[MUD-Dev] Web vs. Java client

Torgny Bjers artovil at arcanerealms.org
Tue Oct 14 09:09:26 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes

> 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.

Personally I don't really believe in this for a multi-user game
platform. It sort of feels like settling for the second best or
something, if you pardon.

>   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.

I'd actually prefer Java Web Start over an inline web page java
plugin.  Would it be possible to just have the client as a
downloadable applet instead?

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

Flash could be a possibility. It has streaming XML socket support,
which you could run against Swocket if you have Python on your
machine.  That way you'd get instant updates as well, as opposed to
a pure web browser.  I'd say that almost every computer around has a
Flash plugin these days, and if not, it's very easy to obtain.

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

I'd say that they're willing to put up with a bit of
installation. Look at most new subscription games, they come with at
least one whole CD. ;)

Warm Regards,
Torgny Bjers
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