[MUD-Dev] Parser engines

Brian Hook brianhook at pyrogon.com
Tue Mar 9 12:52:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


I've been looking at the various input parsers in different MUDs
(although I haven't had a chance to look at commercial text MUDs),
and by and large the parser technology seems to be roughly
early-Infocom, if that.

This is in contrast to the parsers in interactive fiction engines
such as INFORM or Hugo, which can support fairly elaborate
statements (exception clauses, context analysis ("take off helm"
vs. "take helm"), enumerant modifiers slightly more exotic than "get
2.bag", etc.).

So several questions:

  - what MUDs do have IF-quality parsers?

  - assuming I'm correct that most MUDs (Diku and LP derivatives)
  don't have IF-quality parsers, is there a good reason for this and
  is this an impediment to less combat oriented, more puzzle
  oriented play?

My guess for the second question above is that many players don't
care about the quality of a parser so long as the basic commands
they want are there ("kill orc"), and that a lot of the features in
IF-engines (which are normally puzzle oriented, not combat
oriented), are considered fluff or irrelevant to most combat MUD
players.

Brian
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