Friday, 30 November 2012

Rounding Off

Along side my DIY activities, I have been working my way through a list of fixes and enhancements to Starfire. Most of the changes are engine-related and will be useful for the next game.

To aid with cross-platform development, I am investing in a NAS (network-attached storage) box. This is fundamentally two hard drives attached to a low powered box running a Linux based O/S (called DSM). This will allow me to centralise my development files (source code, images, sounds, documents etc) so that development from Mac/PC and ultimately Linux is easier.

As I work more on iOS code, I will spend more time using the Mac. I have found that accessing Windows 7 shares from the Mac is troublesome and there are various discussions/blog entries about this but no real solution.

Additionally, having a Linux based NAS gives the following other benefits:

  • Website development server environment (PHP / mySQL)
  • RAID for important files
  • Access to documents and files from mobile devices (if PC is switched off)
I could do some of these things on my main PC or a secondary PC but having them central is a boon.

I'm sure some other benefits will be discovered as I familiarise myself with the box. I would probably have the box in my sweaty paws by now if not for my bank's anti-fraud measures blocking my order. Should be sorted now...

Another avenue I'm exploring is an alternative version control solution. Currently I use SourceSafe which is:

a) awful
b) Windows only
c) awful

I've read about various alternatives including Subversion, GIT and Mercurial. I am swaying towards Mercurial at the moment as it seems to be the most cross-platform (being mostly Python) and supposedly has a relatively easy learning curve. GIT seems to have poor Windows support and Subversion seems like overkill for a single developer scenario.

Next steps - finish next Starfire version for PC/Mac and get it released, then polish up the website.