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» SmaugMuds.org » General » General Discussions » An apology, an explanation, a...
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An apology, an explanation, and a proposal.
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Post is unread #21 Dec 8, 2009, 11:33 pm
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Quixadhal
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Just a couple of quick notes from me here. :)

First, it's always good to hear from ya Samson, whether you're doing stuff or not.
Second, I'll agree that there's no need for any apologies Kayle, as others have said, one should enjoy their hobbies.

Now, with that out of the way... SmaugFUSS++ would be a good idea. I think the vast majority of people are sick of dealing with C by now. Seriously, younger people learn C++ out of the gate, and most of us old farts that cling to C still complain about it. I would not put much stock in the whining of people who complain about having to learn...

Point in case, the RaM project. We argued for *MONTHS* about switching from C to C++, heck we argued about just making g++ the default compiler in the makefile! In the end, we forked the Ice branch specifically to remain pure C, and you know how much interest remained? None. All the folks who argued so hard to keep things in C, ran away despite having a whole branch where they could have what they supposedly wanted.

So, you'll excuse me if the arguments about C++ being too different, too hard, or "not right" fall on deaf ears. :)

I would love to hear about a revision control system that really does make merging branches simple. I've used cvs and svn, both suck, but svn sucks less. Svn is workable, but only if you constantly keep your branch up-to-date with changes made in the trunk, so when it comes time to merge, it's only your changes going back into the current version.

As far as rewriting the codebases from scratch.... not a bad idea, but first one needs to document how they currently work. That's kindof what I was getting at with my "what makes Smaug, Smaug" question. If you wanted to re-implement Smaug (or SWR, etc) from scratch, you need to know what it is you're going to be re-inventing. AFAIK, none of these codebases fully documents how their components work. :)
       
Post is unread #22 Dec 8, 2009, 11:45 pm
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Kayle
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No they don't. Which is one of the biggest problems I have with Diku and it's ilk.
       
Post is unread #23 Dec 9, 2009, 12:51 am
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Tonitrus
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I wasn't actually going to comment on any of this, but you mentioned me.

All I was going to say anyway was "I'm not sure anything really counts as 'unbecoming behavior' for someone who willingly undertakes a task like maintaining a Diku-derivative." and "Just scrap the Star Wars derivatives and merge their useful features into FUSS."

David Haley said:

Indeed, it is quite possible that people will not want a fancy-pants feature-laden version, and will still want their plain ol' distribution even if there's a nifty other version available.

If the features were modular in nature, this would be irrelevant, people could just use what modules they want.
Kayle said:

We've already seen an example of this with Tonitrus and his dislike of us using g++ to compile.

And the appropriate response was to ignore Tonitrus, which is presumably what happened. There is nothing that you can do that will make everyone happy, and doing nothing at all won't make anyone happy either.
Samson said:

I fail to see what the issue with simply using g++ is, but there's always someone who needs to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the 90s :)

Actually Tonitrus fell in with a bad crowd and got addicted to python. Now he spends his nights sleeping in an alley abusing python calling conventions and maliciously replacing graphical smileys in quotes with their text equivalents.

P. S. I never did bother moving FUSS back to gcc, and the only reason I stopped using FUSS at all is because I hate the Diku license about 9x as much as I like the idea of running a mud. This is also the part where I intended to (jokingly) use the 'newer is better' "argument" to suggest porting the whole codebase to python, but even in fun the fallacy is tiresome, and I'd still hate the license.
       
Post is unread #24 Dec 9, 2009, 1:14 am
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Samson
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Tonitrus said:

"Just scrap the Star Wars derivatives and merge their useful features into FUSS."


Which is certainly a valid option, and one I'd fully support as probably the easiest of the solutions involving actual work.

Actually Tonitrus fell in with a bad crowd and got addicted to python.


Oh, the humanity! Of all the other languages I've seen and poked at, I have to say Python is right down there in the trash bin just above the slime at the bottom known as Perl. It just looks like an ugly hack to me for some reason. So naturally of course one of the major tools I use lately in Oblivion modding is written in Python. The gods if nothing else have a sense of irony.
       
Post is unread #25 Dec 9, 2009, 7:27 am
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David Haley
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Tonitrus said:

If the features were modular in nature, this would be irrelevant, people could just use what modules they want.

Making some features modular is possible. Making core changes like code design modular is, well, not possible. And some things are "possible" but also "far more trouble than it's worth".

Quixadhal said:

In the end, we forked the Ice branch specifically to remain pure C, and you know how much interest remained? None. All the folks who argued so hard to keep things in C, ran away despite having a whole branch where they could have what they supposedly wanted.

Sometimes, for this reason, I think that somebody's complaining should be weighted by how much stake they actually have, which can be measured by how willing they are to stick around and deal with the consequences of their choices. :wink:

Samson said:

Oh, the humanity! Of all the other languages I've seen and poked at, I have to say Python is right down there in the trash bin just above the slime at the bottom known as Perl. It just looks like an ugly hack to me for some reason. So naturally of course one of the major tools I use lately in Oblivion modding is written in Python. The gods if nothing else have a sense of irony.

It felt pretty funky at first to me too, but I got used to it; it's not so bad. I kind of like it now.


