Re: *Newbie Treatment* (not a newbie question) was [CIRCLE] Newbie ...

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 03/21/00

> > Look, I'm not trying to start a huge debate here or anything and if you
> > haveserious problems with this feel free to e-mail me directly my email
> > (which I will post at the end of this message.)  It just really frustrates
> > me to see people rip into newbies (atleast the newbies take the courtesy to
> > say that their post is from them).
> Alright, so let's rip the experienced people who have taken the time to write
> these sources.  Sending newbies to the archives and/or FAQ is the easiest and
> most logical thing to do - it saves many of us, especially those who have
> written the various FAQs, much time - and it allows the newbie to get more
> questions answered and to a larger extent than if he were to just ask one
> question over the mailing list.

        Have you ever been that one guy in class that just 'gets it' ? You
know, you raise your hand to ask the questions about certain undefined
boundary conditions and the professor asks you to join his graduate study
group?  Everyone in the room suddenly is your best friend....who needs
some study group help.

        Even if you haven't been, you can imagine what it feels like when
you realize that 90% of the homework out here suddenly has _your_ answers
on it.  Or what it's like for people to call you up _every_ time they have
any problem.  The most annoying part is not that it's hard, but that no
one even bothers to try anymore.  They know they can get the answer from
you, live off your work, they don't even expend the effort.

        This is what it's like to the majority of us.  Yes, the list does
help newbie coders, but originally, the list was meant as a forum for the
exchange of ideas for coders and admin of circlemuds (unless I missed
something).  Most of us are pretty altruistic, we help time and time
again, but after a while even the most patient of us feels like we're just
being used as a no-effort help desk.  Little "Thanks for all your help,"
or "You guys are great!"  messages may slow it down, but it doesn't stop
it.  There is a newbie list. There are archives.  There are patches.  If
you're determined, there's nothing to stop you from learning C, installing
+ configuring compilers, *nix systems, code snippets.  This is not just
idealistic talk; we all had to do it.  At least one other person had to do
it themselves without help.

        A good guideline is; If you don't know if the question is stupid
or not, research enough until you find out.  At least then you can put
'newbie' in the subject heading.


        The other day I pulled down as many eliza-like programs as I could
in an attempt to find something to allow my builders to make
quasi-intelligent conversation with players (or eachother) in an ultima-5
sort of way (keyword match + small memory, and randomization of response
types).  I finally found a package called 'sploch' off of ..i think.. one
of mit's ai ftp servers.  In one sentance, it provides a single function
which takes a string and returns the appropriate response, based off of
keyword matching dictionaries including a really simple rules system
(which I'm thinking to expand).

        In the end, a builder only needs to supply keywords, and be
familiar with a group of about 5 rules, and their mob can respond to
questions about the weather, or orc raiders, or whatever.

        Has anyone else derived a way to do this in any simpler way?


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