[MUD-Dev] Languages

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Sat May 24 22:17:04 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sat, 24 May 1997, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:

:On Sat, 24 May 1997 11:37:57 PST8PDT, Nathan Yospe <yospe at hawaii.edu>
:>Its a rather pointless argument, anyway... You'll never convince
:>me to go back to C, and I don't really care if you start using C++. This
:>is generally the case... you will either end up in a heated, pointless
:>argument with members of other code religions, or in vapid agreement with
:>members of your own, or being patronized by code agnostics. 

:It's just like any other religion... I have mine, you have yours,
:neither of us can CONVINCE the other to convert... but of course, we can
:exchange information. That's how most of us retain our faith.

Well, unless it has anything to do with muds, lets keep it on private
email from now.

:You know, I keep seeing a corollary... people who are either new to
:programming, or have a strong background in scientific disciplines that
:isn't backed up with college-level programming courses, tend to prefer
:OO and C++. On the other hand, within the professional programming
:community, everyone has a pet language... usually the first one they
:ever did real work in. For me, yes, I'll admit, it was C and assembly.
:Just out of curiosity, what is it that *originally* attracted you to
:C++? Not why do you *keep* using it, but why did you *start* using it?

*laugh* Lets see, that would make Apple ][ Logo my pet language. Hmm...
Trying to visualize the sort of mud one could construct with that.
Graphical, after a form, with lots of mazes, I suppose. (I did write a pac
man in Logo in elementary school.) After that was Vic 20 Basic. No thanks.
Then QBasic on a 486 when I was 17. (I took several years away from
computers.) Can't stomach the thought of using that to write a mud. After
that, Matlab. Could make for a fun project. I know how to generate some
nice mapped graphics using Matlab and Simulink. Might even be able to use
the new Mathworks compiler to create a graphical mud and cross compile to
Solaris, Irix, WinNT/95 and MacOS. They've mentioned a possible Be port
too. Still, $2000 a licence is a bit steep for mud dev software. After
that came Fortran. I wrote a couple of games in that. A sort of 3D
tetris/columns type of game called Crystalis that used to be available
from the info-mac ftp mirrors for the mac. I used MPW and LS F77. After
that came a slew of baby languages... Snobol, Alegra, Perl, Forth (I did
some AI work), Future Basic, Fortran 90 (This on the Maui High Performance
Computing Center's massively parallel processing monster.), 680x0 asm, x86
asm, and C. Somewhere in there I also picked up Smalltalk and a few
others. I had seen C++, but one of my friends, who I considered informed
at the time, sounded a lot like you, Caliban. I believed him. Then I
started working on a batch of C code, and got some C++ dumped on my lap.
"Fix it.", I was told. So I set out to learn a new language. The problem
was, the stuff I had gotten dumped on me was 100% crap, and by the time I
had learned enough C++ to understand that A) it was unfixable, and B), C++
was beautiful, the deadline was rushing headlong at me. I ended up writing
the program in Fortran, running it through an optimized F2C, and praying.
Fortunately, it was a deep enough library to be safe, and I did write
clean code, so nothing needed fixing. I had been working on this mud as a
hobby, a Rom modified to run a sci fi scenario, and thought to myself, "I
could do this a lot cleaner in C++...". It would have been a four week
project, and long forgotten, and I would have merrily accepted a degree in
physics and never taken a more challenging programming job and my whole
life would have been a hell of a lot different, except that I got this
email from some bloke named J. Chris Lawrance... and the rest is history.

   __    _   __  _   _   ,  ,  ,
  /_  / / ) /_  /_) / ) /| /| / /\            First Light of a Nova Dawn
 /   / / \ /_  /_) / \ /-|/ |/ /_/            Final Night of a World Gone
Nathan F. Yospe - University of Hawaii Dept of Physics - yospe at hawaii.edu

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