Re: version control.
I use bzr and it works beautifully for branching and merging branches. I can put up a demo of some sort at some point that shows how this works. git and mercurial (hg) are supposed to do the same thing, but I haven't used them as extensively on branching/merging specifically.
       
Post is unread #26 Dec 10, 2009, 9:21 am
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Keirath
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Sorry I'm late to the discussion. I got married Saturday and have been on my honeymoon.

Regardless, I'm going to also say that there is no reason to apologize.

So, I also am the type that regularly finds myself completely uninterested in working with any DIKU based MUD. However, it is what I learned to program on so I find my programming knowledge to be rather limited. I've really only ever worked on the SWR/FOTE branches, and have only tinkered on SMAUG.

Recently, I've had a similar idea to write a new SWR branch from SMAUG. But even then, I find myself disgusted with various things. The DIKU license, the affected system, etc.

I'm interested in seeing SWR work correctly, however, the amount of work I see involved in actually FIXING many of the issues nearly warrant a complete rewrite. I've messed with SocketMUD but I find myself extremely limited and unsure how to even begin working from scratch.

So I feel like I rambled, but basically, I'd like to see SWR/FotE support continue, and I'm willing to lend a hand, but a lot of the bugs I am not even sure where to BEGIN in the process of fixing them. And I am giving serious consideration to building off of SMAUG.
       
Post is unread #27 Dec 10, 2009, 12:09 pm
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Caius
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@thread

Creating a SmaugWars (tm) branch sounds great on paper. The SWR team did a good bit of hardcoding Star Wars stuff into the code, but it would certainly be possible to "fake" most of it. The important thing is that it retains the SWR feel from the players' perspective, right? It does beg an obvious question, though. Who will do it? The initial workload for merging SWR code into Smaug in a reasonably clean fashion would be formidable (add to that thorough testing). In the long run it would get easier if there is a good version control system to back it up, but right now it seems very unclear what FUSS's future is, if it even has one. The short term coolness factor of it simply doesn't justify the time it takes when there's nothing to work towards. Not for a relatively sane person anyway.

Since Smaug is the flag ship of the FUSS project I think the most pressing matter is deciding its future. I think it's safe to say that if SmaugFUSS dies, then FUSS as a whole dies. So discussing what to do with SWR/FotE is a bit premature in my opinion.

There are many nice ideas and suggestions in this thread. Legacy branch vs advanced C++ branch. SmaugWars. Lua. Smaug clone from scratch. Etc. But I ask again. Who is going to do it? Any of it?
       
Post is unread #28 Dec 10, 2009, 12:45 pm
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David Haley
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I can work (am already working, as time permits due to work etc.) on SmaugFUSS++ which to me basically means Smaug + Lua, with C++ thrown in where I find it expedient/beneficial to do so. My interest is mainly due to the following:
1- "see, you can do it"
2- learning experience (for me and others)

While I think it would help SmaugFUSS as a codebase to have this stuff, I don't really know how useful it is to have a release out there. The majority of people who are serious about running MUDs already have their own codebases, and are not going to merge in this kind of change. So, I don't have any illusions about radically transforming the MUD space this late in the game.

I think that the future of all programming (not just MUDs) lies in the mixture of compiled and interpreted languages, or even interpreted languages on their own. So I think people should start moving toward that goal. Having a version of SmaugFUSS with Lua will give people a demo of what is possible, while generally remaining well within their comfort zone. The problem with fancy new codebases written from scratch is that they often suffer from two problems:
1- they are very unfamiliar and take time to learn, for newbies and experts alike
2- more importantly, they don't actually implement full out-of-the-box games

The biggest strength to SMAUG is that you download it and boot it up, and bam, you have an entire game in front of you. Sure, you have to modify it to get anything interesting done, but that's ok -- you have an entire demo at your hands. SmaugFUSS+Lua would be a good way to do the same thing for showing people what is possible when you use a few modern techniques here and there, which is why I think this is useful. It's not because I think we'll see a big uptick in new MUDs starting up.

I have relatively little interest personally in building an entire Smaug clone from scratch; if I'm going to build something from scratch it will change several fundamental assumptions. For example, the command security model will be quite different. I suppose one could make a Smaug-gameplay clone, nevermind that the administration side to it is quite different.
       
Post is unread #29 Dec 10, 2009, 7:58 pm
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Keirath
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I have relatively little interest personally in building an entire Smaug clone from scratch; if I'm going to build something from scratch it will change several fundamental assumptions. For example, the command security model will be quite different. I suppose one could make a Smaug-gameplay clone, nevermind that the administration side to it is quite different.


If I write a MUD from scratch, I fully intend for it to be vastly different from SMAUG. Perhaps the same feel, but if you are going to write something new, why copy whats out there? Haha
       
Post is unread #30 Dec 10, 2009, 9:33 pm
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David Haley
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Well, too much innovation can make it difficult to attract people (players, administrators, whatever) to your game, because they'll have a set of expectations; this will make it very jarring for them as those expectations are challenged (even if the new game is indeed arguably superior).
       
Post is unread #31 Dec 11, 2009, 4:43 am
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Keirath
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I think that is an issue that is faced when you make massive changes to a base. I've found that manytimes (At least in the SWR community), when a MUD opens and it has some major modifications to the look and feel (ie statless, level-less etc) many players are hesitant to try them and those who do seem to rarely stick around. There are exceptions to this, but its a trend I've seen.
       
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