[MUD-Dev] Re: Some thoughts on languages and users - was: Macro semi

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Tue Apr 28 22:15:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

[Jon Lambert:]

[much trimmed!]

:Rather than attempting to discuss your server design (since I'd be 
:quite ignorant), I'll bore you with a few thoughts on my own design 
:philosophies regarding languages and how they relate to my server 
:and my users.  And needless to say, run right off on a tangent.

Me too!

There are sort-of (okay, I'm stretching it!) 4 levels in my system. The lower
level is all written in compiled languages (soon C), and I'm the only one
who can currently touch that level. The next level is the MUD programming
language, which is quite a bit cleaner and safer than C (e.g. there are
no pointers, and the run-time catches things like division by zero, array
indexes out of bounds, etc.). Anyone who has been granted "apprentice" or
"wizard" status can use that language. The next level is a text input with
prompts system, where the form of code that can be written is quite a lot
restricted, and each portion is prompted for (the prompt itself changes, and
there is a one-line full prompt for each section). To be honest, I don't
know that this type of thing is worthwhile - I haven't had a chance to
watch the appropriate level of player trying to use it. The highest level
of things that can be done is done completely with the mouse. There is the
least capability with that method, but anyone can do it. The only problem
most people get into is entering object names properly (I want them in
an internal form like 'noun;adjective,adjective').

Both of the upper levels are written within the MUD language, so can readily
be extended as needed.

My experience is very limited compared to some out there, but what I've seen
is that some people master the MUD language without much trouble. Others
aren't into programming, but do enjoy the simple building a lot, and will
spend hours redecorating things. Still others only want to bash things.
Nothing new here, but merely pointing out that all levels of users will
exist for any aspect of the system.

I won't comment much more here (my brand new computer awaits me), but I
like Jon's idea of building everything out of components, which can then be
disassembled (or further assembled). Lots of stuff can be handled that way,
but, as usual, there will be lots of annoying exceptions, too! Things like
fluids would need special handling, as would situations where the original
components still maintain some of their identity.

Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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