Category: administrivia

Site maintenance update

My web host dropped support for the version of PHP that the site was running on, so I’ve updated it to a newer version.

This necessitated removal of some old WordPress plugins that had not been updated in a long time and had broken compatibility with the new PHP version.

I redid the Contact form on the site, it is now protected by captcha.

I also updated Google Analytics to work with GA4.

It does seem like these changes have improved site performance some. I haven’t seen any issues with the way content renders now, but some of my older posts from years ago could have broken as a result of the removal of some of the plug-ins. But it can’t be helped. If you happen to find a problem with an article, submit a report to me and I’ll look at it and see what I can do to fix it.

UserWay: Accessibility powerup

Today I discovered UserWay in use on a website I was browsing. I was impressed at the user-configurable accessibility options. I looked into it a bit and found that it’s available as a WordPress plugin, and so I have installed the free version of it. It took less than ten minutes to set up, and most of that time was just reading. I think it’s a great addition to the site. I love that it’s that easy to add accessibility options to any website.

The Accessibility menu is a new feature of this site.

To use it, click on the Accessibility button at bottom left. If you do use it, I’d like to hear from you. Let me know how it works for you, good or bad.

The UserWay menu gives you a bunch of options for customizing your experience with the website to make it easier to use for your specific needs.

Site update

I’ve done a little re-design to the menu for the site. My goal was to make older content more visible to visitors, and to make my projects more visible. I’m not done with this yet, but the first two menus (Game Development Tutorials, Projects) now have sub-entries.  Some of the entries under Projects all leave the site to go directly to where the project page is found on the GameMaker Marketplace, or elsewhere.  This seems to work ok in a desktop browser, however, on mobile or narrow screens the sub-menu entries don’t seem to be visible.  I will have to see what I can do about that. Please report if you have a problem navigating the site.

performance issues

Update: We’re back up.

If you can read this post, congratulations, it means the site is up.

I’ve been noticing a slowdown with page load times over the past few days, which have been getting worse over time. I am attempting to troubleshoot and resolve with my hosting support. My hosting service has confirmed that they are dealing with an issue, and expect to have it resolved in the next day or so.

Until then, the site may be very slow to respond, or even unavailable at times, and you may get timeout errors or other errors. Hopefully we’ll be back up and running fast again soon.

Code snippets and syntax highlighting

I’ve been looking for a decent WordPress plugin to handle syntax highlighting for my code so that it will format neatly. I’ve tried a bunch of them so far, and am still not completely satisfied.


  1. Has to correctly highlight GML syntax.
  2. Should support automatic line numbering
  3. Should work in both <pre> (for correctly-indented code blocks) and <code> (for inline textual elements in the middle of a paragraph that should be formatted as code.
  4. Nice if it treats <code> as an inline tag (this is definable via CSS, but it seems that WordPress’s TinyMCE visual editor will convert the entire paragraph into a <code> element, rather than just the content that is actually selected, making it annoying when you want to include some inline text in the middle of a paragraph and have it formatted as <code>.
  5. The font used for inline <code> tags should be typographically not-ugly when nested inside normal text.

After trying out a number of plugins, I’m currently using WP-Syntax, which seems to be the best out of the plugins I’ve tried so far. Overall this is a very good code formatting/syntax highlighting plugin, but for some reason the every-other-line background coloring doesn’t line up cleanly with each line of code, and it works using <pre> tags only, not <code> tags. WP-Syntax works with a couple other plugins as well, which integrates with the TinyMCE visual editor, and enables me to make a formatted code object downloadable.

I’m still looking for ways to improve the presentation of code, so if you’re reading this and have suggestions, please drop me a comment.

Driven to distraction

Top techy things I’m doing that aren’t game-dev (aside from my day job):

  1. Trying to root my Android device. Mission accomplished.
  2. In order to recover a draft from the local storage on my my WordPress for Android app that got eaten for some reason. Mission accomplished.
  3. Trying to get Chrome to allow me to download root-enabling exploits for my Android device so that I can get root. Mission accomplished.
  4. Temporarily disabling security features on Windows to allow the root-enabling exploits to unpack from their .zip archive and run. Mission accomplished.
  5. Seriously, Google, everyone knows you can root your device, and there are a multitude of legit reasons to do so, it’s open source, open source is supposed to mean freedom, so stop with the forcing people to hack their way into root already. It’s MY device, I paid for it, I’m it’s owner. I shouldn’t need to pwn it to own it. There should be a supported configuration “enable root” that should be all I need to do. It’s totally unacceptable from a freedom standpoint not to have this as a supported feature. By not providing it, you are making yourself an adversary to your customers.
  6. Figure out why when I try to log in to administer this site in Chrome browser on Windows, I get redirected back to the login form, but Firefox and IE don’t have a problem authenticating me. I mean, I have a pretty good idea why, but I just don’t understand why the setting I changed affects Chrome this way, but not IE or FF. Managed to get this one working, at least.

Seriously, I really need a staff of assistants who can do things for me so I can focus on game dev. Doing everything for myself is so inefficient. I wish it were feasible to have underlings. If not a servant class, then at least AI capable of understanding and doing what I want done without me having to spell out every last detail of how. re-homed, now served over https

The site is now running from, and I’ve tested old links from when the site was homed to /rants, and they should redirect automatically to their new location.

As well, the site is now being served exclusively over https. This is an important step toward eventual ecommerce. At present, there are still parts of pages that are not being served over https (ie, images, etc.) and I’ll be taking care of those in the near future so that the entire site is served securely.

Host migration

If you are reading this, it means that DNS transfer has completed successfully, and is now running on its new host. The main benefit to this will be greater uptime. The old host was having a lot of problems in recent months, and the new host should be more stable.

If you should happen to notice any problems with the site, please contact me or leave a comment below, and I’ll look into it.