[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev's DevMUD: a word of caution

Adam J. Thornton adam at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Sun Nov 1 10:47:16 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Sat, Oct 31, 1998 at 10:49:47PM +0100, Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad wrote:
> Not _text_ output :). Anyway, it is to be executed, it meets some
> requirements, it is a software project.  And I think it is excellent.=
..
> (Except for some limitations (dictionaries, which makes encapsulated
> postscript somewhat tricky))

It's basically Forth, isn't it?

Whether that is a good or a bad thing is open to debate.

What we can learn from Fred Brooks and Eric Raymond's "The Cathedral an=
d
the Bazaar" is, in my view, this:

A waterfall model, rigidly hierarchical, works reasonably well for proj=
ects
which have full time staff and does not have a changing target to
implement.  It is the latter that has caused most of the problems in re=
cent
years as the product life of a specific version of anything has shorten=
ed:
there is no real way to do a full waterfall model on a large project an=
d
still keep it adaptable to customers' (or the market's) changing needs =
on a
non-geologic timeframe.

The first reason is more important for us: we *have* to go with a bazaa=
r
development style, because none of us are going to be putting in 40 hou=
rs a
week for a year on this thing.  It will be a labor of love, done in our
spare time, for the most part, and therefore will need to be done in sm=
all
chunks. =20

We also need to consider our audience.  Is it the MUD community at larg=
e?
Is it people writing new MUD engines?  Is it people developing commerci=
al
MUDs who don't want to reinvent the wheel?  I'm thinking it's either th=
e
second or the third.  And a lot of *those* communities are already on t=
he
list.  And we need to consider our ambitions: is the DevMUD (or whateve=
r)
successful if it's used in 2 systems?  20?  200?  2000?  20000?  The
consensus answers to these ought to largely determine the direction
development takes, because it strongly influences many of the fundament=
al
design choices.

Adam
--=20
adam at princeton.edu=20
"There's a border to somewhere waiting, and a tank full of time." - J. =
Steinman




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