Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

A forum to discuss the 24x7 online p-Hârn world Harshlands MUD (http://harshlands.net) inspired by N. Robin Crossby. Discussion should avoid current In-Character world activities so as not to spoil the immersion of others in the game.

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ggx7
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Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#1 Post by ggx7 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:15 am

Just curious about staff's coding history (if you wouldn't mind me asking), and any tips or whatnot for a CS student such as myself. I've actually got one goal before I graduate and thats to release a little single player rpg game before my graduation. I have a couple questions.

1) What programming language is Harshlands coded in?
2) Staff seems very good at implementing new features despite what some MUDers say about the codebase being slightly "dated"(stated on other mud forums/sites from users). How are you guys able to implement these new features despite HL being one of the oldest(this is a compliment!) coded MUDs. I suppose its what my teachers are trying to reinforce in our foundation about maintaining robust and flexible code.
3) Would staff ever consider hiring "apprentice" coders? (hey, it's a longshot but just curious :lol: )

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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#2 Post by blackhorde » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:13 am

1. It was originally coded in C and ported to C++. This means a lot of C code surrounded with some newer C++ stuff since they can both exist in a C++ environment.

2. The code base has gone through so many changes with so many different coders involved over the decades that it can be a daunting environment to dive into and make changes. It helps to work with the code focusing on small fixes that have been requested, getting familiar with the sprawl of the code, before rolling up your sleeves to try adding something new. I don't see that 'being dated' is a problem so much as there is so much coded and built relying on X pieces of Y code that it can be a Herculean task to introduce code that tries to interact with the Characters/Objects/Rooms that already exist in a different manner than how it was originally meant to work. Thousands and thousands of things to take into mind. Where as if you had no existing world making these type of code decisions or additions would be much easier.

3. We have tried out a few coders in the past and they have had varying levels of contributions and success though none have shown the interest to continue the work. If there is something in the code that interests you which you think you can improve on we can certainly show off what is there for you to offer suggestions to make it better. I think we had some math fixed in our NPC's height generation at one time by a player being shown the code behind it and them pointing out a problem for example. We never refuse help. :)
Fred Ellis aka Blackhorde

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ggx7
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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#3 Post by ggx7 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:47 am

Hey Blackhorde! thanks for taking the time to reply.

1. Wow, that's pretty darn interesting, didn't know that c and c++ can be mixed together.

2. Ah, I see. That definitely sounds daunting for sure. I could see why that would and could be overwhelming to work on.

3. Well, that definitely sounds awesome. Pretty busy with my courses atm!

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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#4 Post by blackhorde » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:58 am

ggx7 wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:47 am
1. Wow, that's pretty darn interesting, didn't know that c and c++ can be mixed together.
C++ introduces the object oriented aspect of coding but it still makes use of the IFs WHEREs FORs, etc which C and older code bases use.
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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#5 Post by ggx7 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:17 am

Ah, right. I've taken an introduction to C++ course, but most of my programming courses have been in Java... and Data Structures is occupying my time atm. Very ... eh challenging, lol.

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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#6 Post by blackhorde » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:27 am

ggx7 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:17 am
and Data Structures is occupying my time atm. Very ... eh challenging, lol.
Good luck!
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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#7 Post by balgashang » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:03 pm

So out of curiosity since we're talking about code, what's circle and diku? Are they different languages?

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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#8 Post by blackhorde » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:44 am

balgashang wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:03 pm
So out of curiosity since we're talking about code, what's circle and diku? Are they different languages?
From a quick Google search they both seem to be coded in C. Not surprising for Diku to be written in C as that is where HL's code came from but later on we ported to C++ since the RPI community were making advances with their ported code base and we wanted to take advantage of said improvements and not be left behind.
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Re: Interested in knowing more about staff's coding journey, if they don't mind (CS student)

#9 Post by ggx7 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:23 pm

There's actually a wiki family tree on the many different derivations of DikuMUD here: http://mud.wikia.com/wiki/Diku_Family_Tree

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