[MUD-Dev] Re: In game bulletin boards vs. Web based.

Matt Chatterley matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun Jun 14 13:29:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Tue, 9 Jun 1998, Greg Munt wrote:
> > From: Elis Pomales <pomales at caip.rutgers.edu>
> > 
> > I would like to know what your opinions are on bulletin board systems
> > within Muds. My belief is that a web based bulletin board systems is
> > alot easier to develop, fancier and more reliable than an online one. Is
> > 
> > this true? Do you agree?
> I agree totally. I also think that it is more user-friendly and intuitive.

Ta-da, proof as to how much peoples opinions can vary. I find the web to
be frustrating at times, difficult to operate in places, and I prefer the
occasionally blunt and quite often unintuitive, simplified text UI of
muds. Perhaps this is because I do have some visual trouble? I find
regular (coloured in places) text far easier on my eyes.

> > In that vain should help be web based? With minimal help in-game? Or do
> > you think that help is so critical that it should be on the mud?
> If the mud is text-orientated, I don't think that web-only (even with
> minimal in-game support) help would be of benefit. In my experience, users
> will stick with one UI. If a web UI is so hot (it is, IMO), then why have
> anything off of the web?

This is *certainly* true. One or the other, not both. People detest
switching between interfaces to achieve the same task. If you had to type
text into one application and use another to change the appearance of the
text, wordprocessing would be even more of a collosal chore than it is
already. The web UI is (IMHO) fantastic for the less computer literate, of
course - it's friendly in the sense that they need and want it to be. As
well as it's reasonably well designed.
> Stick the whole mud on the web. Use Javascript. Use Java. That's what I'm
> doing. Muds underutilise the web to a horrendous degree. With a web UI, you
> will attract so many more users, too. (The AOL generation believes that the
> web IS the Internet.)


"So, do you have like, a homepage on the internet?"
"Yeah, I have a webpage, though I don't bother working on it often.. I use
	the net for other stuff mostly.. usenet, telnet, etc." 
"Uh, are those other dialup things?"

> Mud designs on the web would be of great interest too. It would be
> fantastic if we moved towards releasing designs, rather than code.

It's interesting.. as is the notion of 'totally distributed' muds, where
most of the work and thinking is done by the client, with the server
providing a communicative medium.

An example:

A giant, networked version of the 'Barcode battler'.

- -- 
	-Matt Chatterley
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.." -John Lennon (Imagine)

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