Talk:xartum

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Posted by rlpowell on Sat 07 of Jan., 2006 10:12 GMT posts: 14214

So I've started thinking about xartum WRT the MOO.

Seems to me that we could have two systems existing side-by-side:

1. People can petition The Gods for things to happen (subject to the current rules)in free-form Lojban. This can include rules changes.

2. People can build and code things themselves, subject to the rules. This cannot include rules changes.

English building and coding commands would be turned off.

Case #1 is pretty straightforward, as The Gods can directly enforce The Rules as they implement things. Case #2 is harder, so here's my ideas on that.

The Rules would be enforced programatically, for the most part, to allow #2 to work. That is, The Gods would turn the rules, as much as possible, into code in the MOO. In some cases, this would simply mean causing actions to be tagged for review by the Gods; for example, it occured to me that one of The Rules should be "There must always be at least 200 km^2 of open ocean" (for The Gods to live in). This could be handled easily by making a room whose description is the vast stretches of open ocean, and coding in the restriction that any attempted changes to that room or its exits must be reviewed by The Gods.

In other case, direct enforcement can occur within the code. "People cannot carry each other in their pockets" (a trivial example that just crossed my mind, as it turns out to be possible in the current MOO) has direct translations to code, as does "Any person my contact any other person by giving a message to any bird nearby."

To handle this, a toolkit would need to be developed to allow for tracking of the petitions, easy handling of the whole "this change must be reviewed by The Gods" concept, and probably a few other things, but I don't forsee any of that being especially difficult.

I suggest that petitions are handled on a first-come, first-served basis, with later rules over-riding previous ones. There would need to be a facility for people voting on particular rules, so that a direct conflict between two rules wouldn't just devolve into people over-riding each other over and over.

A side effect of this is that some petitions would be summarily denied, because they are impossible to either code or put in "review by the gods" code hooks. In most cases, this will mean they are underspecified anyways. At first I thought that "Only those of pure intention can enter the sacred temple" was such a rule, but in fact that can be handled by having The Gods review anyone who tries to enter, and just letting the person in based on whether they like them or not. :-) But I'm sure there are plenty of rules that couldn't reasonably be enforced. That's OK, though; inscrutable dieties are fun. :-)

Thoughts?

-Robin

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EppcottPosted by Eppcott on Sun 08 of Jan., 2006 03:40 GMT posts: 4740

It would thrill me if you develop a polling toolkit that is integrated with jbomu'e. If not, we can use Wiki polls. I don't want your valuable time to be taken up with this if it would be better spent elsewhere.

Am I correct that working magic would almost always involve Perl? Lojban is then the equivalent of prayer ... or incanting familiars to do one's bidding, depending on how one feels about those who have breached a toposophic boundary15px|(external link).

It also makes me chuckle to imagine entreating specific real-world Perl programmers by name in one's prayers (or grimoires15px|(external link), if the Perl programmer is a BOFH15px|(external link)).

I like the idea of rules that are code. If someone finds a loophole, we should take a page from the story of "cheating Death" in "Lessons from Lucasfilm's Habitat" and not violate the world model. The gods should allow the mortal to keep whatever result he/she get from it, and then patch the code to prevent further exploit.

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EppcottPosted by Eppcott on Sun 08 of Jan., 2006 04:17 GMT posts: 4740
We can pretend that one of the transcended beings used to be Nat Torkington or somebody. But he is certainly no demonic familiar. He's more like a trickster god, I think.
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rlpowellPosted by rlpowell on Sun 08 of Jan., 2006 08:44 GMT posts: 14214

Just had a long conversation with a friend about this stuff.

On a meta-meta level, she feels that it would be more fun if The Gods were fickle and arbitrary. Don't bother with voting or democracy; just have the gods pick whichever rule they like best, on a whim, and change their minds as often as they feel like. She has never actually *played* a MUD, which makes here a good naive user case. She feels that if nothing is taken seriously, people won't get their panties in a bunch about the political crap. It seems odd to me, but then I'm the exact opposite of a naive user.

