Weekly Report is going to be a new series of blog posts giving an update of what I did in the current week. The aim is to share what I've done and also to help me appreciate and compare my acheivements.
While there will be FrontierNav-related updates in this series. They'll also contain unrelated updates related to my other projects. If you just want FrontierNav updates, you can wait for the monthly FrontierNav Progress Reports.
Added types/labels/categories to search. For example, you can now search for "Blades" and see a list of all Blades.
Improved behaviour of map features to reduce noise. Now certain features will only appear when you're on a relevant page. For example, when viewing an item page, you'll see features indicating the spawn points of enemies that drop the item.
All map features now show a "check" icon when their target is marked as completed.
One of the oldest feature requests for FrontierNav was to have a community forum. A place to ask questions and network with other users. I've finally decided to introduce this feature, albeit in a primitive state.
Why does FrontierNav need a forum?
FrontierNav's focus has mainly been to introduce interactive guides (e.g. maps) for games that aren't available on other websites. However, there are other ways FrontierNav can improve a user's experience. One of them is the question and answer flow.
So you've decided to create a forum... using Firebase. Let's go through the entire process. This guide assumes you already have some knowledge using Firebase so it's mainly focused around modeling the data to work with Firebase's limited access controls.
Unlike traditional databases, Firebase's Real-time Database is accessed directly from the browser by users. This allows real-time push updates whenever the data changes without the user needing to manually reload.
Data is written individually by users. A user can attempt to write into the database, and the database can say who's allowed to write there and restrict the data with simple rules. For example, "a property can only be changed by User A and it must be a number".
However, due to the nature of Firebase, it cannot enforce complex rules. For example, "you can only add a new post if you haven't created a post in the last minute". This generally requires going through all posts for a given user and finding the timestamp of the most recent one. Not possible in Firebase.
FrontierNav is now open source! I've spent most of the month planning this switch over and thinking about what it means for the project going ahead.
By virtue of being open source, I'll be more open about priorities and plans. There's an Issue Tracker for feature requests, planned changes and bug reports. I've also written some documentation for people to get started so that they can make their own code contributions.