Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Nethack needs an upgrade (Score 4, Interesting) 186

I've actually been writing a multiplayer roguelike so I may take a stab at some of these.

if you had to wait for others to finish their turn or if the turns had a time limit, it would take much longer than couple of weeks for anyone to finish.

I don't think there's any way to have a turn-based multiplayer dungeon game with a significant amount of people in it. At some point someone lags and the game dies. If you decide to have a cut off point (like 5 seconds per turn) then it just becomes a really slow real-time game. People hate it and stopped playing almost immediately during play testing.

this is what many people forget. the interface as it is, is suited for a single player game. like instead of pressing a button and typing in a number to wait for 100 turns would you rather wait half an hour? all the game mechanics would need changing.

Pretty much on the money here, I've had to re-evaluate almost every mechanic, especially the sleep/paralysis ones. The good news is that if you play in a team you are suddenly a lot more resilient to these effects, your team becomes your shield.

thing is, nethack is TURN BASED. changing it to a realtime game doesn't quite work out simply and in the end it is something totally else.

I agree that it would be near impossible to port all the NetHack mechanics verbatim. You could probably make something for a small team of four people or so, who are friends and talking on teamspeak or something, but not a game with hundreds or thousands of players.

and in a little while all the levels would be digged up. of course, you could make them bigger than the screen but that would be totally changing the game mechanic again.

I did playtesting with destructable dungeons, it's a nightmare. You just can't let people dig holes in the floors, walls. Perhaps the only way it would work is if it literally took hours to dig one square. I experimented with allowing you to dig a path with a pick, and letting the dungeon heal itself over time, it works OK but doesn't really add much to the game.

If you want to check out what I came up with check out Squadhack. It's in an early alpha at the moment and many things don't work but due to the graphics it will be familiar to many NetHack players.

Comment Re:Nethack needs an upgrade (Score 2) 186

I have written a mutiplayer roguelike game which can be played in a browser using HTML5 techs, so no flash or plugins.

Try it out: www.squadhack.com

It was originally a space game but the creator of the Absurd tilesets let me use them for the game, I've played hundreds of hours of NetHack (and other roguelikes) so players of NetHack will definitely notice a lot of similarities.

It's in an early alpha stage at the moment but is quite playable. Lots of corporate firewalls stop websockets dead though, so if you get the "connection interrupted" message then it may be your firewall is killing websockets. This will probably be solved when I get around to sorting out the SSL cert.

Although this has a lot of the graphics and items similar to NetHack there is no story or missions, there are teams though and you can easily use a #squadtag to form an ad-hoc team with your friends.

If you play it do let me know if you have any suggestions.

Comment Re:Benefits (Score 1) 112

Yes, but do you see what you're doing there? You're throwing money at a problem, to get away from inherently poor architecture and bad design.

Yes, but do you see what you're doing there? You're constructing a strawman, to get away from your unsubstantiated claims.

Dude, you can make anything work if you throw enough hardware at the problem.

Actually you can't.

You shouldn't have to scale your hardware to use basic features (Perl had this figured out in 1996) like parallelism. It's asinine.

Which is why perl explicitly bans clustering of any sort.

Comment Re:Wrong question to ask (Score 1) 112

I wouldn't say it's primarily a functional language at all, it certainly contains functions and you can use it in a functional way but the same can be said of many non-functional languages.

The killer features of Javascript are:

1) Lexically scoped closures
2) First class functions

And more importantly it's the combination of these two features which allows you to create, on the fly, lexically scoped first class function objects.

This is incredibly useful in many situations and is justification by itself to put up with the uglier parts of the language. If someone is not used to using closures (and let's face it, the vast majority of programmers are not) then it is difficult to appreciate why this would be useful but I'll list a couple of very generic scenarios:

1) It allows the programmer to defer execution of code to a later point whilst allowing a state to be associated with it.
2) It allows the programmer to deal with many small blocking I/O operations concurrently.

These are not remarkable things in themselves however it is difficult to do them programmatically without threads, and once you start using threads you have already lost.

Years ago I was working as a consultant for Lufthansa and was working on a system that dealt with a significant proportion of Europe's air cargo. There were a lot of messages being sent about that we needed to capture and process. The system we eventually developed was a multi-threaded Java application which replaced a single-threaded C application. It worked pretty well and was about twenty times faster than the C one. Having worked with Node.js for over a year now in some similar scenarios I am confident that it would out compete the Java app easily, and with a fraction of the code, perhaps 20-30%.

Of course if you're not writing the kind of code that needs multiple threads in a conventional language, or code that is dealing with a lot of blocking I/O, then you may not see any benefit in writing something in Javascript. However once you have got used to closures going back to something like Java is like trading in your motorbike for a delivery van.

Javascript is here to stay, it probably has more money spent on it than any other language right now. The current version has got rid of a lot of the ugliness and if you are running node then you don't need to worry about globals, modules or block scoping. The next version should be out soon and many features which are designed to allow JS to become a compile target for other languages (like it is for coffeescript now). Many of these features are already implemented in the JS engines such as V8 and Rhino.

Comment Re:Then Who? (Score 1) 356

I transferred some domains from godaddy to namecheap and recieved the following in the domain transfer request email:

eNom, Inc. has received a request from... on 23 Dec 2011 to become the new registrar of record.

Also I was asked by namecheap to ensure godaddy changed the IPS tag to enom on my .co.uk domains, so it seems to me that they still rely on enom in some way.

Comment Re:100,000? (Score 1) 161

I noticed that too. The later midterm questions for AI had < 1000 views, so I can't see how they would come close to this number.

The DB class midterm stats showed about 9k students had sat it at 2:25, I suppose there may have been a lot more enrolled in the "basic" stream.

Comment Re:AI Class (Score 1) 161

Also taking all three courses and I pretty much agree with what you have to say.

The downloadable vids from the ML and DB courses are nice to have perpetually and also it's quicker to zip around in VLC than to stream it if you're looking for something in a hurry. The assignments in each are also pretty cool, much better than the AI quizzes IMO.

I think that Peter Norvig's position at Google may have something to do with the AI courses preference for Google based solutions over the bespoke ones used for the other classes. I plan on taking the Lean Launchpad next year and it will be interesting to see how the system works with a non-technical subject where anything except a multi-choice quiz seems difficult to mark.

Slashdot Top Deals

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon