The first Pre-Alpha invites have been sent and the live server is up and running!
If you're on the very short friends and family list, you should have received an email with the install link and a Secret Lair Code to create an account.
Getting the live server set up has been a bit of a challenge. While there were a whole slew of little bugs in Miranda's HTTP code that Amazon's web server showed up, by far the biggest difficulty was simply getting the build up on Amazon S3 and Cloudfront
One of the reasons I chose S3 was that it had a tool which would only upload changed files. When you have 100GB of data, transfer time to upload new versions is a pretty big deal. I learned this week that the official AWS Command Line Interface sync command doesn't actually work. It detects changed files by file size only which is worse than useless. Miranda's installer compares MD5 hashes, so it fails when it downloads a file that is not the one it is expecting. Amazon's documentation says that sync can use file times as well, but Miranda's installer says that feature doesn't work either. I'll be looking at the unofficial S3Cmd next. It reportedly supports MD5 hashes for at least some files. If that doesn't work, I'll have to modify Miranda's patcher to spit out the set of changed files to upload. For now, I'm doing the diffs manually (ick!)
That might not seem like a problem that should take a lot of time to work out, but with Amazon's tool not working correctly, every attempt takes at least half an hour to set up.
The upside of all this trouble is that with Amazon giving the installer fits, I was able to find a lot of bugs in Miranda's tools. The installer gained some simple logging and improved error messages. I also fixed a bunch of bugs in the crash reporter -- I've looked at a lot of crash dumps the last few days. One little thing I discovered was that when at the end of the installation it runs Miranda, it would run it as administrator. That's not optimal, so with a little Googling I found ShellExecuteFromExplorer which let me fix that.
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