Getting TortoiseHg on Windows to work with SourceHut's SSH authentication

Dec 9, 2020 in

You can skip to the header below for the actual guide. Or stay here for a rambling preamble.

I'm a skilled programmer, but I'm not a technical person. I'm not good with computers. Or at least I highly prefer if things just work, and I don't have to fiddle with settings and configurations.

This is one reason I strongly prefer Mercurial for source control over Git. It has a higher degree of just working. (I don't want to get into an argument over this. You can question my assertion, but my preference is my preference in any case.)

Unfortunately Mercurial has become a niche choice as Git has achieved overwhelming popularity, largely due to GitHub. I wouldn't really have cared about that, except it made BitBucket close down their support for Mercurial some time ago. And BitBucket was a hosting solution for Mercurial that was affordable and also just worked.

I and many other Mercurial lovers have then had to find alternative hosting. And I ended up with  choosing SourceHut. SourceHut is the opposite of "it just works". It's made for people who identify with hacking and tinkering and knowing all the technical stuff. Why did I choose it then? The "just works" alternatives had pricing that just did not work for a game development use case.

Now, SourceHut has been a pain to use in many ways for a non-technical person like me, but I've had the most pain at all trying to get SSH authentication to work. Unlike BitBucket, SourceHut does not allow HTTPS authentication, so you have to use SSH, and nobody ever sat down and made SSH easy to use on Windows.

Getting SSH to work involved juggling things like multiple types of SSH keys and formats all placed in a hidden folder, many different helper tools, and reading dozens of half-baked how-to guides that all contradict each other, often assume prior knowledge, and that are all for slightly different use cases which means they didn't quite work for me.

I got it all to work around a year ago, but I recently wiped my hard drive and needed to do it all over. I couldn't remember anything, so had to figure it all out all over again. So now I'm writing my own half-baked guide, mostly for my future self in case I need it again, but others might stumble over it and maybe find it useful too I guess.

When you read this guide, you might think it doesn't sound that complicated after all. But remember the guide omits all the things I read I should do and which I thus attempted, but it didn't work, and eventually turned out not to be needed anyway. Like running the main PuTTy application, or running tortoiseplink, or editing your mercurial.ini file. Anyway, on to the guide.

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Goodbye Unity

Dec 4, 2020 in , ,
Today is my last day at Unity.

It's been nearly 12 years since I joined the then-tiny startup with ~20 employees. Now there's over 3000 and it's been quite the ride to be part of this company while it has evolved, especially with the big role it has had in evolving the whole game industry too.

Lately I've been longing to do something smaller again, and so it's time for a new adventure in my work life to begin. Starting next week, I'm a full time indie developer! For a start I'll be wrapping up my VR action-adventure game Eye of the Temple that I've been working on part time for the past 4 years. There's a demo on Steam already that has very positive reviews and I expect the full game can ship in early spring 2021.

What I'll do after is not fully settled yet, but I have an idea for a (non-VR) game set in a big forest full of ruins, strange artifacts, pathways and mysteries that I might begin working on next year.

My mental state at the moment is kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand I'm very excited about future possibilities and being able to work on exactly what I want. On the other, my motivation and productivity is a bit flaky these days. I don't know the exact reasons, but possibilities could include:
  • Uncertainty about what my everyday life will be like (though economically I'll be fine!).
  • Having felt unfulfilled work-wise for a good while before I quit.
  • Having moved to a new country this summer (from Denmark to Finland), in the middle of a pandemic where it's hard to meet new people.
  • Being in the end stretch of developing a game where it's mostly boring stuff left.
  • Dark winter setting in - that normally doesn't affect me much but could be a compounding factor still.
However, I'll go easy on myself and just accept my productivity and motivation not being at its greatest right now. Perhaps I won't hit the ground running in my new indie life, but that's okay. I didn't have that much vacation this year either, so I'll see this as a chance to take it a bit easy for a little while while I adjust to my new life.

All in all, not a bad place to be, and I'm excited about the future!
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