CircleMUD update from the author!

From: Jeremy Elson (
Date: 09/30/96


I know everyone has been incredibly patient over the past few months, and I
appreciate the fact that everyone hung in there while I was overseas.  I've
returned to the U.S. now, though, and I'm trying to make up for lost time
by doing a lot of Circle development in order to speed towards the release
of the real, live CircleMUD 3.0.  This mail is a status update to let you
know what's happening and where everything stands at the moment.

First, a word about the various * machines.  Unfortunately
the transition from Hopkins to my new network didn't go quite as smoothly
as I would have liked, due mainly to the slowness of various network
providers at updating their nameservers, so some of the resources on
* machines may appear to be unavailable for the next 36 to
48 hours, even though the machines are actually running. is, for the moment, the primary FTP site, and is still
physically at Hopkins. is my personal machine and is
in a completely different domain, which should add some redundancy.
I may eventually switch my personal machine over to being ftp and Hopkins
to being ftp2, plus I would like to add an ftp3, 4, 5, etc., if there
are any volunteers to create reliable mirror sites.  On a similar note,
you should be happy to know that is now automatically
mirrored from nightly, so all of your favorite
uploads and submissions should now be available on both FTP sites.

Next topic: documentation.  Yes, I know that the documentation is sorely
lacking in Circle, and much of the existing documentation is hopelessly
out of date.  Documentation is my next project -- it is, in my opinion,
one of the main things required for a production release, and the lack
of documentation has been a big part of my unwillingness to release the
production (non-beta) Circle before.

The main focus of my documentation effort is the CircleMUD Documentation
Project, which is a clearinghouse for all CircleMUD related information.
It can be found at  As of
today, I've completed the next (and hopefully final) revision of the
CircleMUD Builder's Manual.  The most recent version has an expanded
introductory section that describes more fully the concept of zones and
how to write areas, as well as a detailed procedure for adding zones to
the MUD (a frequently asked question).

The other manuals which I am currently in the process of writing are:

-- The CircleMUD Coding Manual.  Yes, people have been asking for this
one for as long as I can remember.  I never should have put the skeleton
table of contents in the main distribution...  The coding manual will
cover frequently asked coding questions such as how to add new spells,
skills, classes, equipment positions, etc.

-- The CircleMUD Administrator's Guide.  This is basically just an updated
version of the classic 'running.doc', but with more detail describing
which operating systems and hardware are required to run CircleMUD, how to
port Circle to other platforms, and other information useful for the first-
time implementor.  Also, it'll be changed to fit my new standard format
for CircleMUD documentation (i.e. the same format as the Builder's Manual).
Also, like all the other manuals, it'll be published in HTML, Postscript,
and ASCII simultaneously instead of just ASCII.

-- The CircleMUD SYSERR Index.  The next patchlevel of Circle (pl12) will
have a number on each SYSERR (i.e., instead of simply SYSERR: xyz, it'll
say SYSERR 014334: xyz).  Each numbered SYSERR will then have a detailed
description in the CircleMUD SYSERR Index, complete with a description of
what likely caused the error and how to fix it.

-- The CircleMUD Utility Manual.  A short manual describing how to use all
of the various utilities that come with CircleMUD.

In addition to the manuals above, there will also be some misc. docs on
how to use the act() codes, how to use color, etc.

Patchlevel 12 will also have a whole pile of bug fixes that have been
sent to me over the past couple of months.  I'm trying to keep the
addition of new features down to an absolute bare minimum (if I keep
adding new features, there will never be a final 3.0 release), but I
will be adding a couple of minor features such as saving aliases.
Note, this means (in case you hadn't heard) that there will *NOT* be
an official OLC in the 3.0 release.  There are already at least 2
unofficial OLC's that people are using, so I'm going to wait until v3.1
before working on the official OLC.  Again, this is simply because adding
a major feature like OLC simply cannot be done while beta-testing -- Circle
would be beta forever!

Best regards,

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