Hi everyone 👋
How are you doing?
Part One: Let’s get you up-to-date.
If you’ve been following our activity on our Discord server you’ll know life has been busy.
Last week, we released RocketMap 4.1.0 (click here for full changelog), which included 4 policy updates, 2 breaking changes, 4 new features, 13 enhancements, 6 bugfixes and 3 documentation updates. It was a smooth release and brought some good stuff to RocketMap (especially –dump, which auto-uploads environment information to hastebin.com, for the heroes in our #help chat). We’re happy that all of you were happy!
Our activity is going great, even more than a year later.
We also had some fun with a fan art contest for our resident cow member of the community (“BishCow”, the bish cow). Everyone could submit their own fan art with “BishCow” as primary subject for a chance to win a copy of the Humble THQ Nordic PlayStation Bundle. One of our regulars, “Kartul”, won the contest with the following entry, hand-made by adding hundreds of Miltank (Pokémon) images on Google Maps.
A gallery of all entries is available right here!
Things aren’t always super happy and positive, this time as we decided to disclose that GoMan, a paid service that was being used by some of our users was intentionally breaking their customers’ security and privacy by downgrading HTTPS requests to HTTP to read/modify their clients’ requests.
There was some backlash against the disclosure by some of the service’s users, but the positive support was overwhelming. We’d do it again in a heartbeat, it was the right decision. No ragrets.
Part Two: New & future release.
Since we’re not just a community of BishCow fan artists 😏, we did get more work done! Ha! A moment of complete surprise, I bet you’re staring at your computer screen in unreserved amazement.
🥁 … drum rolls … 🥁
(New) Release One: The Sublimely Magnificent Node.js RM Webserver Mark III.
I’ll admit, the name doesn’t really get across how awesome it is, but I couldn’t come up with a better one.
As with the Sublimely Magnificent Jecht Shot Mark III, there is no revision two, sorry!
The new version is immediately available on the private Gitlab for all “Grapefruit”-rank users on the devkat Patreon.
Compared with the previous version, which was based on Express.js + Sequelize, the new one:
- uses restify instead of Express.js for a REST API-focused structure
- comes with more advanced/configurable logging
- supports HTTPS (yay security!)
- has built-in dtrace support
- now has built-in request throttling (default 5 req./s rate, 10 req./s burst)
- removed Sequelize ORM in favor of the more “raw” approach with node-mysql, improving query performance by removing overhead
The Sublimely Magnificent Node.js RM Webserver Mark III is more efficient than its previous version and has a much better load profile and scaling thanks to the combination of old implementations (e.g. load limiter) with the new (request throttling).
If you’re not sure what the difference between those two is: a load limiter rejects requests when the overall server load is too high: accepting new requests queues more work while server load goes over its limit, leading to permanently delayed responses until the server crashes. Request throttling is a hard limit on the number of requests per second per IP which limits the maximum effect on server load per visitor.
(Future) Release Two: RaidAPI.
We’ve been wanting to do something more for the Pokémon Go community as a whole rather than only improving the technical aspects of devkat and RocketMap, so we’ve decided to work on a RaidAPI.
In short, the RaidAPI is a plug-and-play community raid organization tool.
The RaidAPI library also includes pre-built user interfaces for all actions (sign up to a raid, see a raid’s status or signups, …), served via automatically sized modals to easily support all platforms and devices, even for non-RocketMap websites.
Best of all: this is entirely optional. All internal methods are publicly accessible and can be plugged into any website or user interface.
The RaidAPI will be fully implemented in all RocketMap websites, with an opt-in option. To put everyone’s mind at easy, rest assured we don’t store any of your server’s data (e.g. gyms or raids): we only store the required data to match a user to his/her signup.
Oh, and the data isn’t limited per website!
The RaidAPI is built to work across websites: to share data, and make raid participation global, bringing a more accessible real life community to everyone around the world, on all websites in near real-time.
It’s also entirely free, for everyone!
We’re working on some experiments such as a small banner advertisement at the bottom of our own interface which makes the whole platform self-sustainable so the platform can stay free for everyone, regardless of the amount of visitors. This is still in a very early testing phase, so all options are open.
Last Part: This Thing Called a Digital Nomad.
This part is something I haven’t told a lot of people yet.
Starting next Wednesday (two days from now), I’m starting my journey and leaving my home country (Belgium) permanently.
Yup, it’s finally happening.
There are a lot of things that led me to this point, and even more things that fuel me today, but in order not to bore you to death with a wall of text, I’ll keep it short.
Let’s compare it to what the internet calls “a digital nomad”.
The idea that someone travels from country to country, staying for an undetermined amount of time to learn and live the local culture and finding exactly those things/experiences that you can’t predict beforehand.
Previously, I’ve met some great friends who I’ve learned a whole lot from, and who are still supporting me. I’ve learned from those experiences and today, I want to be open-minded enough to meet peoples from all across the world. I hope to rely on the support they give me to take steps towards a new and exciting future.
I want to learn about the things that I can’t see from my (safe) comfort zone behind my computer at home. To see what I haven’t seen and to be who I haven’t been. To experience who I can be when I let myself.
Regardless of what happens or what I learn, I know that I’ll be happy to be able to look back on everything and say I did my best.
The past months I’ve done a lot of preparation work to make this possible, especially in my freelancing work and by working on my own projects.
I don’t want this to sound too much like a “goodbye” article, so let’s look at the future. When possible, I’m going to share those future moments with you. Whether you’ve been here for a long time or you’re new, I’ll really hope you’ll stick around.
By doing my best, I hope to encourage some of you to take important (yet hard) steps in your own life that might be holding you back. And if you have your own stories to tell, I hope you’ll share them with me as well via the comments on this article, via email or even via Twitter (@SebVercammen).
The first stops are: Sofia, Bulgaria (next Wednesday, 18/10), followed by Reykjavík, Iceland, and Vienna, Austria. These places will take up the next few months, and we’ll decide on new areas as time goes on – I want to be able to stay long enough to have experienced the local life.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I’m excited.
As always, devkat and RocketMap will continue to be maintained and updated.