[MUD-Dev] Web vs. Java client

Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes kamikaze at kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu
Sun Oct 12 19:28:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


The MUD engine I'm working on is client-agnostic internally (though
it does require images, sounds, fonts, and colored text to be
possible).  I've so far been using it with a web interface running
on Tomcat, but I'm facing enough hassles with that environment that
I'm reconsidering it now.

My current options are:

  1) Pure web browser.  The current model I'm using.

    Pro: everyone has one, no installation, you can log in and play
    in almost no time, fast development time, because it does almost
    everything I'd ever want from a client.

    Con: reloading pages every few seconds is unsightly (very bad)
    and gobbles bandwidth (irrelevant to my server), and pushing a
    page refresh is difficult (solvable, but unreliable across
    browsers).

  2) Java applet shown with the Java plug-in.

    Pro: attractive, updates nigh-instantly, no installation unless
    the user has to click to get the Java plug-in.

    Con: more work to develop and maintain (not really a problem for
    me, but it's time that could be better spent on the server),
    slow initial download if it gets big, some people (but how
    many?) don't like to use Java applets.  Java Web Start has the
    same virtues and flaws.

  3) Other?  Are there any good cross-platform (a must) clients that
  already support everything I need?

How much interface installation are players of a free MUD willing to
put up with?  How much when it goes to subscription?

Does anyone who's tried a pure web browser interface have any advice
or warnings?

--
 <a href="http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/"> Mark Hughes </a>
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