FrontierNav Weekly: 18 January 2021
- Started working on where to take FrontierNav next. More on that below.
- Upgraded the server. More here.
- Switch over tests to Cypress to reduce maintainance. More here.
- Removed Rollbar in favour of my own error handling to avoid third-party data sharing.
- Added some requested avatars for Xenoblade Chronicles and Torna ~ The Golden Country. Also added Xenoblade 2 DLC avatars.
- Upgraded various dependencies.
This month, FrontierNav has 1 new patron: Matt Rathbun. Thank you!
If you would like to support FrontierNav, please consider donating on Patreon. Doing so helps fund development and keeps the project going.
I've been mostly thinking about where to take FrontierNav this month. I have a rough idea, but it's going to need some iteration to see what's viable. So that's what I'll be working on next. That's not the only thing of course, there are some use cases people have trouble with (like not having a wiki format), but it'll be the main focus.
The main idea comes from something I've already mentioned a few times before, and hinted at in various ways on the "About" page: distributed decentralisation.
One of the core issues with wikis and other forms of data sharing is that it's all centralised. GameFAQs, Fandom/Wikia (any wiki really), Google Docs, and so on. Even FrontierNav right now. If any of those websites or pages go down, it's all gone. Making, sharing and finding backups is difficult so we're reliant on Archive.org to bring up old snapshots that might be out of date or not even work.
FrontierNav has always been built with decentralisation in mind. It will essentially allow anyone to collect data and share it. Take data and modify it. No wiki admins or me saying what's allowed and what isn't. What's correct and what's not. You can technically already do this by saving and opening change requests, but the sharing aspect of it needs work. The hardest part is trying to explain it to people, we've been on centralised web services for a while now, so changing that default model is difficult without clear incentives and intuitive interfaces.
In terms of specific goals, one is to remove the Firebase database and move user data to a similar model to game data. With a shared model, all data can be modified and distributed in the same way. People wouldn't have to log in to track their completion. They'll be able to manage their libraries however they want, which will go on to creating and sharing their own game databases.
Thanks for reading.