DotNetMud: Driver finding objects, singletons, etc.

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In the original LPC land, the driver was the only way you could create an in-game object.  Along with this came several little things like:

  • The driver knew where every object was.
  • you could say new_object(“/path/to/object.cs”) and that’s how the driver knew where to grab its source.
  • the created objects were of two flavors – “/std/room/lobby” for example was the room that everybody would go to, but if you did a new_object on it, you’d get “/std/room/lobby#45”, which was a different object.  (this is called “prototyping”, and is also used by Javascript and Ruby)
  • you could USUALLY refer to an object by this string that represented the object.
  • Because of this deferment (string became an object), not everything in the mud loaded at the same time – there was some JIT loading going on.
  • The code was compiled at that point, so you could change the definition of the object and then create a new one of it.

In my DotNet world, I’m not limited by who can create which objects.    What to do?

Solution #1 – Don’t Manage it

Don’t Jit-Load anything.  If users want a singleton, they have to implement Instance.   All assemblies are loaded into the same appdomain. To change code, have to restart the mud.

This is doable, like a Diku, but not where I want to go.   Writing that Instance stuff over and over gets old.    Granted, there’s all kinds of C# stuff you could do, but the target audience for LPC was beginner programmers and game designers, not code poets.  Less code the better..

Solution #2 – Overmanage it

I could go with “all code is on disk and I run the compiler against it to generate it and then suck it in”.   Not going there yet either.

Solution #3 – Put in a layer of Find_Object etc.

This is the route I went. 

  • I decided that rather than “/path/to/object.cs”, I’d use a URI scheme. 
  • I’m using “builtin://TYPENAME” as my current implementation of “yo, go find me an object”.
  • I’m giving two different methods in the driver – one to find a “singleton” (if it already exists, reuse it, else create it), and another to create a new one every time.
  • I’ve set up some internal properties in StdObject that (supposedly) on the driver (and other responsible code) should set.

What I’m doing is leaving open some possibilities:

  • realm://sunnywiz/classname   — this could be a per-wizard realm pointer.  maps to an assembly, that might be loaded into an appdomain.  (appdomain = .Net version of forget this code and reload it)
  • persistent://DotNetMud.Mudlib.Room/WizardingHallway57 – this could be a stub that creates a standard thing of sort and then rehydrates it based on a tag stored in a database.

I’m also not saying “Everybody must use the driver to create their in-game objects.”  No, I’m saying “if you want to use the driver, you can, and I’ll track things, but if you don’t, I can’t guarantee I can keep track of it.”

The code referenced by this blog post is at this diff:  https://github.com/sunnywiz/dotnetmud2015/compare/blog20160106…blog20160107

Here’s some of it running:

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Posted in Code, Games

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