Over the past few days, the BleemSync development team has been putting efforts to organize and visualize the future of the project. While some things have yet to be ironed out and there surely will be some growing pains, things are looking promising.
The Release of BleemSync 1.0.0
We entered the beginning of 2019 with the introduction and pivot of BleemSync from a simple tool to add games on the PlayStation Classic to, well, essentially the same thing. However, at its core from the framework it’s built on to the developers that support it, a solid foundation was set. With that foundation, BleemSync 1.0.0 hit the scene with a fresh new UI, completely rewritten payload, and greater support for the classic games we love. Most feedback received was positive, and nearly all criticisms were respectful. Being a couple months into a large undertaking, that should be seen as a win.
On January 27th the team met to discuss some growing pains that surfaced upon the development and integration that led to 1.0.0. As such with any open source project, miscommunication and lack of organization reared its ugly head pre-launch and the team agreed that some changes needed to be made. To summarize:
- The project is now being organized within GitHub’s project management tools
- Development schedules and timelines are no longer to be established
- The end user experience is the main focus of the project
Development Cycles, Responsibilities
Due to many moving pieces and the modular framework that BleemSync is built upon, the integration of the UI and the payload made it apparent that development cycles and deadline promises are nothing but stress-induced nightmares for a team of volunteers. As such, releases will be constructed of hotfixes and incremental features that will benefit the life of the project. Some releases may be minor and may only consist of hotfixes, others may take longer but include large swaths of new toys to play around with.
The timeline on these releases will seem fuzzy at first, but you can always check our project boards to see what the next release may look like and what features are being considered for future builds. If you ask a team member if a certain feature is going to be in a future build or ask when the next release is going to be available, don’t be surprised when your question is responded with a “I’m not sure.” Software development takes time, and if the end user experience is number one priority, then we want to make sure what is handed to you is something that the team is proud of.
As a broken record might say, user experience is the number one priority of the project. Everyone on team is passionate about classic games, but we recognize that enjoying those classic games is not necessarily easy. Even with original hardware. As such, BleemSync is built on a foundation of flexibility and adaptiveness.
On a technical level, BleemSync is built on a framework that allows for the use of plugins and extensions. Currently, the PlayStation Classic implementation is essentially a generic game manager with a plugin loaded that dictates how games get organized for use on the system. Other implementations for other systems can be built with relative ease. Those other systems are yet to be fully decided upon, but there are a couple within the team’s scope.
Pairing BleemSync is what we are referring to as BleemSync Central. As of right now this contains PlayStation game info that gets scraped by each BleemSync install when a game is added. This automatic metadata feature will play a huge part in what the project will become, and as such it will be receiving some focus as well. As it stands now the data is mostly accurate with a few outliers. There are plans to expand this separate entity from a simple API that the client hits to a crowd-sourced database where users can add and edit information. More information will be come at a later date, but development may or may not coincide with the base BleemSync project.
Finally, the actual implementation of BleemSync will be pivoting. As of right now, BleemSync runs directly on the PlayStation Classic and an RNDIS connection (think of it like Ethernet over microUSB) allows access via a web browser to the application running on the system. For various reasons not apparent until after the integration with the payload, the UI will be moving from on-device to the desktop OS. This will also satisfy issues that are currently blocking BleemSync from working with OTG configurations. Instead of waiting for your system to boot, ensuring the correct drivers are installed, waiting some time for the application to come up, you will instead just need to launch the BleemSync application and insert your USB drive.
On behalf of the team, I personally would like to thank all the users so far for their patience and feedback. As mentioned previously, we are still very close to the original release date of the PlayStation Classic and the scene has exploded. What started as a simple project to fix the largest issue with Sony’s microconsole has resulted in a large community effort to create an easier and better experience for managing games. We’ve got a lot of talent on board and we’re aiming high, but I think we’ve got what it takes. If you would like to follow along, I invite you to participate in the Discord and subreddit.
Are you a developer and you want to help out? Please hit up any of the team members, submit a pull request, help out with the issues, whatever you can.
Additionally, thank you to our supporters via donations and Patreon. You have kept the servers chugging along and graciously let us use you as our guinea pigs in our hour of need 🙂
To close, I would like to thank the following people (in no particular order other than sort -> alphabetical) for their work and dedication thus far:
- CompCom (I didn’t forget you this time)
- libretro Team
- Patton Plays
If I have forgotten anybody, I apologize. Let me know and I will catch you next time!
Pat Hartl (DoctorDalek)