Jahed Ahmed

Weekly Report: 27th January 2020

FrontierNav

Image Uploads

Image uploads are more or less done. There's still work left to migrate all the existing images over to the new process but it's not urgent.

The browser storage issue from last week is kind of mitigated now by uploading and clearing space on a merge request. So if users do run out of storage, they can create a merge request and carry on.

Map Uploads

With image uploads implemented, users can now upload their own maps. Along with the ability to add their own markers, FrontierNav now supports fully user-contributed maps.

Map Editing in FrontierNav

Xenoblade X of course is using its own mapping logic so it doesn't benefit from this. As mentioned previously, migrating it to the shared logic is a lot of work which I'll likely do if and when a re-release or sequel is announced.

GIFs on the Web

When recording previews for FrontierNav's features, I always bounce around between using GIFs and other video formats. It's definitely true that GIFs, archaic as they are, still drive a lot more engagement, even on platforms like Twitter which converts them to more suitable formats. I wish we moved away from GIFs by now, but it seems to be the Internet Explorer of video formats.

The preview I recorded above is over 10MB as a GIF. It's less than 3MB as an MP4. Probably a lot less as a WebM. It's a lot easier to convert a GIF to something else than the other way round. ffmpeg's GIF output isn't great whereas screen recorders like Peek do an excellent job at optimising GIFs.

Platforms like Patreon also don't allow uploading videos directly; prefering a third-party like Vimeo. However, they do allow image uploads (up to 512MB!), so GIFs work well there.

Taking all of this into account, I'll probably continue recording as GIF and exporting to other formats. Having said that, the MP4 of the GIF I uploaded to Tumblr ended up as a green, glitchy mess after it when through Tumblr's encoding pipeline. And they have a small size limit on image uploads. So... whatever.

Back on Schedule

As a rule, I'll be posting weekly updates every Friday now. It's a good way to end the week and have a record for Monday. Monthly updates will be on the Friday closest to the last day of the month.

Thanks for reading.

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