CircleMUD revisions (fwd)

From: Rasdan (rasdan@PEAK.ORG)
Date: 04/24/98

Here's my spin on the whole macro issue, not that what you need is yet
another perspective.

This is a message I sent to Mr. Turner but figured it would be best if I
posted it to the list as well.


I have been playing close attention to your discussion with George on the
CircleMUD list.

When I first started my mud, I knew very little of C (I could make Hello
world programs, that was about it). I found the MACROS to be very
convenient when learning the structure of the code, and consequently, when
I began to add in new features on my own, I added a lot of macros
everywhere throughout my code. I was, and until recently, have been a huge
fan of macros.

But your suggestions on the list made me start to think. I know from
experience when I have done stuff like:

sprintf(buf, "Your title is %s.",
        GET_TITLE(ch) ? GET_TITLE(ch) : "Not yet set");

That it got kind of tedious. Granted this is a silly example but it gets
the point across.

Your ideas made me think, doing GET_TITLE(ch) as a function would be

const char *GET_TITLE(ch_data * ch)
  if (!ch->player.title)
    return ("Not yet set.");
    return (ch->player.title);

More typing at first but saves you a lot of time later.

Then I realized I was having problems with CAN_SEE (a fact you mentioned)
and so I rewrote the entire thing as a set of functions, which makes the
code both easier to understand and read, but also makes the logic much
easier to folow and safegaurd against.

In short, I wanted to thank you for bringing the subject up, it made me
realize that, while a great learning tool, Macros can indeed be a
limitation in the end (and slow you down as well, witness all the extra
typing in the title example).

Rasdan (James Thomas)

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