Oh, would you look at this? My first blog post on Sputnik’s Mission control blog. This is exciting yet downright scary at the same time. Now, in this blog post, I'm going to cover what we have learned from sailboat, the future of Sailboat, and what we are doing to reward Sailboat users. If you only want the "what we are going to reward Sailboat users" look for a TL;DR at the end of this post. Let's begin!
The History of Sailboat
Before we can look at the beginning of Sailboat we must go back farther, way back when Sailboat and Sputnik was not even an idea. Sailboat as we know it runs a closed repo of Rowboat. Rowboat is/was the best moderation bot ever made for Discord. Rowboat included features that could be enabled and disabled based on guild’s preference and included a deep level infraction tracking, that way server moderators and administration could see what user(s) is causing issues. Rowboat was really made to be like auto-mod on Reddit. Since all this sounds great and powerful there was a catch. The public version of the bot had to be requested for the guild you wanted it to be added in and you had to meet rigorous requirements, but it was understandable as the bot was free and included advanced features. If you didn't meet the rigorous requirements than you had the option to self-host the bot but had to abide by the self-hosting agreement of not adding your self-hosted version of Rowboat in guilds you did not own and could not use the name "Rowboat" for the bot name. If that wasn't enough; if you self-hosted Rowboat, no support was given to you to get your Rowboat rowing.
Now you may be thinking a few things. One of those things may be "How does this affect Sailboat" and "How does this affect Sputnik" as well as "Who made such a powerful bot". The answer to the person who made rowboat is B1nzy, an awesome Discord dev. The first question's answer is back to the self-hosting agreement in a way. We the Sputnik team, as well as the Sailboat team, didn't have ideas to publicly host a Rowboat clone as that would violate the agreement.
While we were fans of Rowboat, our personal guilds did not meet the rigorous requirements for Rowboat to be added as well as most of us didn't need the advanced features it had, a normal bot like Dyno, or Mee6 would work just fine. However, my personal guild was growing and needed a self-hosted Rowboat. Because the internet is great at making you meet amazing new people, that's how I met LordOfTheUndead. (We call him LotU, so now on we will call him LotU in this post. kthx). LotU was able to work through the mass amounts of bugs Rowboat has while getting it set up and that's when Gam3boat was created. Gam3boat was my self-hosted version of Rowboat. I paid for the VPS it sat on and LotU maintained it and kept making sure it wouldn't randomly die. Gam3boat was great and lasted forever it seems, but as always rowboat's complex code tended to break and a few features in Gam3boat randomly stopped working.
Sadly Rowboat decided to shut down for many reasons and disable/leave guilds on August 1, 2018. LotU and I wanted to kill Gam3boat and try to make a rowboat clone that was actually up to date to the repo of Rowboat. We agreed that it would be hosted on the VPS that I pay for monthly and we could try to host a public instance of Rowboat with a private repo that we could make bug fixes as well as add in new features that Rowboat didn't have. That is the birth/launch of Sailboat. Our joke for Sailboat was that "We upgraded Rowboat, and now it sails the seas of Discord". Sailboat once again proved how buggy rowboat's code is. We decided if we are going to publicly host Sailboat we needed to use the production environment of Rowboat and not the dev environment. The bot worked great until we found more random bugs. Examples would be auto-mod muting someone and not removing the punishment after it had expired and reminders not firing off as it should. These bugs caused memory leaks on the VPS causing CPU and RAM to skyrocket and make the bot reboot several times and spam the living crap out of the control channel we set up in the sailboat server to monitor what's going on with the bot. We were confused as heck. I'm going to leave out the mod log bug as that was also an issue. (If you really want to know, ask LotU or me in the Sputnik server and we might tell you.)
With all these bugs, we were confused as well as the bot randomly dying and forcing us to log into the bot and run some magic command to bring it back on, one of our friends Alkali the founder of Sputnik, as well as a user of Sailboat, joined on the Sailboat Team to help LotU and I out. Alkali was also working on Sputnik as he wanted to make a better rowboat, that's a long story as well so I will stop that there and perhaps he might write how Sputnik got started...
Anyways, besides all the advanced features of Rowboat/Sailboat and the bugs, we noticed that setting up Sailboat in guilds is no simple task. How a guild configures the bot's behavior in that guild is controlled by the dashboard. The dashboard uses YAML for its guild configuration. YAML is easy to learn and use, however, how Rowboat needs the YAML file configured can be difficult for the advanced users, and extremely difficult to new users to the bot. The way it's difficult is the number of features you manually have to write in and configure is time-consuming and frustrating when you get an error when trying to save and not sure where you messed up. Not only was it hard for Sailboat users, but it was also hard for us the Sailboat team as we didn't configure guilds in the dash all the time. Sailboat is a great powerful bot but sometimes you need to keep it simple.
The Future of Sailboat
While you have learned the history of Sailboat, you may be wondering about the future of Sailboat. Sailboat isn't being shut down yet as of the time of this blog post, the new bot Sputnik isn't fully programmed yet. It's hard to launch a bot into space to orbit around Discord if it can't communicate with Mission Control aka The Sputnik Team. However, when the time comes sailboat will be unplugged and preserved in memories with the great times we had with it. You also may be going "BUT I DONT WANT A NEW BOT I LIKED SAILBOAT" however, all great things come to an end, we The Sailboat Team, and Sputnik Team think you will enjoy Sputnik as the new features will be simple to set up yet powerful.
Rewarding Sailboat Users
To the Sailboat users, THANK YOU for your continued support and working with us during the bugs, random restarts, and the @everyone pings. Because of your continued support of Sailboat and us, we would not be where we are today and we mean it. Your support means EVERYTHING to us, and to reward you the sailboat users, we are granting free Premium™ for your guild along with the ranks of Early Supporter. You love us, and we love you.
So according to the program, I am writing this on is telling me that the read time keeps going up and I should finish this up and that's what I am doing now so if you are wanting the Sparknotes, the TL;DR. The I don't read long things pls give me bullets of what's going on the next heading is for you.
Sputnik is a new bot being made right now as we speak.
Sputnik is easy to use and will provide easy setup without losing the powerful features like Rowboat.
Sailboat users will be given Early Supporter Gifts that includes Premium features for their guild.
Sailboat will be shut down when Sputnik is fully operational.
🎉 YOU MADE IT. Thanks for reading! 🎉