Ruby as a MUD language


M

malcolm.ryan

I'm thinking about building a new MUD server (for those who are less
ancient than I, think "MUD == text only MMORPG"). I'd like to allow
players to build and program objects in the world, but I'd rather avoid
having to write my own programming language. I was wondering whether an
existing scripting language like Ruby might be useable?

The first problem is, of course, that I don't want the players to be
able to do _everything_ the language offers. Their code should only
affect the running of the world, and they should not be able to change
or delete files on my system or do other nasty things.

I'm aware of the $SAFE setting and the tainting procedure, but I'm not
sure how I could use this to do what I want. Any suggestions?

Malcolm
 
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B

Bill Guindon

I'm thinking about building a new MUD server (for those who are less
ancient than I, think "MUD =3D=3D text only MMORPG"). I'd like to allow
players to build and program objects in the world, but I'd rather avoid
having to write my own programming language. I was wondering whether an
existing scripting language like Ruby might be useable?

The first problem is, of course, that I don't want the players to be
able to do _everything_ the language offers. Their code should only
affect the running of the world, and they should not be able to change
or delete files on my system or do other nasty things.

I'm aware of the $SAFE setting and the tainting procedure, but I'm not
sure how I could use this to do what I want. Any suggestions?

Well, this isn't exactly an answer to your question, but...
Have you heard of FaerieMUD?
http://www.faeriemud.org/
 
L

Logan Capaldo

I'm thinking about building a new MUD server (for those who are less
ancient than I, think "MUD == text only MMORPG"). I'd like to allow
players to build and program objects in the world, but I'd rather
avoid
having to write my own programming language. I was wondering
whether an
existing scripting language like Ruby might be useable?

The first problem is, of course, that I don't want the players to be
able to do _everything_ the language offers. Their code should only
affect the running of the world, and they should not be able to change
or delete files on my system or do other nasty things.

I'm aware of the $SAFE setting and the tainting procedure, but I'm not
sure how I could use this to do what I want. Any suggestions?

Malcolm

This is the usual idiom for "super" safe code:

Thread.new do
$SAFE = 4
eval(code)
end

However, someone will always find a way to mess things up. What I
would suggest is a combination of this plus having the mud running in
at least two processes. The one on which the user code runs would run
as a user with almost no filesystem permissions, but would have a way
to communicate with the other process (such as drb). You then provide
an API to do things that require persisting stuff to disk. ie rather
that them doing

File.open("new_character_class.class", "w") do |file|
# create a chraacter class
end

you have something like:

CharacterClass.add_class("new_character_class", ...)
 
G

Garance A Drosehn

I'm thinking about building a new MUD server (for those who are less
ancient than I, think "MUD =3D=3D text only MMORPG"). I'd like to allow
players to build and program objects in the world, but I'd rather avoid
having to write my own programming language. I was wondering whether an
existing scripting language like Ruby might be useable?

If you are hoping to create a MUD with some object-oriented language,
then the result would probably be called a "MOO".

Building an entire MOO from scratch is going to be a lot of work,
particularly if you want it to be reliable in all the little-boring-details=
,
such as handling many simultaneous network connections (some of
which will be going haywire...), and not having some tiny memory
leak which turns into gigabytes of wasted memory after the MOO
has been up-and-running for 10 weeks straight. You'll also probably
want some notion of access-levels, such that users can modify the
objects they create, but they don't modify the objects which
implement the login-sequence to your virtual world.

You might want to start with some already existing MOO, like the
LambdaMOO project at sourceforge, and then change that such
that the language is more ruby-like. Of course, that would also be
a project that requires a lot of work!

Some friends and I use a slightly-modified version of LambdaMOO
for a chat-system we wrote, and it handles many of the details that
we probably never would have done right. And even *with* all that
work done, there is plenty of work in defining our actual "virtual
world" that we never get around to everything we'd like to do.

There are many things I like about LambdaMOO, but certainly I
would like it more if the language "looked and felt" more like ruby!
 
L

Logan Capaldo

If you are hoping to create a MUD with some object-oriented language,
then the result would probably be called a "MOO".