She also suggested something that, for some odd reason, hadn't even occured to me: punishment. Specifically, enforcement of rules that can't reasonably or easily be made programmatic is done by punishment, i.e. you're fine until someone catches you, and then the gods get to make up an in-game punishment. I think this is an extremely good idea, in that it lets us have rules that are complex or subtle. It does mean, however, that the gods are not omniscient, but I think that's fine: The Gods Sleep In The Sea, and they are very busy with whatever inscrutable things they are doing, and woe betide those who question their actions, or the timing thereof.

-Robin

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rlpowellPosted by rlpowell on Sun 08 of Jan., 2006 08:56 GMT posts: 14214

On Sat, Jan 07, 2006 at 07:40:23PM -0800, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote: > It would thrill me if you develop a polling toolkit that is > integrated with jbomu'e. If not, we can use Wiki polls. I don't > want your valuable time to be taken up with this if it would be > better spent elsewhere.

Really shouldn't be very hard; much easier overall to do it in the game, I think, than require the gods to track information in multiple places. A command that lists the current status of votes in the moo and so on really doesn't strike me as terribly difficult.

> Am I correct that working magic would almost always involve Perl?

Again: *any programming language works*. Much of the *current* moo code is in Perl, but there's no requirement at all that people use that. C, Perl, Python and shell scripting are all fully supported, and Ruby mostly works. New languages can be added by their adherents working with me on a model for them to interact with the MOO.

Furthermore, it depends on what you mean by "working magic". Creating a castle from thin air is just a command; search for "create" on http://www.lojban.org/tiki/Lojban+MOO+Lojban+Commands&bl

(ok, creating a full, working castle would probably require quite a few commands, but shouldn't require any programming at all; if it does, that means the moo isn't feature complete yet, IMO)

You may at this point be wondering WTF actually *requires* programming. The answer is that making objects that behave differently from every other object on the moo requires programming. A castle is just rooms and doors and furniture; the moo already has all those things. A Meep (that is, an animal that listens to what's said in a room and occassionaly repeats it; this is a common MOO trick) is not something that is currently programmed in, and thus would require programming.

Hmmm. It would be really nice if someone (i.e. epkat :-) took the previous few paragraphs, cleaned them up a bit, and stuck them on The Lojban MOO page, as they seem pretty helpful.

> Lojban is then the equivalent of prayer ... or incanting familiars > to do one's bidding, depending on how one feels about those who > have breached a > [http://www.orionsarm.com/sophontology/singularities.html toposophic > boundary]15px|(external link).

Well, yes and no. As I said, there would be two types of things: prayers (free-form requests to the dieties) and direct magic (building and programming). The magic need not involve programming at all; for most people's purposes it won't.

In fact, this would be an *excellent* place for someone to get the oft-touted Lojban Programming Language working.

> It also makes me chuckle to imagine entreating specific > real-world Perl programmers by name in one's prayers (or > grimoires15px|(external link), if > the Perl programmer is a > BOFH15px|(external link)).

That's very silly. Especially since one of the primary points of mooix is that any language can be used.

> I like the idea of rules that are code. If someone finds a > loophole, we should take a page from the story of "cheating Death" > in "Lessons from Lucasfilm's Habitat" and not violate the world > model. The gods should allow the mortal to keep whatever result > he/she get from it, and then patch the code to prevent further > exploit.

  • nod*

See my other post for comments about more complex and subtle rules than can be coded.

-Robin

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Posted by Anonymous on Sun 08 of Jan., 2006 15:54 GMT

On 1/7/06, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote: > In other case, direct enforcement can occur within the code. "People > cannot carry each other in their pockets" (a trivial example that just > crossed my mind, as it turns out to be possible in the current MOO)

Would that be because one character should not be able to decide where another character goes, or because it would be "physically impossible" for someone to fit into someone else's pockets (i.e. no lilliputians or giants allowed)?

mu'o mi'e xorxes

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rlpowellPosted by rlpowell on Sun 08 of Jan., 2006 22:19 GMT posts: 14214

On Sun, Jan 08, 2006 at 12:54:12PM -0300, Jorge Llamb?as wrote: > On 1/7/06, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote: > > In other case, direct enforcement can occur within the code. > > "People cannot carry each other in their pockets" (a trivial > > example that just crossed my mind, as it turns out to be > > possible in the current MOO) > > Would that be because one character should not be able to decide > where another character goes, or because it would be "physically > impossible" for someone to fit into someone else's pockets (i.e. > no lilliputians or giants allowed)?

