[MUD-Dev] Re: Bruce Sterling on Virtual Community goals

Jon Leonard jleonard at divcom.slimy.com
Mon Oct 19 18:22:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Mon, Oct 19, 1998 at 05:37:55PM -0600, Chris Gray wrote:
> [Jon Leonard:]
>
>  >Even if there isn't interest, figuring out a base feature set would be
>  >useful, and I'd extract parts of my own server to match.  (I have a fully
>  >RFC compliant telnet server, which I could disentangle from the rest of my
>  >code, for example.)
>
> Hmm. That's just what I'm working on now. Stole the code from earlier
> stuff. Do you handle all of the RFC's, including things like LINEMODE?
> I was planning on cleaning up my stuff when done and offering it as an
> example of telnet handling. Two examples are likely better than one!

The RFC allows a compliant implementation to respond "No, I don't do that."
to options it doesn't feel like supporting.  I used this freedom a lot.

The version I have properly keeps track of who is responsible for echoing
characters, and declines to do anything with the other options.  I rely
on line-mode being the default in local echo, and my server makes no
attempt to use character mode (I do use server echo for password entry).

>  >If there isn't a clear idea of what would be a useful base to extend on,
>  >that says something very interesting about the future of MUD design.
>
> Perhaps that a lot of those writing servers from scratch are doing it
> mostly for fun? Either that or are doing commercial projects where the
> use of outside code might present legal problems?
> :-)

The for fun aspect I'll certainly buy.

Legal aspects of reusing code definitely contributed to my starting over
from scratch.  That's why I recommend a very flexible license for such
code.  I put my MUD socket example code in the public domain for a reason.
(Yes, I really don't mind if people take that chunk of code and strip my
name off of it, etc.)

I'm envisioning stuff where the only reasons not to use it are:
1) It's not doing what you want.
2) Starting from scratch is more fun.
3) You already have something better for your purposes.

I don't think there's an available MUD server like that yet.

> I'd be game to do an in-MUD programming language component, but I betcha
> few people would like the language (mostly strongly typed, syntax not
> at all like C, etc.)

My Lisp-like language would probably be as unpopular as your language.
I think a better approach would be to figure out what kind of primitives
a language might need from the rest of the server.  That lets us have
several different languages (possibly simultaneously), as tastes will
vary.

I don't think a single monolithic server would be flexible enough for
what most of us are interested in.   I'd build a mix and match collection
of components for things like internal language.  Some successful MUDs
don't have internal languages at all, and that's a model we should support
too.

Jon Leonard




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