Apr 21, 2018 - Avicii


Avicii’s music was a formative element in my life. My sister and I would always sing Hey Brother when driving home from school or around town when it was on the radio, it was one of the first songs that I felt we truly bonded over. About a year after it stopped playing regularly, it just so happened to come on one time, and we immediately got excited and started singing it like old times. A few years after that, she sent me a message one day saying she had heard it while walking around campus one day (she had went on to college, I was still in high school), and just by mentioning it, I was taken back to those days.

Wake Me Up was probably one of the first songs I truly felt I enjoyed. It helped me accept who I was and that I didn’t have to hide what I enjoyed to do just because I was afraid of what other people would think. Each song he made always carried a weight of significance for me. Thank you Avicii, for impacting my life and for everything you’ve given me, while I’ve never known you or met you, you were a friend to me through your music.

Rest in peace.

Oct 5, 2017 - MCEdit-Unified Dev Log: Road to v1.6.0.0 Part 1


Part 1: Getting builds flowing


Since the beginning, the MCEdit-Unified team has had a very interesting build/release pipeline. Up to this point, all of our releases had been built by Project Organizer/Leader @Khroki. He had access to both Mac and Windows machines, so he was in the best position to build our releases. However, if we wanted to test a feature when it was compiled, we would have to wait for him to build a testing build. We thought about finding a continuous integration service to periodically build testing releases, but we couldn’t find one that ran a Windows environment, so we just stayed with out current system.

The problem

While our system had been successful so far, it relied on Khroki’s availability and resulted in us having to find days when both we were available to test the compiled build and address any last minute issues and that Khroki had enough time to build the release and notify us of any errors. With our various schedules and the fact that we’re located around the world, it took a lot of effort. However, now with none of us being able to contact Khroki, we had to build testing releases ourselves and without any references to our old build set up.

Setting the stage (Environment)

When I started looking for a Continuous Integration system that supported a Windows environment, I recalled that @codewarrior0 had a system similar to the one we wanted to implement. The service he used called Appveyor had an option for a Windows environment. The next step is to configure the said environment. Appveyor uses a YAML file to handle the environment and build stages. Since we can just build MCEdit-Unified from two commands, we just set one build stage to run

 pip install -r requirements.txt 

which installs all of the requirements needed to run MCEdit and another to run

 pyinstaller mcedit-ci.spec -y 

which runs our PyInstaller script to actually build the executable.

Building the build script

With the environment set up, I now needed to create a completely new build script for PyInstaller since we couldn’t get the one we’ve previously used for our releases from Khroki (see “The problem” section). While looking over how CodeWarrior0 organized his build system, I realized that the PyInstaller build script is actually just a python script with some fancy functions that PyInstaller imports to know how to build the executable. Using MCEdit2’s script as a reference, we created a automated build script that includes all of our data files (like filters, schematics, etc) andmoves DLL binaries into the executable’s folder. After all of this happens, the directory is collected into a ZIP file for uploading.


With all of this inplace, we’re now able to build testing releases on a regular basis without needing to install various utilities and programs. While we would’ve liked something like this set up earlier, we feel that introducing this for will help us make a smoother and more stable release.

I’m going to try to make weekly posts on projects I’m working on and going into detail about design choices I make. I know this post wasn’t very technical and was a wall of text, but I’ll try to keep posts like this to a minimum. If you have any tips or things that I might be able to improve on, please put those in the comments or contacting me on Twitter.

Aug 23, 2016 - What's New in MCEdit-Unified


Since there has been a decent amount of time since our last release, I decided to write a quick summary of all the features/changes that have been made. Please note that some of these changes are internal, so you won’t necessarily notice them. This is probably not an exhaustive list, and is mostly just the feature I worked on.

Structure Blocks

In Minecraft 1.10, Structure Blocks were introduced to save in-game buildings to files, where you could them share them with friends or reimport them in another location in the world in-game via another Structure Block. (IE: Vanilla Minecraft’s version of Schematics) Well, MCEdit-Unified now has the ability to import and export .nbt files! Importing them is the same way as importing a regular schematic. However, for exporting, you will need to change the file type in the save dialog to change the format the file is saved in. (Schematic vs. Structure .nbt)

Filter creators can also use Structure files in their filters, but this will be detailed in a later section.


