support for the new support system. It will use your current platform account to authenticate.
  • Added helpful links to the sidebar on the dashboard and community feeds.
  • Added the Technic twitter feed to the sidebar on the dashboard and community feeds.
  • You can now change your email and password under Edit Profile.
  • Modpacks can now add a website which will be displayed in a similar fashion to the server download link.
  • A fancy new error page to replace the "Whoops!" one. Hopefully you never see it!

Launcher 4.242

  • The "Add Pack or Search" box will now correctly pick up new packs from API links when the links are to "technicpack.net" without the "www".
  • Server packs now have an appropriate tag in the Launcher banner, under the pack title.
  • A checkbox has been added to "Launcher Options" which offers users the option to start the launcher in the Modpacks tab.
  • Logging out to change users will no longer break a user's access token, which would prevent them from playing SMP until they restarted the launcher.
  • Minecraft will now be launched in IPv4 mode. This will stop certain types of malware and security software that target IPV6 traffic from preventing users from playing SMP.
  • Solder packs with no valid, visible builds will now be shown as "Offline" in the launcher, as it is not possible to install them.
  • Opening the "Modpack Options" dialog for a solder pack with no valid, visible builds will now convey to the user that no builds are available, and not throw an error.
  • We now provide better support on certain operating systems for mailto: links in the News tab.
  • The Discover tab are now being loaded from the new API hardware. 100% of all launcher services are now being run off the new hardware.
  • The Discover tab contents are now cached when loaded successfully. In situations where the API is unavailable, the cached version will be loaded, if possible.
  • In cases where the Discover tab cannot be loaded correctly, a fallback page is now shown rather than an ugly white screen.
  • The clipboard watcher has been removed entirely. You will now need to manually paste API links into the "Add Pack or Search" box to add new packs.

How to add Contributors to your Modpack

Adding contributors is a very simple process. Simply edit your modpack and click the new Contributors link in the sub-navigation which will bring you to a list of your contributors (which is probably empty!). Type in the contributor your wish to add and hit the Add Contributor button. The platform will try and help you to auto complete your username you are entering.

After adding a user they will be sent an email notifying them they now have contribution access to your modpack. That's it! You can delete a contributor at any time by clicking the delete link next to their name.

How to transfer your modpack to another user

Pack transfer can be found under your modpacks main settings page.

Click transfer ownership and then type in the username your wish to send a request to. The platform will try and assist you in finding the user. Once a request is sent the user will recieve an email notifying them that a pack transfer request has been initiated. They will have to visit your modpacks main page and accept the request to finalize the transfer.

Once accepted the pack will immediately be transfered to the user. That's it! You may cancel a transfer at any time before the user accepts it.

If you have any questions about the new contribution or transfer system feel free to ask in the comments below and we will try to help! Enjoy!

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!