Re: Circlemud design issues

From: James Turner (turnerjh@XTN.NET)
Date: 04/21/98

George <greerga@CIRCLEMUD.ORG> writes:

> >If you can think of any other advantages of binary or drawbacks of ascii,
> >please let me know.  I'd like this next release of asciification to cover
> >most if not all bases so I don't have to touch it again :)
> ASCII can be compressed when not in use also. (Can increase speed too if
> you have slow hard drive and fast processor.)

Is this really the case?  True, they can be compressed, but they will
still take about the same amount of raw space as a binary file -- plus
there is the inode/sector size issue, as well as inode usage.  And
with pfiles scattered across the disk of the server, it can make
random access to them rather slow.  There is much less overhead
involved in a flat binary file than having hundreds or thousands of
ascii files floating all over the place.

Of course, in the current code, there is still a need for random
access of the drive to find the object files.

But there is the issue of parsing the entire thing, and then rewriting
it, when a player attempts to log in.  Or when they login with a bad
password.  Or any number of other things -- parsing the entire file
could be painfully slow.

Also we lose the capability to, say, find out just how much gold is in
the players' posession.  Maybe not a huge loss, but it is useful
information for an economy.  It makes finding info and statistics on
players rather difficult.  Again, maybe not something commonly done,
but it is a useful option.

If the desire is ease of modification of the database entries, then
perhaps some form of editor could be made.   A text-based one (not
even ncurses, just prompt driven) could go a long way.

> If you don't mind including the code in the stock code, I'll wedge it in
> future versions. (Barring objections, of course.)  After that, you wouldn't
> have to touch it unless you wanted to.

Do you mean supporting both?

James Turner     

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