Blockstates have been present in Minecraft for a few versions, however, they way they would be saved wasn’t, until Structure .nbt files were introduced. To achieve this, I created an API to convert from Integer-based IDs to Blockstates. Here is a very brief and bare-bones snippet of how to use it:

from pymclevel import materials

api = materials.alphaMaterials.blockstate_api # Recommened way to access the API
api = BlockstateAPI.material_map[materials.alphaMaterials] # Another way

api.block_map[<id>] # Same as it's always been, give an ID and it will give the basename for the block
print api.block_map[3] # Prints "minecraft:dirt"

example_1 = api.idToBlockState(1, 2) # Give the ID and Data values, returns the Blockstate as a tuple
print example_1 # Prints "('stone', {'variant': 'smooth_granite'})"
# First index is the basename without the "minecraft:", the second is a dict with the Properties of that Blockstate

example_2 = api.blockstateToID("minecraft:stone", {"variant": "andesite"}))
# Give it the basename and a dict of properties
print example_2 # Prints a tuple of (<id>, <data>) In this case: (1, 5)

example_3 = materials.idToBlockstate(1, 2) # Same as "example_1", but this is not recommened

Note: This currently only works with PC Blocks, but materials.<function> (like the way in example_3) will always point to PC Block definitions/”alphaMaterials”

Additions to Filters


With Minecraft moving away from IDs and using a string/name system for identifying blocks, you can now have blocks inputs based on a Blockstate string. Example:

from pymclevel.materials import alphaMaterials
inputs = (
	("Block Method #1", ("block", "minecraft:stone[variant=granite]")),
	("Block Method #2", alphaMaterials["minecraft:stone[variant=granite]"]),
	("Another Option", true),<br>

This will still present a regular Block picker option to the user


You can also now interact with Structure NBT files by using the StructureNBT class in pymclevel.schematics. Here is an example:

from pymclevel.schematic import StructureNBT

structure = StructureNBT(filename="/Some/Test/File.nbt")

structure.Blocks[0,0,0] = (5, 3) # Coordinate order is x,y,z, values are (\<id\>, \<data\>) tuples

structure.Palette # List of Blockstates in complete form. IE: minecraft:planks[variant=jungle]

schem = structure.toSchematic() # Converts and returns the StructureNBT in Schematic format

new_schem = Structure.fromSchematic("/Some/Schematic.Schematic") # Converts a Schematic to StructureNBT

structure.save("/New_Structure.nbt") # I'll let you figure out what this one does...

Block Info Summaries

Hovering over a block now gives a summary of important information about the Block. Example

Static Block Definitions

Due to various reasons, I am (unofficially) stating that accessing the static block definitions is deprecated and shouldn’t be used. They will still work, however. I’ve come to this decision due to the following reasons:

  • Static Block definitions are missing lots of blocks
    • It’s hard to find which blocks are missing
  • Naming and Data values are inconsistent
    • Some Blocks have all of their various Data values present, others have none
    • Facing Direction Data values are also inconsistent (in Minecraft)
  • Blocks with Data values are sometimes hard to name (IE: Blocks that can face different directions)
  • Blockstates/names can exist across various editions, while Static definitions don’t
    • IE: “minecraft:grass_path” points to 208 for PC/Java, while it points to 198 for Pocket Edition
      • We actually have this problem with our renderer, to check it out, open up a MCPE world and look at a Grass Path block or here
  • Aren’t based off of our definition files
    • They have to manually added to pymclevel/materials.py
  • Requires knowledge of what kind of materials are being used
    • While PC (Java) edition supports Command Blocks, MCPE doesn’t, so if a filter puts a Command Block in a MCPE world, it could cause the game to crash or perform unexpected behaviour

Here’s an example of why using Static Block Definitions is bad:

 from pymclevel.materials import alphaMaterials
 inputs = (
	("Block", alphaMaterials.EndRod),
 def perform(level, box, options):
	block = options["Block"].ID
	origin_x = box.minx + 1
	origin_y = box.miny + 1
	origin_z = box.minz + 1
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x, origin_y, origin_z, alphaMaterials.Purpur.ID)
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x, origin_y + 1, origin_z, block)
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x, origin_y - 1, origin_z, block)
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x + 1, origin_y, origin_z, block)
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x - 1, origin_y, origin_z, block)
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x, origin_y, origin_z + 1, block)
	level.setBlockAt(origin_x, origin_y, origin_z - 1, block)

As you could probably tell, this is a simple filter, it just puts End Rods on every side of a Purpur block. However, it places completely different blocks if it’s in a PC world vs. a Pocket Edition world:
PC World Output
Pocket Edition World Output (This is renderer issue I mentioned earlier, those wierdly textured End Rods are actually Grass path blocks, and would be so if opened in MCPE)

This is not only inconsistent behaviour (the Grass Path block vs. the End Rod), but it introduces a Unknown Block into the world, which could cause a crash. It also makes the output unpredicatable, if the filter is ran with default inputs (and in a MCPE world), the block picked is not the block actually placed, which would confuse the user.

So in conclusion, I would like to ask filter creators to use the Blockstate API for any new filters they create after the next release (preferably use the way used in “Block Method #1”). Again, the old way will still work, so your filters won’t break, at least until PC switches completely from IDs to Blockstates.