Piecewise Blog

Build chat bots with blocks.

Piecewise RSS Feeds 1e721a6 has been released. The 3KB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed control flow issue causing code execution even if an RSS feed was not fetched due to an error

Piecewise 21.12.8 and 22.01.1 have been released. The 1~2MB updates are available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed crash when supplying a user to the “as” connection on a Discord send block
  • Fixed crash when a Discord system message is deleted
  • Fixed issues when determining Unicode emoji reactions on Discord messages
  • 22.01.1 only: Potentially fixed crash when a user is removed from a Discord server while they are typing

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a few restful and safe holiday weeks. I've spent the past few weeks working mainly on new features and fixes for Piecewise. Here come the headings:

Editor features

Along with various editor stability improvements, most of my work this month centers around the System blocks and working on rough edges in the Steam Workshop tools.

Steam Workshop

I've taken some time last month to further smooth out the Workshop and make it public to everyone. I've worked on various papercut-sized issues like making sure the dialog displays properly on all platforms, to adding the ability to fetch the current description of your extension blocks when uploading. I've also made the Workshop visible to all users, not just customers. If you're having issues with downloading from or uploading to the Workshop, please let me know so I can work on it!

System blocks

New in Piecewise 22.01.0 are the “system” blocks, which allow you to interact with files, folders, the system's environment, and commands outside of Piecewise. You might use these blocks to write to arbitrary locations on disk, tweak settings without rebuilding your bot, or scratch an itch you can't quite get from within Piecewise.

System blocks example

Interactive tutorials

Piecewise now has fully-interactive tutorials! While I plan on expanding this section within Piecewise in the near future, you'll be taken step by step on how to make your first Discord bot, or implement slash commands.

Tutorial screenshot

Discord

Along with various bugfixes to the Discord blocks, bigger features in Piecewise 22.01.0 include managing scheduled events, working with timeouts, and specifying default permissions for slash commands.

Scheduled events

You can now fetch, schedule, and delete events programatically using the blocks in Discord –> Scheduled Events. You may find this feature useful for automatically scheduling recurring events, or making event creation available to users.

Scheduled events

Timeouts

New in the Discord –> Moderation menu are blocks that have the ability to time-out a user for a specified amount of time, and remove previously-applied timeouts. Those home-brewing moderation or anti-spam bots will find this feature especially useful.

Timeouts

Default command permissions

When creating a server-specific slash command, you can now specify which users and roles should have access to that command by default (specifying no one will make the command accessible to everyone).

Default command permissions

Mastodon

The one major feature with Mastodon integration this month is adding support for Misskey – the same Mastodon blocks you use to access Mastodon and Pleroma instances now seamlessly work with Misskey! Simply enter your Misskey instance URL and token into the “(Mastodon) log in with token” blocks. The integration is still a bit experimental, but please don't hesitate to give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Miscellaneous fixes and changes

  • Reworked a lot of blocks to produce more efficient documentation
  • Reworked a lot of blocks to visually flow better when viewed within the workspace
  • Adjusted slash command policies to allow multiple commands with the same name, if they are defined within different servers
  • Adjusted various portions of the demo
  • Fixed many internal bugs and made various internal efficiency improvements

Upcoming changes and looking ahead

I've learned a lot about how people are using Piecewise since the beginning of the early access period, and I feel that parts of Piecewise are less intuitive than I thought they would be. This led me to decide that it would ultimately be beneficial to spend this month working less on features, but more on less-sexy portions of Piecewise like the tutorials, internal systems, and current blocks. I'll try to detail a lot of these changes and my rationale next month.

Thanks again for supporting Piecewise!

Piecewise 21.12.7 has been released. The 0.8~1.5MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed various bugs causing warning checkers to erroneously flag correct configurations
  • Fixed “(Discord) reply to interaction” blocks not accepting embeds

Piecewise 21.12.6 has been released. The 1.1~1.4MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fix unhelpful error message when trying to use Pleroma emoji react blocks on Mastodon instances
  • Fix crash when using “replace [needle] with [text] in [haystack]” block
  • Fix crash when using Mastodon “I [state] user [user]” block
  • Fix orange halo on modal close buttons on macOS
  • Fix modal close buttons showing on Windows and Linux
  • Fix dramatic color change when opening Workshop dialog and using dark mode

Piecewise 21.12.5 has been released. The 1.1~1.7MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed crash when using “add [time] to [date]” block
  • Fixed various issues with paginator blocks
  • Fixed Workshop windows being too small on Windows
  • Consolidated the two File menus into one on Windows and Linux
  • Fixed crashes when errors occur in Discord bots

Piecewise 21.12.4 has been released. The 2.0~2.1MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed potential editor crash when a bot crashes
  • Adjusted various aspects of the demo
  • Fixed demo users not being able to open templates
  • Fixed application menu showing in slash command manager on Windows
  • Fixed crash when trying to send a null/empty Discord interactible
  • Fixed welcome screen templates showing the full path on Windows
  • Fixed crash when trying to access the ID of a Discord interaction

Piecewise 21.12.3 has been released. The 1.5~1.8MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be applied automatically by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed crash in slash command manager tool

Piecewise 21.12.2 has been released. The 0.9~1.2MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be automatically applied by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed a potential issue with the Discord configuration block
  • Fixed the debug menu always showing

Piecewise 21.12.1 has been released. The ~10MB update is available from your itch.io download page, or will be automatically applied by Steam. The changes include:

  • Fixed bots not running from within the editor.