Why is it that whenever you set a deadline the universe conspires to make you miss it? I just spent the entire day trying to track down one stupid bug in about 5000 lines of code. Yesterday was equally fruitless. The trouble is that people get impatient. They want to know when something will be ready. Even I want to know when it will be ready!

The answer to that question, when it comes to coding at least, is the proverbial “how long is a piece of string?”. It will be done when it is done. All being well that could be two days. If there are lots of stupid bugs that take forever to find, it could be three months. There is literally no way to predict these things. I have 30+ years of commercial software development experience but all that gives me is a sense of how much work is required to write the code, and even then it’s a guess. I cannot tell anyone, including myself, how long it will take to test and debug. Nobody can.

The major issue with this project is the sheer scale of the thing. This is not some quick fix to store a couple of teleport locations, it is the first real use of a big networked solution that has been in development for months and will power a marketplace, rentals, places to visit, and much more. To avoid overloading the database with thousands of different devices pinging it every minute, all of the remote devices like warehouses, rentboxes, TP2.me pads and sticks, teleport boards, networked posters, radio controllers, etc., use a complex system of “subscriptions” to get updates, but also need semi-regular pings in case they are offline and miss an update. That’s the bit I have been trying to find a bug in today. It’s big, complicated, and like looking for one needle in a needle factory.

So the long and short of it is that I am still working really hard, I have fixed some bugs, and it will be ready as soon as it can be. That might be first thing next week or at the end of month. Keep your paws crossed for easy short bits of string so I am some hair left at the end of it!

Real life getting in the way again, but the extra time let me find a better trick for keeping the teleport “sticks” right up to date. I want to get the TP2 HUD and the teleport boards done for the launch too, so I am delaying the TP2.me launch until the weekend. Apologies for the extra week but those who know me will know I want to get things right before I release stuff.

Forgive the pun but it was irresistible!

We are into March and I am feeling the frustration at further delays, but this month is all about releases. There’s still some work to be done on the delivery side of the marketplace – it’s a lot more complex than you might think! – but I don’t want to hold things up any further, so I am taking a staged approach to releases.

The TP2.me system will be released this week, which will allow merchants to define self-updating locations for their store (and departments if appropriate), as well as hopefully raising some much needed funds! You aren’t obliged to use that system, the marketplace allows you to enter locations manually, but it is a cool way to keep your locations up-to-date.

Then next week will see the marketplace launch in “catalog” mode, which is to say that all merchants will be able to list their products and direct people to their stores/departments to buy those products in-world.

I have a good solution to the remaining delivery issues, so the rest of the marketplace functionality will be released later this month, but this way you folks get to set up your products and get using the rest of the system in the meantime.

Keep an eye out for release notices later this week.