Its been a while since I’ve made a blog post, or a public update of any kind other than replying to Tweets on the Revera and my personal Twitter accounts. Mostly because after shutting down the TheButcherApps site, I haven’t had a platform to post more than 140 characters on (well, technically I did on the previous version of this site, but before I could perfect the blog system, I decided on this rewrite). So, with this inaugural blog post, I’ll be giving all the updates I wanted to give over the past few months:

Southernerd

As I’m sure you’ve probably noticed (or not, if this is your first time here), my website went under a massive update. Its really more of a network than a set of sites now:

I’m sure you’ve also noticed that this (and the other sites) are a replica/themed after Apple’s website. It all started by experimenting with using Bootstrap in tandem with Jekyll, which then spiraled into my Applenav project. After finishing Applenav, I started playing around with making a test site using Jekyll, and accidentally wound up with the homepage of this site. And, after just over a week of total development time, I have what you see now. Most of the development was done over the last week of summer, the rest was done sporadically during the past few months whenever I wasn’t working on homework.

Prior to the site rewrite, I was working heavily on Revera when I could (though due to a summer of moving from hotel to hotel, I didn’t have much consistent time until the last two weeks). Progress on Revera was significant enough that I figured I should start on paving the way for its release. On top of that, other projects were starting to spin off as a result of Revera’s progress, such as TKMFileManager, and they needed a place for their documentation.

I supposed I haven’t exactly given the question of “Why the Apple replica?” a proper answer. Especially since this is my portfolio site, you’d think I would have opted for a purely original design to show off my graphic design skills. However, I’d like to argue the opposite - I say that the replica is a better display of my graphic design skills. It shows that I’m able to not only adapt to a design standard, but also study, understand, and generate new content for that standard. All of the graphical content on this site is 100% original (aside from the AppleIcons, IonIcons, and FontAwesome glyphs).
From a developer perspective, I also argue that doing the replica also shows off my skills just as much or even better than an original site design. In just over a week of total development time, I was able to replicate the website of one of the world’s largest tech giants using 100% original code (aside from the frameworks). Not just its look, but its functionality - the navbar, when it switches to mobile, font scaling, etc. Apple has an entire team of web developers. I did this entirely by myself.

Aerifex

Aerifex is a ‘psuedo-entity’ created by myself and Cole Schaefer some time ago. I say ‘psuedo-entity’ as I technically don’t have a trademark over the name, and I haven’t published any content under it (yet). We originally planned for it to be an App Store alternative. We took a while to get started, and Cole has since left and started Mojo, an app of the same concept.

My plans for Aerifex have evolved into something much different. It still will have an App Store alternative, but its become much more than that. Its become not only a game studio, but also a record company (this part is in the works) - pretty much the perfect platform for any project I’d like to release that involves more people than myself. Currently, Aerifex consists of myself and Maxime Galliot. We have two games in the works that will hopefully release before Summer.

One part underground app store, one part game studio, and one part record company - be sure to keep your eye on Aerifex.com

Paragon

Paragon is a subsidiary of Aerifex for iOS Tweak development. It was also started by myself and Cole, and Cole even released a few tweaks under it. Current plans are for a full reboot once a jailbreak for iOS 10 is released. On top of that, we plan to have a repo to which developers can submit their own apps, tweaks, or themes that were rejected by the bigger repos, called the Misfit Toys repo. More details on this will be coming soon though.

All in all, I’m very excited for the future of Paragon

Revera

Finally, we have the Revera update. Its been a long time coming, and there’s lots of information that I should probably clarify (all of which could be an entire blog post of its own).

— The Icon Contest

Since the closure of TheButcherApps, I’ve been debating what to do with this. Towards the end of TheButcherApps, the contest was dying anyways, and I have already found a perfect icon from the submissions. But I did promise that the contest would go until shortly before the Revera’s release, and I pride myself on being a man of my word (plus it wouldn’t be fair to any late-comers who may have a better icon idea).

So, here’s what I’ve decided to do: I’m going to leave the contest semi-open up until the beta release. At that point, I’ll officially announce the winner’s of the contest. Until that point, I will be accepting submissions via revera.contest@southernerd.us. However, the current and future submissions won’t be displayed anywhere on this site. I’m currently considering having a page for all submissions on Revera’s upcoming site, but can’t promise anything.

— The Website

I do have a website designed for Revera, but don’t plan to start development until Revera is closer to its initial non-beta release (in fact, I haven’t even bought a domain yet). This site will host all the documentation and tutorials for Revera, on top of the app itself. There will also be a separate blog where all the Revera-exclusive updates will be posted. Until the site is made, all betas will be hosted on a special page on this site and all updates will be posted to this blog.

— The App Itself

And now for the piece you’ve all been waiting for: an update on Revera itself. I didn’t get to work on it as much as I wanted over the summer, on account of all the moving around. However, I did manage to make quite a bit of progress since the last time I posted an update.

I refined the design to perfectly match the most recent concept designs, and to look good on all devices. Additionally, I managed to fix all the UI bugs that plagued the app for quite some time.

I also perfected the file management system (which resulted in TKMFileManager). Now ROM import and deletion work perfectly. Most excitingly, I got the boot animation working. When you launch a ROM, a short boot animation will play (unless turned off in the settings).

Currently, I’m working on perfecting the custom controller skin system, which is going quite well. After this, I have to implement downloads from within the web browser, and then get the emulator core working, which for the first release will be Libretro’s port of Mupen64 Plus, which can be found here.

Over all, progress is coming along quite well. I anticipate much progress to occur during January, with a possible closed alpha shortly after. During the next few months, I hope to be posting a lot more Revera updates.


Whelp that concludes this blog post. I plan to use this blog for much more than just sporadic tech updates, so you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more content here. I have a lot of exciting things that went unmentioned here, as they are still up in the air.

Trust me, this is only the beginning.


~Tom Metzger