Full-stack dev

Developing ContentDB

In 2018, I had the opportunity to create a web app for University coursework, as a solo project. I chose to create a package repository for Minetest, an open-source project I help maintain.

Minetest is an open-source game engine with millions of downloads and thousands of weekly players. The project has a very active modding community, and many available games to run. There was one big issue - you had to manually install mods and games by unzipping their files into a directory. This was a very poor user experience.

Securing Markdown user content with Mozilla Bleach

Markdown is a common choice for rich text formatting due to its readability and ease-of-use. Unlike a lot of markup, it aims to match natural text. It’s even easy for beginner users, and there are WYSIWYG editors available.

We will be using the Python Markdown library to convert Markdown to HTML. Markdown doesn’t have a well-defined standard. The library aims to comply with what little is defined by the Markdown syntax specification, meaning that it is also often stricter than other parsers.

Using HTTPS with Github Pages and a Custom Domain

Github pages is a very convenient way to host both personal websites, and project websites. Websites are linked to a git branch or repo, and update when pushed too. Github pages supports custom domains as well! Whilst Github Pages supports HTTPS for github.io websites, it does not support HTTPS when using a custom domain.

However, we can use a proxy server to allow us to use a custom domain with HTTPS! Both the connection between the client and the proxy server, and the proxy server and Github will be secure.

Whilst you lose the advantage of Github’s CDN, you still have the following advantages:

  • Websites are linked to a git repo, and you don’t have to worry about pulling changes and rebuilding the sites yourself.
  • Storage space is saved on the server.

Please note, GitHub pages now has built in support for HTTPS

Stop JavaScript Promises Swallowing Exceptions

It’s very hard to debug a crash when no stack traces are printed. It becomes a case of manually trying to find the error.

GET /foo/bar/
Doing something useful
Error: Expected } near ;

ES6 promises doesn’t seem to offer the functionality to change this, and bluebird has on[Possibly]UnhandledRejection, which can only be used if you don’t add a .catch() case to the promise. There is no global callback for a rejection unless it’s unhandled. To workaround this, we’re going to need to override the method which runs the callbacks. This is a little hacky, and relies on the library not changing - but it’s better than swallowing errors.

Getting user profile data from external phpBB forums

I recently wrote and released a python module to allow fetching of profile data.

You can install it using pip:

pip install beautifulsoup4 phpbb-parser

Here’s how you import and use a profile:

import phpbb_parser as parser

username = "rubenwardy"
profile = parser.get_profile("https://forum.minetest.net", username)

if profile:
    signature = profile.signature.text
    location = profile.get("location") or "unknown"
    github = profile.get("github") or "none"

    print(username + " from " + location + " has github " + github)
    print("Signatue: " + signature.text)
else:
    print("Could not get profile!")

profile.signature is a beautifulsoup4 object.

Next: Linking a user account to an external phpBB forum.

Employee Task Management System

I was contacted by a client to create a system which calculates the workload for employees based on their assignment to tasks and appointments. The system needs to solve two problems: Firstly, different staff members work different numbers of hours, which makes it hard to allocate tasks fairly and proportionally. Secondly, the client wanted to use the system to analyse past workloads and to anticipate future workload, in order to improve her system of work.

3D Projection

Hello 2015! Recently I have created an implementation of the 3D projection algorithm. It is just wireframe models. It works pretty well, except it doesn’t do frustum culling. You still see things that are behind you, but upside down.

The source code of this implementation is available under the WTFPL or CC0 licenses - you can choose which one you want to use. Use WASD to move, arrow keys to rotate, space to ascend and shift to descend.