[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev Digest, Vol 6, Issue 3

Alex Chacha achacha at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 7 12:54:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Eric Merritt <cyberlync at yahoo.com>
>--- Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes wrote:

>> Well, thanks, but unfortunately, that's just trading one
>> big-download client with shifting capabilities for another: now
>> the user's required to download Mozilla, rather than the Java
>> plug-in for their browser of choice.  Great, if you're one of the
>> 5 people in the world who actively use Mozilla, but the people
>> who don't like installing software are going to be even less
>> happy with installing a new web browser to play a game, than
>> installing the Java plug-in.

> Currently mozilla holds about 2% of the browsers
> markent. Considering that there are (at the last count I could
> find) 459,000,000 people who use the internet this means about
> 9,180,000 people use mozilla. I would suspect that in the mud
> community this number would be much higher. In any case, its
> slightly bigger the 5.
 
> Considering that java based applets are a pain in the butt to
> develope and an even bigger pain to maintain, I personally would
> choose the mozilla option. As for what people would prefer to
> download, you can't be sure of that unless you do a market
> survey. I personally would thing that downloading and installing a
> browser would have much less of a fear factor for the general
> public then downloading and installing the java vm.

I would have to agree with you on the Mozilla vs Java client.  We
have implemented a java client. A barebones one that has very basic
navigation, interaction with NPCs, quest interface and basic combat.
It works using the AppletViewer, once I try it with IE 6.0 some of
the controls don't work and screen updates are not happening
correctly. With IE 5.0 it never finishes loading.  With Mac I can't
get the controls aligned correctly.  With Mozilla it works close to
the applet viewer but has a vew minor glitches.  All this from a
simple java 1.1 compliant client, I fear making it any more complex.

I am at a crossroads now, I am very frustrated with Java, the whole
build once run anywhere slogan sounds great, but it has not worked
for me yet.  This is my third project where Java was used on the
client-side (I am never in the loop on those decisions) and none of
the 3 projects worked.  One was converted to all HTML, one was
changed to an ActiveX control for IE only and here I am on the third
one and it doesn't look good.  I am the guy who codes quests, items,
magic logic and spells; a bit specialized :) So UI is not my forte.

Reading about the Mozilla XUL based interface is reassuring and that
will be the technology I will pursue (given the FireBird is probably
the best browser out there in my opinion, and I used to be IE only
person).  Since this is a MUD I am working on, constraining people
to use Mozilla client is no different than downloading a custom
client (such as Win32 or whatnot) but it is also a great browser and
if I am lucky, the mozilla client will work on more than just
Windows, but I will be happy with just Windows and not worrying
about which browser the users have, which version of the VM and
which glitches I have to account for.

I am debating of switching to Win32 native client (would hate to
lock out Linux and Mac users but it's a lot easier to develop and
distribute), using Mozilla as a client or just give up on a
semblance of UI and do it all in textmode via line interface.

++Alex
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