[MUD-Dev] Re: PDMud (was Re: Bruce Sterling on Virtual Community goals)

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Thu Oct 22 21:18:38 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Thu, 22 Oct 1998 22:45:34 -0400 
Darrin Hyrup<shades at mythicgames.com> wrote:

> IMO, one of the main sufferings of softcode heavy muds is that they
> use the internal language for too much.  It slows down the server
> and takes up a lot of CPU, cutting down the number of users one can
> support and adding delays/lag.  

This is a myth originated by partially competant authors and users of
softcode servers.  It is a very long way from the truth.  Go have a
look at properly (ie efficiently) constructed and written softcode
based MUDs (ColdX and BatMUD are good starters).  Also look at the
(very few) stats available from Marcus Ranum

  Note: Some statistics for ColdX were posted to this list quite some
time back by either Brandon Gillespie or Miro.  There are also a few
quoted messages from Marcus in the archives.

Want the truth?  Well written softcode servers are entirely capable of
outperforming moderately well written hardcoded servers.  

> The plug-in solution allows the mud programmer a choice in how they
> wish to set their system up.  If they wish, they can code more in
> the internal language, or they can use existing mud-code, or use
> pre-compiled plugins (or create their own) for speed.  That way
> neither flexibility nor efficiency are sacrificed, and the server
> remains as simple and slim as possible.

Such modular systems require what is essence is a message passing
system for the communication between modules.  It can be difficult
(witness the Mach micro-kernel) to ensure that the message passing
overhead does not become a significant fraction of the total
processing effort.  This will be especially difficult as the number of
boundary crossings (inter-module) for a modular plug0in-style server
will be difficult to keep low.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                             Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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