(fwd) Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

Raz raz at mushroom.demon.co.uknospam
Fri Apr 25 00:04:20 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Fri, 18 Apr 1997 02:25:31 +0100 (BST), Ling =
<K.L.Lo-94 at student.lut.ac.uk>
wrote:

[re: command completion / command filters]

> On Wed, 16 Apr 1997, Shawn Halpenny wrote:
>=20
> > On Apr 10,  6:57pm, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
>=20
> > JCL>   >> 3
> > JCL>   You take the leather satchel,
> > JCL>
> > JCL> I currently do this, with caveats for nested compleations, =
multiple
> > JCL> character support (multi-playing) and priority interrupts.
 [...]
> >   Will the parser still be waiting
> > for a response of 0-3?  Or if a response of anything _not_ 0-3 fails =
the
> > get command without notification, executes the just-typed command
> > [...] and then returns to the base state of waiting for any
> > command?  I'm leaning toward the latter,
>=20
> The later for me too.  It's natural after all.  I've been thoroughly
> annoyed by the MudOS parsing which just prompts me:  Which one?  then
> forcing me to retype the entire sentence again.=20

I've a feeling I may be in the minority of being an English member of the
list, so the following may not ring many bells to too many people:

Remember the old, single-player text adventures, particularly the later
games from Magnetic Scrolls/Rainbird?  Their parser supported, to some
extent, this sort of command completion quite successfully.

You could enter:
  > get bag

And get back:
  Which bag?  The green one or the red one?

Whereupon you could enter and get back either:
  > red
  You get the red bag.

...or...
  > north
  You are in a [...]

I'm afraid I can't quite remember how it handled the remaining case, eg:
  Which bag?  The green one or the red one?
  > splort

...but it was most likely with a "What?" rather than a "There is no =
splort
bag" or whatever.

This completion could go pretty deep, they made a point of discussing it =
in
the manuals.  You might get a sequence like:
  > get
  Get what?  The big green bag, the smelly green bag, the red bag, the =
green
  key, the gold key, or the rampant wildebeest?
  > bag
  Which bag?  The big green one, the smelly green one or the red one?
  > green
  The big green bag or the smelly green bag?
  > big
  You get the big green bag.

Of course, at any time you could forget the 'get' command and do =
something
else instead.

They also used this kind of completion for more frivolous stuff.  You =
might
see:
  > ftrhgf
  Are you talking to yourself again?     // Scroll's equivalent of =
"Huh??"

At which point you could actually enter any of the three responses below =
and
for each get back:
 > north
 You are in a [...]

 > yes
 That's the first sign of madness; stop it!

 > no
 Well it sounded like it.

In fact, the parsers in use by those games back in the eighties and =
running
on Spectrums and C64's are far in advance of mainly verb/noun systems in =
the
existing MUD codebases.

I assume we're all aiming at something better in terms of parsers?  =
Forgive
me if I've missed a whole discussion - I'm foolishly writing this without
catching up on the other mails - but its something I've not seen =
mentioned
at least during the time I was able to keep up to date with the list.

By something better, I mean such features as the above type of command
completion (which I *have* seen you discussing =3D)), pronouns, =
conjunctions,
support for EXCEPT, etc.  This is the sort of parser my coder friend
supplied for a very old experimental engine, which would support a =
sequence
such as (engine responses snipped):
  > get all except the green bag
  > examine bag
  > get it and put the flask in it
  > put key in box and put it in the bag

It even supported the command that Magnetic Scrolls made such a big deal
about, namely:
  > put the pot plant in the plant pot

Though, apparently, there's nothing very complicated about that syntax at
all =3D)

Raz




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