[MUD-Dev] RE: [MUD DEV] Text editors in MUDs [was Structured Social Play]

Daniel Bendiksen spamreceiver at smalltowncomputers.com
Mon Sep 10 07:30:30 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


From: Matthew D. Fuller

> Now, it's understandable that the line-entry is all that you get
> (at least, on MUD's structured around a basic telnet interface).
> Do *YOU* want to try and teach your MUD about termcap-ish stuff,
> and screen-based interfaces, and make it 'work' with all of the
> various telnet and MUD clients that people use on a regular basis?

Termcap-ish and screen based interfaces... I know screen based
interfaces are a lot more lag sensitive, but they sure can pretty up
an interface if done well. Imagine walking into a post office and
having the commands listed for you, and all you have to do to select
them is "up arrow" to them and press enter. Some might almost feel
like they were using a communications pad, not a crude text entry
scheme.

Now, about actual entry methods...

Actually, I've already done that (from scratch) for a couple BBS's I
used to code up. The basic difference between the BBS's and the
MUDs? Full-Duplex vs Half-Duplex (local echo). I've always thought
it was kinda stupid of MUDs to be half-duplex.

Sadly, I didn't save my code for input routines from my BBS days
(although the fullscreen method was actually less complex than the
line editor because I could ditch all the edit/search&replace
commands). I do remember I had two input methods. A line entry
method (for those without VT100 or ANSI support terms) and a full
screen editor for those with.

Another note that I have yet to see MUDs using... Auto detect ANSI
fellas!  If you auto-detect ANSI, you can put some color in your
initial 'welcome' screens. *Now where did I put my ANSI code tables? 
I know there's an init challenge/response there somewhere that you
can use to auto-detect with...*

Hmmm... Oh yes, another annoyance that could be solved... If ANSI is
detected, query the terminal for it's current rows/columns settings! 
This allows you to MAKE CERTAIN that your output is matched to the
terminal dimensions.

Note: I fully understand that all this full screen stuff would be
hassled by random text from the MUD (like player chatting, people
entering/leaving the room you are in, etc). By the time you've
handled all that randomness, you've come very close to actually
teaching your MUD exactly how to use ANSI. You may even have
discovered the fact that you can have scrollable windows inside an
ANSI terminal (or was that VT100 or VT220?). Of course, if you end
up with scrollable windows inside the terminal program, you ruin the
terminal's scroll back buffer, but you can 100% put chat into one
area, room description in another area, and misc. text in a third
area. Starting to get a tad complex here for a simple ANSI
terminal... ;)

Just my opinion!

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