[MUD-Dev] Re: Missing the point: OpenMUD, Gamora, Casbah, etc.

Niklas Elmqvist d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se
Mon Oct 26 19:26:00 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Sun, 25 Oct 1998, Bruce Mitchener, Jr. wrote:

> There are a number of other systems out there that fulfill many of the
> postulated requirements for OpenMUD.  To name just a few, MOO, DGD, Muq (hey
> Cynbe), Cool, Interlude, Cold, Gamora, MudOS, Casbah, possibly POO.  These
> are just the ones that I think about off the top of my head, there are many
> more.  Many lessons have been learned by those involved with these projects.
> Many of the people associated with these projects have a strong sense of
> what the problems with the current (and previous) implementations are, and
> how they would do things if they were to start from scratch.  In some cases,
> there are _years_ of work invested in those systems, getting them to where
> they are today.
> Is there a reason that implementation must begin so soon?  Is there a reason
> that implementation must begin from scratch?  Why not take the time to learn
> about the existing projects, have people look into what has been done and
> where it failed and where it succeeded?  Even more than having an existing
> base of code, it might be very profitable just to have a survey of the field
> like that done to assess what the real state of the art is and where the
> real problems are to be solved.

Duly noted. There are probably *lots* of lessons to be learned from all
these projects, and others which were not mentioned. I also think we
should try to talk with these people about mistakes, tips and other
pointers. Why don't we start with you, Bruce? :) 

 - Which are the most important features DevMUD should support, judging
	from your background?
 - What are the key abstractions of the problem domain, in your opinion?
	(hmm, fuzzy question)
 - What to watch out for?
 - What did you do wrong?
 - What did you do right?
 - Any random wisdom you can share with us?

Don't get annoyed by these questions; I *know* Cold has a different design
philosophy/purpose than our proposed DevMUD, but we are grateful for any
help we can get. I am sure there are a lot of other questions which might
beneficient to our cause, but I can't think of them right now... Please
fill in with any information that you believe might aid us in our quest. 

However, I am not sure we've ever said that implementation must start
soon. What we're doing now can be characterized as analysis and possibly a
bit of design. We probably need to formalize this in some way (i.e. write
something down and make sure we can all agree on the specifics) and *then*
enter the design phase. After we're sure we have a sound and solid design,
we can move on to implementation. I know a lot of people are itching to
get down and dirty with some code, but I personally believe we need to
think and *then* code. And we'd better think good, seeing that this is
a quite large project.

Of course, I see no problem with some people commiting to code already and
work out some prototypes. I, for one, sometimes find it easier to think
about a system when I have some solid code to poke at. 

As for whether or not starting from scratch: I believe we should. I
believe DevMUD can be a valid and worthy member of the MUD server
community, and one that may very well gain a position of high prominence.
So why should we build a new MUD server and not use the existing ones?
"Why climb the highest mountain?" is a good quote to answer this question
(albeit one that does not really apply to this...). If not people like
Linus Torvalds, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein had thought something
like "hmm, I am sure we can do something better about this", humanity
would not be far off today.

(Okay, that was overly pompous, but you get my drift, I hope :)

>  - Bruce

-- Niklas Elmqvist (d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se) ----------------------
  "The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to 
   pray to."
		-- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list