Building an entire MOO from scratch is going to be a lot of work,
particularly if you want it to be reliable in all the little-boring-
details,
such as handling many simultaneous network connections (some of
which will be going haywire...), and not having some tiny memory
leak which turns into gigabytes of wasted memory after the MOO
has been up-and-running for 10 weeks straight. You'll also probably
want some notion of access-levels, such that users can modify the
objects they create, but they don't modify the objects which
implement the login-sequence to your virtual world.

You might want to start with some already existing MOO, like the
LambdaMOO project at sourceforge, and then change that such
that the language is more ruby-like. Of course, that would also be
a project that requires a lot of work!

Some friends and I use a slightly-modified version of LambdaMOO
for a chat-system we wrote, and it handles many of the details that
we probably never would have done right. And even *with* all that
work done, there is plenty of work in defining our actual "virtual
world" that we never get around to everything we'd like to do.

There are many things I like about LambdaMOO, but certainly I
would like it more if the language "looked and felt" more like ruby!


As far as handling all the connection garbage, the FaerieMUD guys
have this to offer:
http://www.deveiate.org/projects/MUES
 
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M

malcolm.ryan

[Followups redirected to alt.mud.programming, as this is getting OT for
comp.lang.ruby]
If you are hoping to create a MUD with some object-oriented language,
then the result would probably be called a "MOO".

Yes. I've been a long term player and programmer at LambdaMOO. I like
it a lot, but the language is old and fairly kludgy. I was hoping to
replace it with something more modern and ubiquitous.
Building an entire MOO from scratch is going to be a lot of work,
particularly if you want it to be reliable in all the little-boring-details,
such as handling many simultaneous network connections (some of
which will be going haywire...), and not having some tiny memory
leak which turns into gigabytes of wasted memory after the MOO
has been up-and-running for 10 weeks straight. You'll also probably
want some notion of access-levels, such that users can modify the
objects they create, but they don't modify the objects which
implement the login-sequence to your virtual world.

Yes. Handling concurrency and access levels would be very important.I
suppose such features would need to be built into the language from the
word go. Overlaying them on an existing language would probably end up
being unmanageable.
You might want to start with some already existing MOO, like the
LambdaMOO project at sourceforge, and then change that such
that the language is more ruby-like. Of course, that would also be
a project that requires a lot of work!

Heh. I've looked at the LambdaMOO server source, and I wouldn't touch
it with a barge-pole!
There are many things I like about LambdaMOO, but certainly I
would like it more if the language "looked and felt" more like ruby!

My thinking exactly. I was hoping that I could take an existing
well-designed language and wrap a MUD around it. But I guess it won't
be that easy. Sigh.

Malcolm
 
L

Logan Capaldo

Does MUES allow in-game building by players?
It's not immediately apparent from the web pages.

Malcolm

I don't believe MUES is intended to be that high level. I don't
believe MUES even provides the whole room/object concept. It just
handles the serving of information to the client and multiplexing the
IO. Any in-game building would be coded at a higher level than MUES.
You could look at FaerieMUD itself and see if that provides in game
building. (I suspect not, FaerieMUD seems to be a very classically
styled RPG (as opposed to a more Second Life-esque MUD (sorry can't
remember the acronym for those kinds of MUDs, MUSH maybe?), at least
in terms of flavor, if not necessarily implementation.)
 
T

Tobias Jonch

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Hey Gang :)

I recently joined this list because I too am building a MUD with Ruby.

Bill, you absolutely must to check out TeensyMUD:
http://sourcery.dyndns.org/teensymud/index.html

I doubt you'll find anything more suitable for your needs.

Regards,
Massaria

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P

Peter Fitzgibbons

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Hey Gang :)

I recently joined this list because I too am building a MUD with Ruby.

Bill, you absolutely must to check out TeensyMUD:
http://sourcery.dyndns.org/teensymud/index.html

I doubt you'll find anything more suitable for your needs.

Regards,
Massaria
Ok all,

I'm amped on toying with a Ruby Mud...
WHO is serving one (not "trial size") ???

Thanks.

--
 
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