[MUD-Dev] Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

Shawn Halpenny malachai at iname.com
Fri Apr 25 09:57:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> In <335F6E62.41C67EA6 at iname.com>, on 04/24/97
>    at 08:44 AM, Shawn Halpenny <malachai at iname.com> said:

> >> I am hoping that considerable thought and effort will be invested in
> >> writing capable combat packages for resale to other players.  I also
> >> expect to see this spawn a complex sub-economy of its own where player
> >> and mobile bodies are purposely stolen/traded/etc to obtain new combat
> >> packages or install broken/weaker packages.
> >I guess my only qualm with the considerable thought and effort
> >required is that _someone_ has to write those initial packages or no
> >one will ever get anywhere.  I'd like people new to the game to just
> >"be able" to do combat without have to pick and choose amongst a few
> >packages first (I suppose there could be a default set), but it seems
> >to me you're at a disadvantage if you've never written one before.
> >An alternative would be to disallow players writing their own combat
> >packages and having only one source supplying them.  This would put
> >everyone on an equal footing from the start, but would quell any
> >innovations from players (something I'd rather not do).
> A key point in my game is free user programming.  While there are
> always security questions of "real" vs "newly user programmed"
> objects, more or less I allow any user to program any type of object
> or feature at any time.  The security features then just ensure that
> he can't program up a 50,000hp wet noodle to defeat the red dragon
> (well, actually he can program such a weapon, its just that
> unvalidated user-programmed objects can't affect validated objects
> (like the red dragon) in that way).

I'd first encountered this free user programming idea when I came across a
post of yours on the ng's.  Could you dispense a smidge of the
fundamentals so I know what your approach is about?  I've got a notion in
mind, but I'd rather know where you're coming from before I make
assumptions.  From what I've thought about it, I was wondering how "free"
it can be.  Now you say that unvalidated user-objects can't affect
validated objects (sensible).  Does that mean that every object the user
programs has to be run by an admin before it is allowed in the game?  Or is
there a set of "safe" constructs that anyone can use and objects using only
those have no need for validation?  This is of interest for me, since I'm
embedding a language into the world that will allow complete manipulation
of all aspects of it, and the whole place becomes richer if anyone can come
along and implement something cool.  Security becomes the biggest issue,
methinks, and with my language (at the moment, I intend to use Perl) there
are a lot of nasty things users shouldn't do that are perfectly legal if
you're an admin.

Shawn Halpenny

"Neutiquam erro"
            - Latin for All Occasions

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