It's a weirdly sunny day here and in the 40s, which is very wrong for winter but we'll push through.

I'm back from the Christmas break and at the grind again. First order of business, and this is an ongoing one, is to keep working on any bug reports that come my way for 512. I have a fix in the pipeline already, plus a change where I had forgotten to rip out some of the old imagelist code that was causing the icon editor to use more memory than it needed. I expect we'll see a new 512 release next week, before which I'm hoping I'll get some info on a pending bug report that allows me to fix that one as well.

But otherwise I've been moving forward on 513, starting first and foremost with the Unicode stuff. Now I haven't actually updated anything yet in terms of actually using trans-ANSI characters, but what I have been doing is working on the frontend code to transition from using a string class that will become 16-bit with the update (UTF-16 specifically), to the home-grown DMString class that remains 8-bit and will be the holder of UTF-8 characters. Wherever I've thought to, I've put in placeholder stuff that will be able to convert from one to the other.

At this stage my goal is to simply change as much as feasible from the Microsoft string class to DMString. This is actually a pretty big undertaking but it's going well so far, the downside being that so much copying and pasting and typing and hitting awkward Ctrl+key combos is murder on the wrists. So far I've dealt with most of the skin stuff, and a big chunk of Dream Seeker. Dream Maker is gonna be a big one to tackle, and then there's the pager. This code is all highly interconnected, which has made the changes rather a pain: change one thing and you have to change a bunch of others right after. A number of the controls in the byondwin library still need to be updated as well.

Once that stage of things is done, actually enabling Unicode is likely to cause a million small fires. That's because there are routines accepting 8-bit strings and conversions now that won't once the changeover is made. The work I'm doing now will help with that a lot, though.

I'll go into the technical details more on this week's Patreon post, as I usually do. Thanks again to everyone who supported us as a Patron, Member, or donor through 2018!
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