As some of you noticed, I have been on a longer-than-usual break from working on Deep Island; this is the first time this year that I am checking the GoW forum and going through my Uru inbox. This is because I had a super busy start of the year with job applications and more travel than you would expect during Covid. The good news is that the job application part is over, and I will become a professor later this year.
The bad news, however, is that my time available for Uru is only going to decrease as my professional responsibilities increase. I hope I can still spend 1h once a month on updating some ages when updates arrive in my inbox, but even that I cannot promise unfortunately -- it might be even longer between updates, like it has been for the last few months.
At the same time, I can see in the statistics that Shard usage has increased notably around March 2020 (no idea why ). I don't plan to shut the server down as that would be a great loss IMO, and it currently mostly "just runs" without me having to do much maintenance. It's only updating ages that consumes significant time. I would say updating an existing age is usually around 10-15min, adding a new age around 15-30min of work. (That is assuming the age is in "perfect shape" and passes all the checks. Unfortunately failing updates do happen regularly; this is totally okay since some failure conditions are hard for age writers to predict, but it does take time and it usually means another update to fix the failure.) Age writers are not as active as they used to be, but gladly some are still quite active, so this adds up.
So, what does that mean? Well for now it means age updates are going to be rolled out less frequently than in 2020/2021. But it also means I could really use some help to do these age updates! Unfortunately the way it currently works, I am not sure what is the best strategy for sharing that work between multiple people. But still, it is worth asking -- would someone here be willing and able to help with these updates? That would probably require a certain amount of "computer-saviness"; updating an age involves putting files into a strict folder hierarchy, running a Python script, handling errors the script might show, and then uploading the output files with rsync. To update UAM, and XML file has to be edited (some bash scripts to parts of the work, but a bit of manual editing is still required). If those are words in a foreign language for you, then you probably won't be able to help here -- which is totally okay of course, this kind of tech stuff is not for everyone. But if you do recognize all these things and have experience with that kind of work, and have some spare time to help run Deep Island, then please reach out and we can try to figure out a way to spread this work over multiple shoulders. I'd love to see Deep Island continue to thrive, as it has been for more than 12 years now.