Rodney's Blog

7th August 2013

Well it's been a while since I've written on here and a few things have changed. Firstly the display of random servers now lasts for a day - three servers are picked at random by a computer and remain on the front page for 24 hours. To qualify for getting picked as a daily random server, your server needs to have an image and good uptime too. The randoms are usually updated at 3pm UK time. The "random" and "reshuffle" buttons are still there for a totally randomised list.
I've now done the first 5 parts of my tutorial on how to write Bukkit plugins, and would be grateful if anyone could give me some feed back.
We've now updated the ping tester to use the latest protocols introduced in Minecraft 1.6. The client behaviour with respect to port numbers has now changed too - if you explicitly put in a port number of 25565 then that's the same as leaving the port number blank - which means the port number and the hostname can infact be override by an SRV record. To account for that I've modified the ping tester to behave the same way. So in short, the website, the Minecraft client and our ping tester now all treat and as being identical.
The ping tester now also detects the server version number where possible. The main reason for doing this is that a lot of people don't come back and update their listing when they've upgraded their server. We're considering removing the "server version" field from the listing form altogether.

1st March 2013

Fixed a bug where the "add to favourites" link doesn't work for featured servers.

5th February 2013

As of now any servers with 0% uptime for the current month will be relegated to the bottom of the list for the default front page view. I think it's only fair that servers that have died are not cluttering up the listings. As soon as a server has appeared on line in the current month it will have equal chance of appearing on the front page of any other servers.

3rd December

We're now running a competition. The 3 servers with the most votes by the end of the day 21st December will get a free featured listing status over the holiday period though until the end of January.
Oh yeah I did some fixes too: you can now upload PNG files and the graphs display properly in Internet Explorer and Safari :)

22nd November - New features!


We now support voting so come and vote for your favourite server! You can vote for up to 3 servers in 24 hours. If your server admin has registered their Votifier key with us you may get an in-game reward for voting.
The home page will still display random servers. You can click "rank" to see the ones with the most votes. Servers with equal number of votes are ranked by up time.
If you are a server admin, don't forget to add your Votifier key and port to your listing(s). If you firewall your Votifier port, then please start accepting votes from (or 2a01:4f8:121:20a2:8000:0:ca70:134c if you're on IPv6).

Ping retries

Ever seen the situation where your minecraft client tells you that your favourite server is down, then you click "refresh" and all of a sudden it's back? Well that's some server-side bug, as far as I can tell. So now, when we ping you to see if you are there, and we find that you're not, we try again, just in case... it's equivalent to your players clicking "refresh". This helps good servers to achieve 100% uptime. (You'll see the full benefit of this in December's stats).

Support for more DNS record types

We now support CNAME, AAAA and SRV record lookups for resolving your server's IP and port. If you don't know what that means, then just ignore this section.
If you do use SRV records then please leave the port number blank in your listing. If the port number is specified explicitly, then the ping tester will not perform an SRV lookup (this is the same behaviour as the minecraft client). If you leave the port number blank and there is no SRV record, the ping tester will use the default port (this is also the same behaviour as the minecraft client).
The Minecraft Wiki is lacking any info regarding how to configure service records for minecraft, so I'm going to add a page to it. I'll post a link back here when it's done.

14th November

Mojang have brought Minecraft 1.4.4 into the world, bringing us the second release in the increasingly confusingly numbered 1.4 trilogy. Loads of bug fixes, which is not surprising as it follows on from a release that brought us loads of new features. Personally I'm still a bit 1.4 naive - I haven't actually found an in-game carrot since the Pretty Scary Update (ie never). Too little time too much to do!

9th November

Due to popular request, we will be adding Votifier soon. Visitors to the site will be able to search by vote-rankings, or just get a random list - it's entirely up to them.

7th November

Running late tonight as I had to do an emergency purchase of a new lump hammer. 12 quid! Seriously.. for a stick and an iron ingot. I wouldn't mind but it was only the stick that needed replacing!

6th November

Yay! Graph functionality now available to the general public!

5th November 2012

Happy bonfine night.
Somebody's written a Bukkit plugin to replace '&' with '§' in the MOTD. lol. Presumably that's for people who can't find Mojang's favourite symbol on their keyboard. Maybe I shouldn't mock, after all we did find that putting the '§' directly in your config file seems to add some unwanted characters too, though it works just fine using [backslash]u00A7 instead. I can see how the '&' might be easier to work with, to be fair.

2nd November 2012

I've got some basic graph functionality going today. Then finished off Friday afternoon with the thankless task of pasting all the known timezone names into an SQL database. Totally managed to miss out Australia!

1st November 2012

November starts with a null pointer exception in the ping tester. Cos Java doesn't have pointers, right? The website is just fine though, it's just the uptime stats haven't been collected for 5 hours. Turns out that SQL threw a wobbler in the middle of the night. Well I've fixed the ping tester now so that if there's an SQL wobbler it just goes "whatever" and goes back to sleep for 10 minutes.
As of this afternoon, we're now recording your maximum number of players in an hour, not just your average. So if between 3-4pm you had an average of 18 players, but a maximum of 30 players... right, now you see.. it feels much better. I can display both of the same graph.

31st October 2012

Happy Halloween! Turns out that Mojang's favourite symbol § is now allowed in the message of the day as a colour control. So loads of colouful MOTDs appearing everywhere - not sure if it's just Bukkit servers though. So due to that, and some other reasons, I've had to make some changes to the ping tester to make it compatible with all the various 1.4 servers I've come across.

30th October 2012

Well we survived the clocks going back, and I've finally done the necessaries to the PHP so the uptime info won't throw a wobbler when the month rolls over. Hopefully.....

25th October 2012

Well it's pretty scary Thursday, and our website is now running, though you still can't read this blog! Meanwhile over at Chilliserver we set up a 1.4 vanilla server. After what happened with 1.3 we're going to wait a bit before upgrading our bukkit server to 1.4. It seems our ping tester (uptime tester) is happy with 1.4 servers anyhow.

24th October 2012

Well welcome to my blog. Not sure when you'll actually be able to read this post. We plan to launch the site on the same day as the pretty scary update. Well thank you to Mojang for putting off the 1.4 release until tomorrow otherwise we deffo wouldn't have been ready.