Definately the former. Hell, Broca's avatar is:

.i gau mi > viska le ratni .i ratni li 18 .i ji'a se pagbu 22 neutroni .i dikca nutli .i fulta gi'e sarxe slilu .i ponse le pipe .e a klystron tube gi'e dasni lo black hat .i sipna

".i gau mi > " is the command prompt.

-Robin

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EppcottPosted by Eppcott on Tue 10 of Jan., 2006 19:31 GMT posts: 4740

Sure, I'm up for that. Politics could get ugly, anyway. And, unless the decision-makers are flipping a coin, it helps stabilize narrative and stylistic consistency.

The role of the Gods is played by you, Eimi, and other programmers, right? I'm just trying to see who will be consulted for decisions that determine the mileau setting, or the sourcebook if you will.

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rlpowellPosted by rlpowell on Tue 10 of Jan., 2006 20:37 GMT posts: 14214

On Tue, Jan 10, 2006 at 11:31:54AM -0800, Eppcott wrote: > Sure, I'm up for that.

You're up for what? Quoting, or at least hitting the "reply" button, helps.

> Politics could get ugly, anyway. And, unless the decision-makers > are flipping a coin, it helps stabilize narrative and stylistic > consistency.

Oh, the "the gods are mysterious and fickle" thing.

> The role of the Gods is played by you, Eimi, and other > programmers, right?

Correct, hopefully with some consultation, possibly with a larger group than just the admins.

> I'm just trying to see who will be consulted for decisions that > determine the mileau setting, or the sourcebook if you will.

  • nod*

-Robin

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EppcottPosted by Eppcott on Tue 10 of Jan., 2006 21:57 GMT posts: 4740

> On Sat, Jan 07, 2006 at 07:40:23PM -0800, wikidiscuss@lojban.org wrote: > > > Am I correct that working magic would almost always involve Perl? > > Again: *any programming language works*.

I should have said "involve a programming language." It's all the same for my purposes.

> A castle is just rooms and doors and furniture; the moo already has > all those things.

Does the spot of outdoors in which the castle is located count as a room, in which case there can be rooms within rooms?

> Hmmm. It would be really nice if someone (i.e. epkat :-) took the > previous few paragraphs, cleaned them up a bit, and stuck them on > The Lojban MOO page, as they seem pretty helpful.

I will, tonight or tomorrow night.

>Well, yes and no. As I said, there would be two types of things: prayers >(free-form requests to the dieties) and direct magic (building and programming).

How will the gods know that someone has prayed for something? Is a record kept of everything that's said and done in the world?

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arjPosted by arj on Tue 10 of Jan., 2006 22:19 GMT posts: 953

On Tue, 10 Jan 2006, Eppcott wrote:

>> A castle is just rooms and doors and furniture; the moo already has >> all those things. > > Does the spot of outdoors in which the castle is located count as a room, in which case there can be rooms within rooms?

Yes. Any location that you can be at, and which you can move into or out of, is a "room" in MUD/IF terminology.

Although the castle is not really "within" the outdoor location in the usual sense for MUDs; it just means that you can go "in" from the outdoor location, and "out" from the castle. The directions are just labels for the MUD; it is functionally equivalent to having two rooms east and west of each other.

IIRC, there are specific classes of indoors and outdoors "rooms" (ie. locations) which behave slightly different.

-- Arnt Richard Johansen http://arj.nvg.org/ Information wants to be anthropomorphized!

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rlpowellPosted by rlpowell on Tue 10 of Jan., 2006 22:24 GMT posts: 14214

On Tue, Jan 10, 2006 at 01:57:26PM -0800, Eppcott wrote: > Re: xartum > > Hmmm. It would be really nice if someone (i.e. epkat :-) took > > the previous few paragraphs, cleaned them up a bit, and stuck > > them on The Lojban MOO page, as they seem pretty helpful. > > I will, tonight or tomorrow night.

Thanks! Any work you want to do on that page to meake it easier to understand/use would be very much appreciated.

> >Well, yes and no. As I said, there would be two types of things: > >prayers (free-form requests to the dieties) and direct magic > >(building and programming). > > How will the gods know that someone has prayed for something?

They prayer command will record it somewhere.

> Is a record kept of everything that's said and done in the world?

No.

-Robin