Category Archives: Websites

Goodbye Sociable Plugin

I disabled the “Sociable” plugin because it was littering every post with a ton of buttons that just advertised social media sites. You don’t need to see that crap and neither do I. Time has proven that social media is almost entirely valueless anyhow. In ten years nobody will even remember that there was a Google plus.

Back Online

The Basternae site is back online after being gone for six months.   The MUD is also back online at port 4502.

Tiu Has Killed The Dragon

Brave Tiu was one of the first adventurers to sally forth on the quest to kill the dragon in Dragon Wilds.

A whole village worth of corpses and some bugfixes later, the dragon lies dead at his feet.  Congratulations, Tiu, on being the first one to win the game.

New Game: Dragon Wilds

I built this oldschool over-the-2400-baud-modem game in my spare time over the past week using Python and Django (it’s about 500 lines of source code, 500 lines of HTML templates). I don’t know whether I’m going to spend more time on it, but it was fun to build and a nice break from the to-complex-to-work-on-with-the-brainpower-I-have-left-after-work state Basternae 3 is in. If people like it I’ll probably make more of them or improve the existing game. First time I’ve done a web-only game.

Let me know if you can break it. As can be expected, there’s really not that much depth to it and you may well get tired of it quickly.

Opera: My New Favorite Browser

For the longest time Firefox has been my favorite browser, with Internet Explorer second.  Firefox was the most user-friendly and where FF didn’t work very well or crashed, IE was always a reliable fallback.  I don’t mean IE6.  That was an exploding turd.

Other than consuming more memory and CPU, over the past few years Firefox hasn’t really improved at all.  It hasn’t become more user-friendly, more stable, or more fun to use.  That’s not really a problem — it’s always been perfectly usable — but it’s left room for other browsers to pass them up.

Well, not everyone is as inept as the developers of Konqueror.  Doing some memory and CPU benchmarking for work led me to try a few browsers I hadn’t spent any time with before — Opera, Safari, Seamonkey, Aurora, Epiphany, etc.  For the most part they were just your average Webkit-based or Gecko-based cookie-cutter browsers without much going for them.  Except Opera.

I only spent a little while with it, but for the purposes of the project I was working on, it was the most consistent across operating systems (Linux, Windows, MacOS), most consistently standards-compliant , and most reliable.  I used it enough that I got used to the interface, which is nice because it just gets the hell out of the way and leaves plenty of room for the sites its displaying.  Even better, the behavior and options (open in new tab vs. open in new background tab, search bar has ‘paste and go’ option, etc.) cater precisely to the way I want to use the web.

I really like the Internet Explorer 9 beta and it’s better than any IE yet, but it doesn’t make the greatest use of screen real estate.

I’m sold on Opera.  I’ve made it my primary because it’s the best choice if you use multiple operating systems.

Fun With XSL

One of the good things about having data stored in XML files is that you can use XSL stylesheets (templates) to format the data into HTML.

I created two basic templates, one for races and one for classes, and linked them to the data files used by the MUD. They don’t have any fancy formatting, but they do display the data in a Human-able format.

The result is that the class and race webpages link to the data files being used by the MUD. This means that you can view info about each race and class exactly as it’s being loaded. If we change something in the data file, such as adding a new spell or adjusting a race’s dexterity, the web page that is displayed is updated automagically.

This means that the pages for each race/class will essentially maintain themselves. Neat, eh?

Stories And Lore

Basternae 1 and 2 had a huge number of total hours played.  Lots of players rose to prominence and some became pretty much legendary.  With all that adventure

If anyone wants to write up any fairy tales, legends, or lore of the past based on previous incarnations of Basternae and either characters of their own, past immortals, or others they knew of, it might be a fun thing to  post on the website as backstory or just general world lore (i.e. something along the lines of ‘St. Daeron and the Dragon’.  In fact, if someone feels so inclined to write any sort of back story beyond ‘everyone kills everyone’, they’re certainly welcome (and encouraged) to.

The world of Basternae 3 takes place somewhere between a few hundred and a few thousand years in the future after Basternae 2.  Among other things, the Flind race has faded out and have been overtaken by their more successful Gnoll cousins and the Githyanki have hunted the Githzerai nearly to extinction.  The world has been reformed somewhat, with rising water levels reshaping or destroying many of the land masses of the past (nobody has explained why they rose yet — global warming, superheating from a major war, bombardment by meteors, change in the planet’s orbit, who knows?).  The Artifacts have all been destroyed or reclaimed by the gods.

Nobody has really ever said anything about the major religions of the world, the number of moons, what the climate is like.  I could probably come up with something, but it would be more fun to have your input.

Checking Process Status With PHP

I am not a PHP programmer. I do not know PHP. That doesn’t mean I can’t use it. Here’s a snippet I threw together to check whether the MUD process is running:

$cmd = "ps u -C 'mono Basternae.exe'";
exec($cmd, $output, $result);
if( count($output) >= 2 )
  Print $output[0];
  Print $output[1];
  print "Basternae 3 is not currently running.";

You can try it here:

Domain For Sale:

At one point I owned 40 domains.  I’m gradually reducing that number, selling off or otherwise parting with those that I don’t have the time/energy/resources to build properly.  One of those that may be of interest is

It’s for sale on eBay right now, and you’re likely to be able to get a pretty good deal on it.

It would be an excellent domain to use for hosting a MUD server, a MMORPG, or a related subject of interest to the loyal Basternae 3 blog readers.

Website Grader

HubSpot has a website SEO grader at It tells how well a site is optimized for search engines.

I ran half a dozen of my websites, including, through the grader. Basternae’s score was 69% (second lowest of the six). That’s only a D+, not so great.

The nice thing is that it pointed out a few tags that I could change to improve the grade, so we’ll see whether the score goes up after the adjustments.

Of course, search engine optimization isn’t particularly relevant for this site — people who are looking for Basternae are going to find it easily.