[MUD-Dev] Looking for books...

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Wed Aug 20 00:32:02 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


Greg Munt wrote:
> 
> I know some of you have some reasonably-sized libraries, so I was
> wondering if you might be able to recommend some books for me?

Are you sure you dont need a ph.d. in computer science? or several? :) I
dont have my books here, but here are 2 books which is used at my
university:

Aho, Sethi, and Ullman:
 "Compilers: Principles, Techniqueues, and Tools."

is quite ok, good even.

>    Database design (esp persistence)

Perhaps you would be better off by using a library for persistence? Do
you really need any advanced database design in a mud? Do you really
need real persistence, or is saving the most vital attributes enough?
(ought to be)  Persistence isnt always very cool if your code has bugs
(depends on the approach I guess).


>    Tree algorithms (esp R-Trees, et al) (all I can find are general
>    algorithm books that discuss binary trees - sigh)

What is an R-tree, why bother with more complex things than binary trees
(or a self-balancing tree (splay?)) and hashtables if those are
sufficient?

A good introduction to algorithms and basic datastructures:

Mark Allen Weiss:
"DATA STRUCTURES AND ALGORITHM ANALYSES"

>    Parser/NLP design

What is NLP?  The compiler book covers parser design, though for a
startup project a simple approach would be sufficient, dont you think?

>    Memory management (perhaps)

I guess a good book on garbagecollection would come in handy in an
advanced project, but general memorymanagement?  A book on parallell
programming may be useful for more advanced projects though..

> This list could go on and on, so I'll stop here. I consider these to be
> important concepts in mud design; how anyone can claim to have written a
> mud *without* reading thick books, this is beyond me! Certainly a lot of
> work for a so-called 'hobby' :)

Well, wasnt LPMUD written as a thesis for the masters degree? MOO was
written as a research project and the author is with Xerox Parc... Im
starting coding my MUD next week as a 3 month fulltime project for mye
masters degree.  Yeah, you are right, you have to read some thick books,
but not all of them, and not every page.

The "hobby MUDS" seems to copy existing approaches, and judging from the
topics you asked for it seems like you are going up the same alley! :-) 
I think you would be better off by focusing on the more general topics,
like design, C++ and making use of basic algorithms.  Designing, coding
and debugging your own extensible grammar and (LALR) parser is a big
project on its own (1-3 weeks for a simple grammar if you are good I
guess), and really boring without a good toolkit (there are some freely
available ones though).  Besides, what do you need that for anyway?
Graphical online-building is far more userfriendly anyway, there is no
point in writing software based on concepts from 1980 aimed at VT100
computer terminals?

The best approach to OOD: experience. :-/ Books may help, but only so
far...
--
* Ola Fosheim Groestad  (http://www.ifi.uio.no/~olag) *



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