Anaeax – an overdue update

So it’s been awhile and I figure I owe the twos of y’all actually interested in this game an update.

tl;dr: NOT DEAD. NOT DEAD. NOT. DEAD.

Long version:

For now, the plans for a Kickstarter are scuttled–the project’s still trundling along but the going has been slow due to scheduling issues. Peter’s got a gig, I just switched jobs, and Tida had to duck out for a little while in order to take care of some stuff. Even with a Kickstarter it’d be hard for us to take off to work on this full-time, so the day jobs come first.

As far as actual dev goes, my new job’s been taking a lot out of me lately and I haven’t been able to make the progress I’d have liked to this summer. (The job and that “outside” thing. Maybe I should move somewhere where it isn’t gorgeous all summer.) That said, things are progressing okay and I’ve got a handle on that end of things. Over the last week I’ve started in on the final draft of the script and overall game design doc; I wasn’t satisfied with the last draft and am tying up all my loose ends as I go. I expect to have that done by the end of September, which probably means mid-October because The Job Is Eating My Entire Life, and we’ll see where we can go from there.

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to write something up soon about the final-final iteration of the tech stack (no seriously, this works and it’s cool), the open-source release of the core tools that we’re using (very much related), and maybe a little thing about some games I’ve been studying and how they’ve influenced the design of Anaeax.

Oh, and swankyrobot.com forwards here for now because updating two blogs is beyond my superhuman powers of typery. Blogs, man.


Docker Web Proxy with SSL support

So Mesos is pretty cool, but it isn’t a universal solution. Not much reason to run it as a singleton cluster, for example, so this blog is running on a Linode running all its apps in Docker containers. This is new to me, but the upside is that it’s new to everybody else too—Docker’s still pretty new and there’s a lot of green field to play with in the containerization space. While there’s that sense of openness there’s also very little to suggest what the Right Course Of Action really is. Sometimes you gotta get inventive

Speaking of inventivity, I found myself needing a way to route HTTP requests to Docker containers based on vhosts. This isn’t a new problem to have, and Jason Wilder has a neat proxy container written in Go. I needed something that could handle HTTPS as well, though. I tried extending that container to do what I wanted, but I learned two things along the way.

  • Go’s templating options are Not Ready For Prime Time. Compared to ERB, it’s straight-up miserable.
  • The list of things I would rather do than use Go is not small and includes scenarios that involve nailing pieces of myself to other pieces of myself.

Enter docker-web-proxy, which I put together while I was on vacation in Maine this week. It’s a simple Ruby-based app that polls Docker for connections and splats out the appropriate nginx config before SIGHUP’ing the service; arguments are passed via the env vars given to the containers that need to be made visible. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, or HTTPS with HTTP forwarding, and optionally supports forwarding www.example.com to example.com if that there’s your thing.

After doing some nontrivial work with Docker, I’ve come around to the opinion that Docker would really benefit from a way to tag containers dynamically at runtime—think AWS—without bringing in something like etcd or Consul (my own personal favorite in this space, HashiCorp is cool people). I get the argument for separation of concerns, but, ehh.


So, part one of this little getting-acquainted with Mesos left me with one (1) Mesos server, running apps in an app-ish sort of way via the Marathon framework. Which is cool. But there’s a lot of places to go from here.

I could install additional frameworks onto the box, if I wanted–I could bolt in Chronos to give me a cron replacement or I could wire up Spark to map and reduce things on HDFS. But those aren’t really interesting to me, not least because I don’t have any jobs that have a burning need to run at 3AM, nor do I have a few terabytes of interesting data lying around to gnaw on. So instead I’m going to stick with Mesos and see what I can do about expanding my little cluster past a singleton server.
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A Virtual Mesos Cluster with Vagrant and Chef

So, blog reboot, like, thirty-four. I’m bad at blogs. But this time, I come bearing neat stuff to talk about, so maybe this’ll stick.

Anyway, since starting at Localytics in Februmarch or so, I’ve found myself thrown into a bunch of new-ish stuff. My prior ops experience was much more “developer moonlighting as a sysadmin”, rather than buzzword-compliant DevOps Ninja Powers. At Localytics I’ve been leveling those up pretty quick, though, and there’s some fun stuff I’d like to talk about a little. But we need to figure out what we want to make public first, and it’ll probably end up on the company blog before it ends up here, so I’m going to natter on a bit about something I’m doing in my spare time: setting up a Mesos cluster and populating it with apps for a side project or two.
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