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(01/12/2022) Jappleng Development Journal #1
(This is the thread's starting post)
OG Jappleng
GM
Ninja
//Ogjappleng
Posted 126 days ago... Menu Button
Greetings everyone! This is OG Jappleng, the sole developer of well -- Jappleng.

This is the first edition of the Jappleng Development Journal where I will be talking about various things that have been happening such as events, development, releases and upcoming patch updates. Before we begin, I would like to wish you all a happy new year and hope that this year will treat you well!



The "New Jappleng" and the Current Jappleng
You may have come to Jappleng and wondered why things haven't changed in some time or perhaps the site looks pretty good but it's fairly broken. That is because there is a new version of Jappleng being developed without adding new updates to this version of the website.

When I had released this edition of Jappleng early last year, it was well received but had many complaints regarding what the website was about, how to navigate around it and well, the bugs. I was already burnt out and had exhausted my last bit of steam to get to that point and needed a well deserved vacation while I plan out how exactly can my vision of this project be properly placed onto this website. At first I had difficulties with this concept, it was hard because people would come to Jappleng and not understand what it was about or how to even use it. It was clearly a lack of planning that caused this and I apologize.

Fast forward to September, I had come up with a solution but this solution required another remake. This is the "New Jappleng" as mentioned in the headline. Cracking the code wasn't easy but I'm happy to say that everything makes sense now. There will be no remake after this, it's the Last Chance at publishing this project in hopes it will be enjoyable.

I hope that the vision that I have for this project is well received and can spark a fantastic community when it becomes available.



Notable Changes With the New Jappleng

This thread would be quite large if I had to write everything that has been changed. There has been a complete rewrite of the entire project (almost) and it has taken since September to reach to where it is now. I will compile a short list of notable changes that you should expect to see when the New Jappleng is released.

  • The Design is mostly different and vastly improved
  • The Dashboard is now something that appears full-screen when you click on your avatar, it gives you immediate access to a lot of things, it's wonderful! It took a whole month to complete due to the IMChat integration.
  • Improved caching and other optimizations have been maded to just about everything, making the website super fast!
  • Jappleng has already been migrated over to the new server hardware but it doesn't have the new software. This will happen when I upload the New Jappleng.
  • A complete revision of the IMChat has been made, it's wholly different and amazing! There are so many fantastic features added to it. If you love to chat, this will really excite you!
  • Jappleng TV is a feature included as part of the Dashboard but is currently mainly used in the IMChat. Simply post videos from YouTube and add to queue. Join others with the fun! I have even made a playlist system to manage what you are listening or watching with control buttons.
  • Memory leaks have been fixed, at least the known ones
  • J-Spot Social has been re-written and redesigned. It is functioning as it should. No more problems scrolling, no more problems with new messages -- live post update while viewing threads, threading has been fixed and so much more.
  • Achievements, Notifications and other related features have been added and completely redone. This is important because of the way the previous system worked, it would break due to complications and could not operate efficiently.
  • Search system has been upgraded and is much better. Image results are fantastic and both regular and image search uses an infinite pagination system. Relevancy has been improved.
  • Education system has been overhauled
  • Club system has been overhauled
  • Forum system has been overhauled
  • It's possible to embed links by pasting them into your post. This will auto-convert whatever you are posting given it has support for it. For instance, youtube support.
  • The sticker system is now a part of the publishing process. If you have unlocked a sticker, you can use that sticker in your post. Each sticker has their own function. For instance, a magic 8 ball sticker will allow you to embed it in your post, giving it a permanent RNG reponse to what you are asking it. There are many other stickers to collect and of course considerable thought was added for the RP community.
  • Various improvements made to the apps provided on the site
  • Yokai Trainers Development build has been taken offline due to the fact that other priorities are ahead of it since it's a fairly big browser game
  • Completed the Vocabulary Tracker
  • Dozens of new items added to the Jappleng Market (Redeemable with J-Coins)
  • Booster Items have been developed and implemented where they can be used to buff users for a variety of reasons such as earning more XP or J-Coins per post
  • Many new user related features have been added including Online Status (Online/Away/Want to chat/DND/Invisible/Offline), avatar cover designs, avagar background design (for J-Spot), and more
  • Friends system will be limited, meaning you will have to expand your friends list using unlockable items. A hard cap will be put into place at the release. This is intended to improve community friendship rather than people making accounts for the sake of a popularity contest. We're not Twitter or Facebook. We wish to be above them where friends really are friends.
  • Personal Statistics have been added, meaning what you know, what you don't know about Japanese and Japan will be more obvious.
  • Leaderboards have gotten an improvement, in the future I would like to have leaderboards as part of the "My Stats" page with competitive tournaments and prizes
  • Forums will be re-organized which will also include a new asian wave category since Japan is popular but other places in asia have also grown in popularity and perhaps there are many hailing from those regions who wishes to speak about their culture or Japan
  • If you're offline you will know, it will inform you so you can re-connect or at least know that you were disconnected
  • 8k, 5k, 4k, 2k, 1080p, 720p, Tablet and Mobile phone support. Please keep in mind that there is no mobile app (yet) so your mileage may vary. I will try to improve it whenever there's feedback. Jappleng is intended for PC use and you will be missing out on a lot of features if you are using mobile. However, mobile is better than nothing and an app will take time to make. If Jappleng succeeds and people use it, then I'll look into building a dedicated app for Android and iOS. smile
  • Thread/Post creation is much better. I redid how the parsing works and "it just works". Oh, no-- I've cursed it haven't I?
  • All of the Jappleng family logos have been redesigned
  • Roadmap for the year ahead and other projects as part of Jappleng has been developed
  • Significant changes to other parts of the site such as registration, login, user settings/profile, etc... Has been made.
  • There are so many other changes that have been made; it feels like an entirely new website and it's great!


Monetization

Jappleng has never monetized itself and it likely never will with ads. In the future, I would love to add the ability for people to purchase tokens which can be exchanged for J-Coins. Hosting Jappleng is expensive, and my time is also valuable so it's a big donation of my time to volunteer for this project. I have other for-profit projects that I'm working on but for the past 15-years that Jappleng has existed and evolved, I always wanted it to be as free as it could be. Even when I had no money to myself and could only eat ramen noodles, I was still spending over $100 a month for hosting alone.

I think that putting the option there as a voluntary thing is worthwhile. I want to avoid paywalls as much as possible but it would be nice if I could possibly even turn this into a career even. Imagine teaching Japanese, studying the culture and writing editorials about them -- creating new learning games and other fun things. It sounds like a dream job to me. But I don't expect funds to be that grandoise and rather hope that what people "donate" is enough to cover hosting and other costs associated to it.



Building the community

I know that hardly anyone participates on Jappleng anymore. Many have left for good because it's been a very long development process. In the coming weeks when I finish this project (less than 2 weeks most likely), I will release the new site on the new server software and begin informing the world about this project including sending out an e-mail to everyone already registered.

Hopefully, in the near future we can all come to Jappleng to socialize about the things that we love about Japan and other asian wave topics. Until next time!
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