Discontinuing Polaris

Discontinuing Polaris
Goodbye Polaris!
Polaris will shut down on the 1 March 2022.
This is to allow everyone that currently uses Polaris time to move to other bots.

Polaris had a good run, but I don't think this news will come as much of a surprise.
It was first started in 2017, but it has not had regular maintenance since 22/09/2019. It's been deprecated since that date.

Franky, things have moved on since Polaris started, and even just two years ago, it was ageing and falling behind other bots in terms of features and stability.

I made Polaris open source in the hopes that it would attract some other contributors who would help to secure its future as a verification bot interested not in profits but purely in enhancing the administrator experience.

Lofty goals aside, when I started working on it, I did not really plan on creating Polaris. It was a verification bot for a group I was in amidst the collapse of the previous widely-used bot, RoVerify. I opened it up to other servers, and it grew a little. I got a logo and added some other features, and Polaris was born.

The main reason I started the bot, though, was to learn to program. One of the best ways to learn a programming language is by coming up with a series of projects to tackle, learning new skills and methods in the process.
This is why I created Polaris. To learn Node.js.

I created the web panel because I wanted to learn React and explore that ecosystem more. This conveniently aligned with a desire to help people manage their servers, but that was not the primary purpose.
Polaris explored some interesting concepts and did Group-Discord role matching a little different to most bots. Features such as "Ranks to Roles" are not widely available.
Perhaps for a good reason!

Polaris has had a good run. I hope you have found it useful, and it made your life even a little easier.

Why shut down now?

You might be thinking: Polaris has been running without much maintenance for years now. Why end it now?
There are a few key reasons.

0: Why is it not maintained anymore?

Polaris has not been maintained for some time. This is due to a mixture of a lack of interest and a lack of time on my part.
I simply do not have the time to invest into it, and I do not have the interest in Roblox - or sadly - Polaris itself.
Re-writing old, dodgy code is no fun.

1: Discord updates

Discord is rolling out an update to most bots work. They are making message content a privileged intent, so most bots are expected to interact with users through slash commands.
I support this. I think it's great, and it will improve user privacy significantly. Most bots will have access to far less data.

The disadvantage of this is that it requires one of two things: Either I apply for the privileged intent and potentially get rejected or update to use slash commands.
I have had no issue securing intents in the past, so the chances are Polaris would be approved, but then Polaris would really be showing its age. Most bots would use slash commands, and Polaris, with its message-only commands, would look dated.

The alternative, updating, is also not feasible. I simply have the time nor the interest in Roblox anymore.

This is the main reason Polaris will be shutting down. The update will not be rolled out until 1 May 2022, but I felt it was best to phase out Polaris a month prior.

2: Security updates

Discord bots are relatively blessed in that their input is pretty validated. It comes with Discord, so it's generally pretty safe.
Polaris features a web panel, which is far more prone to security vulnerabilities. This means it requires regular dependency updates and patching, something I no longer have the time to do.

4: Node.JS

Polaris, with its current structure, does not support Node.js v14. This is needed from April 2022, as v12 exits LTS.

Wrapping up

What is shutting down?

  • Polaris, the bot
  • The Polaris website & Web dashboard

The following are also being properly archived and deprecated:

  • Polaris-GP (Group promotion)
  • Group defender
  • API Notifier
  • rethinkdb-Backup

What is not shutting down?

  • Aquarius/verify.nezto.re, my verification service. This will remain online for the foreseeable future.
  • Cetus
  • Save-Server
  • Any other bots which I provide privately as part of a service.

Thank you

Thank you all for supporting Polaris and my other projects for as long as you have. As you can see here, most of my Roblox-related projects are being stopped here.
This is no accident - I am simply not interested in the platform anymore, and it's time I put a little distance between myself and it.
I am not far off 20, and I'd rather not be too involved once I hit that milestone.

You may be wondering what will happen to the Polaris discord server. This is less certain, but I suspect I will convert it into a hub for my other projects.
I may well change the branding to assign with Save-Server, which is currently one of my main projects.

Looking forward, I hope to delve more into Rust and other low-level languages, and perhaps explore Cybersecurity-related projects more.

What alternatives are there?

Should you want a copy of your current configuration in JSON Format to help with moving,  I am happy to provide one. It might not be very useful, though.