[MUD-Dev] TECH: programming languages (was: Re: TECH: STL / Heaps, etc.)

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Wed Aug 22 14:20:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Bruce Mitchener wrote:

> For example, high level languages need not be slow.  Techniques
> that have been refined over the last 2 decades for efficient
> implementations have paid off well.  The definition of 'slow' is
> also something that isn't easily defined without greater
> surrounding context and an evaluation of what's important in a
> project.

True high level languages (like true LP, not prolog) are slow
because you only specify the problem and not the strategy used for
finding the solution. High level languages invite you to liberally
use mechanisms which force a slower implementation.  You can
obviously avoid those if you know that they are slow, but then you
are no longer primarily thinking on an abstract level, i.e. in terms
of the problem rather than the specifics of the solution and the
peculiarities of the implementation and the underlying
architecture. I am not an expert on programming languages, but I
don't know where you've found these efficient implementations...

When I program in a low level language like C I actually think in
terms of cache sizes and branching. You don't do that in a (true)
high level language.

(This is not to say that there isn't a lot of stuff in C that makes
C slow)

> Further, I think that you've conflated the idea of 'new type of
> server' with 'new type of game'.  But I think I've mentioned that
> in a previous post. :)

It is even worse. I'm not really interested in a game, but a world
with mechanisms. :P :)

> To me, it seems that you seek extreme changes and undervalue the
> benefits and possibilities offered by more subtle ones.

You are probably right about the seeking of extreme changes. For
subtle changes... It would be nice to get an overview of all the
possible object models and their advantages and disadvantages, even
within the typical RPG paradigm. Some languages make certain things
easier sure, but I somehow feel that the language level is the wrong
level to reason about these things.

Does anyone know of any books or papers on object models and
simulations? (remotely suitable for building a virtual world engine,
i.e. not batch)

--
Ola  -  http://www.notam.uio.no/~olagr/

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