Re: ASCII vs. Binary pfiles

From: Michael Gesner (dabion@WPI.EDU)
Date: 04/04/01

I suppose I should put in my two cents (my appologies in advance if this
doesn't wrap right... I don't use pine very often).

In any case... I think the pfile system is a series of tradeoffs.
Although many points have been made about speed and file size, I think one
primary issue that many people don't consider, is ease of coding.

Depending on what you code, ASCII pfiles may make coding an easier
practice.  In the case that you make frequent changes to the pfile, ASCII
pfiles save pfile wipes, and often make fixing corrupt file entries a much
easier task.  Binary pfiles on the other hand, are somewhat tempermental
when it comes to messing around with pfile entries.

However... this also beckons the question of fixing your code to work with
ASCII pfiles.  Rhu-Dina'ar is not an ASCII pfile system, the code we have
is slowly shifting away from the stock circlemud code into a strange brew
of our own.  It wouldn't be hard by any means, but its certainly something

In light of the fact that the code is rapidly changing, making blanket
assumptions as to what the problem could or could not be make debugging an
easier task (I'm not saying this is the RIGHT way to do it), however, in
dealing with something new, you commonly have to consider that the new
code is a prospective problem.

I suppose this goes along with the old adage if it ain't broke... don't
fix it... but seeing as I'm an engineer... if it ain't broke, it doesn't
have enough features settles well too...

I believe that the argument of ASCII v Binary v SQL v (whatever else you
can think of...) is really left up to the tradeoffs.  If you seek speed or
small size... or flexibility and ease of development... or web interfaces
and database style design... your pfile will change...

So in my opinion... its all MUD specific... no one is better than
another... who knows... maybe a year from now... I'll try to convince
everyone to code their MUD's with an access database ;)  <-- just

Lodaren of Rhu-Dina'ar 17777

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