Re: The Semantics of Switch from "George" at Oct 7, 97 04:03:36 pm

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
Date: 10/07/97

> On Tue, 7 Oct 1997, Andrew Helm wrote:
> >> Don't read mail while switched.
> >> Your gods don't do it and if they do, you delete them.
> >
> >Okay, but why wouldn't someone want to fix the behavior?
> >Also, why wouldn't an implementor want to be informed that the
> >switch command can be used in that way?
> There are applications of switch being able to read mail that _may_
> actually be useful.  You never know when it will be useful until you can't
> do it.  I find that policy is better in this regard.  Some day you may find
> that someone has sent a message they really regret that they don't want
> someone to read and you (being a sucker) decide to retrieve the mail so the
> other person doesn't read it.  There is no reason to arbitrarily restrict
> things in a MUD which would be better implemented as a policy. (Like gods
> can go around killing people and grouping with them currently, once again,
> this is mostly a policy matter.  I'm not saying it is not a code problem,
> but the majority of the problem is the inability to control your
> immortals.)

Switch is a clumsy way of doing it that doesn't work when the other
person isn't link-dead. Plus it's undocumented. I still say it
requires changing.

> >Right. I'm not saying you shouldn't fix the mud to let you read
> >other player's mail with ease. It might mean making a command that
> >loads another char so you can switch into them or a command that
> >let's you read other people's mail without loading their char.
> What's the difference between switching into a link dead person and loading
> up another copy of the player to get their mail?  Or just changing my IDnum
> so I can get their mail? (Although the last one is a very BadIdea.)

No difference that appears important to me.

> >Either way the unmodified behavior the mud needs fixed. It's not
> The code is not broke, your policy is.

What policy is that? Also, I never claimed the code was broke. I
said the switch command had unexpected behavior that some people
might want to change. It's not broke, but it should be changed
since it's useless as it is now. I believe we both agree on this.

> >at all useful unless you change it around independant of whichever
> >side of the "mail snooping" argument you stand on. We agree, you
> >just insist on calling the unintended behavior of the switch
> >command a feature and refuse to accept that anyone might think
> >of it as a bug. I'm sorry to see you caught up on such a
> >silly  point.
> In my example above I mentioned grouping immortals, immortals killing
> players, and there is also immortals casting spells on people, immortals
> giving out information.  You have to draw a line between what is policy and
> what is coded.  I'm not accusing you of anything, but you seem to be doing
> that of me.  I have no problem with policy versus code.  I also believe
> from the mail on this list that your position has little support.  Policy
> is there for a reason. Use it.

I'm unclear here. Are you saying the proper way to deal with a bug
is to write policy saying players should not abuse it? I don't
think that's what you mean to say. Once again, we're in total
agreement except that you object to my calling it a bug. Call it
whatever you wish it still needs changed in order to be useful.

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