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February 2022 update
Published on February 9, 2022 by Andre Garzia

Hi Friends,

This update has been delayed for a while, sorry. I was trying to fix some stuff to make this update more interesting, but I couldn't do it in time.

As mentioned in the previous update, I took sometime off to rest and try to get myself in a good mental health state before going back to work. I burn out quite easily unless I take very pro-active steps towards mitigating it. But enough about me, let's talk Patchfox!

I made two releases in January with some small visible fixes and a ton of invisible work. The highlight from these releases are:

  • New preferences settings that let the user configure font sizes for message composition and the interface separately. I wear reading glasses, so this is a self-serving update.
  • Bug fixes to the blog composition workflow. Thumbnails are working again.
These may look like small quality-of-life updates, and they are, but remember that I released them during my time off. I was not supposed to be working.

The current work is solely focused in supporting both go-ssb and browser-ssb. I expected this to be a smooth ride now that Patchfox has an API to do branching and configuration based on server type. What I didn't expect was to reach the file size limits of Firefox Add-on Portal.

Patchfox bundles are too large


Firefox Add-ons Portal will only accept JS files up to 5mb. If you have a file larger than that, the portal rejects the update. This has happened before and caused me to split Patchfox into two bundles: SSB API and Add-on. Both of them are very close to the file size limit, but they served me for more than a year now. The loading process loads the SSB API, plugs it into window.ssb and the add-on uses it.

Supporting the other server types requires me to duplicate the original SSB API for each new platform and tweak its internals. I did that and assembled them all into the same bundle, but the end result was 5.1mb and AMO rejected the add-on.

I'll have to rework the bundles and loading to fix this before I can resume working on supporting the new server types. There is no automatic file splitting happening, it is a manual process of deciding where things go and how to load them. Maybe I'll try some fancy browserify transform to automagically solve this, I'm exploring different solutions. Anyway, this is a blocker and I need solve before moving on.

I hope to have better news soon, and keep an eye on #patchfox on SSB, I'll keep posting brief updates there.

Thanks a lot for your continuing support
SoapDog
 
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