Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jun 22 02:49:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> Marian spaketh:
> [article snipped]
> I managed to understand a couple of words from all of this.
> Am I being exceptionally stupid or do I need a new dictionary?
I'm not sure what you mean.  
I did spell check it and it came out fine. :(
My grammar checker always tells me I shouldn't write passive sentences,
so I took an imperative action and disabled it. 
> > 1) Building is done using a configuration file that is edited using a 
> >    standard text editor in an off-line environment.
> I think this is what I usually do and it suits my needs (and abilities)
> so I'm not too sure why you would want something else?

Let me repost something from several months back:

I am writing a game server not a generic programming environment server 
like LP or Genesis.  The game's configuration and objects reside in a disk 
database and these objects are not extended via the servers language, 
they are only manipulated by the server language.  It is my opinion that 
complex languages like C, C++, Java, LPC and Cold are too difficult to 
learn by my builders which tend to be strictly non-programmers although 
very creative and smart people. 
My building programs will be GUI editors with nice point and click 
interfaces and the language used by them will be minimal and integrated 
into the building interface.  This will probably end up resembling a 
Visual Basic IDE environment (*giggle*).  Controls which represent 
"black box" C++ programs can be happily dragged about and attached to 
objects, rooms and NPCs.  They will have properties boxes for minimal 

Only thing that has changed since this post is that I am implementing
objects within the server language and the VisualBasic IDE is a poor
description of the interface.  The builder interface is a good deal
more visual and makes extensive use of validation and reusable objects.

My builder's know very little of programming.  I believe that command
line interfaces are a huge turn-off for those who have never used DOS
or Unix.  The success of Macintosh, XWindows and Windows as a 
user-interface kind of backs this up.  I hope to attract creative writers 
not programmers.  Those of us who grew up with command-level interfaces
think they are very natural and comfortable, there are many more who
do not.  
If you have access to Windows take a look at the Merc utilities MZF 
and SPAM at <http://www.goodnet.com/~esnible/mudinfo.html>
These are fair representations of my builder's interface without the
extensions I outlined above.


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