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I've been hearing good things about Firebase recently and while I signed up for the beta a while back and played around with it a bit I haven't been able to figure out a use for it related to the development that I do...UNTIL NOW.

So Firebase bills itself as "a scalable real-time backend for your app." What this means to us Sphere developers is that we theoretically can use pure JavaScript to interface with and update a real-time database. A high scores table? Done. Online multiplayer game that keeps track of everyone's everything? Easy. Chatroom? Real-time. Logging? Why not? Want to save arbitrary objects like an on-the-fly created spriteset? You can!

Maybe someone here more intrepid than myself can figure out a use for Firebase within their Sphere project that's not covered by the above short list. If someone here uses Firebase within a Sphere project let us know in this thread! It's free while in beta, has low rates after, AND apparently each month $20 in free credit is given.
Right now, the Sphere source distribution is a mishmash of the engine, the editor, and the configurator. I think this was one of the key points preventing new devs from coming in and contributing to any particular aspect of the thing. Radnen's concentration on a new editor and Flying Jester's concentration on re-engineering the engine to use V8 JavaScript instead of SpiderMonkey JavaScript proved that if focus is applied to one aspect of the overarching Sphere project then devs of any decent experience level can come in and contribute something worthwhile that gets finished (or as close to finished as we're going to have).

While there are some interdependent parts between the three apps, I believe the logical move to advance development of the engine, and inevitably the project as a whole, is to split up the source, therefore split the repo into three. Once alpha123's advancement of the base Sphere engine to version 1.7 is complete and gold, such a project separation will be instituted to allow implicit focus on development of a particular portion of Sphere to happen. I'm creating empty repos on and anyone who wants to start getting the appropriate code into repos immediately can pull and if not already a member of sphere-group can send a pull request.

Sphere development will be split into the following:

  • Engine
  • Editor
  • Config
  • Tools (eg, tools like the font converter that used to be separate from the editor but then rolled into it)
  • Doc (for format docs, helpfile, API docs, etc)

If you have a GitHub account, let me know if you're interested in being part of any of these development teams!

(retitled to sync w/other "Future of Sphere" posts/articles ~neo)
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