Re: [SEMI LONG] [NEWBIE] [OPINION] 2cp , worth

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 06/27/02

"don't do this if you don't know c, a mud is not a learning project."

        Perhaps you're misunderstanding the intent of the message.  This
doesn't imply that it's impossible - like "You cannot travel in time".
This isn't a challenge, like, "You can't swim the english channel".

        This is a statement meant to save you time and energy.  You surely
can learn how to program using CircleMUD (or any other mud) as a base.
It's not the most efficient use of your time, and it's surely not the
easiest way either.  Those who know have tried to help you.  If you want
to learn to program, it takes 4-5 weeks with a book at a moderate pace.
It takes 10 weeks or more using something as complex as CircleMUD.

        You still won't know how to program unless you're very driven.
You'll just know how to fix syntax errors, and what magical voodoo dance
you need to perform to make a certain crash go away.  Maybe.

        This statment saves ->US<- (the people on the list who want to
talk about CircleMUD, and not syntax errors, etc), the time and effort of
dealing with it.  Know how many people who take the time and trouble to
learn to code primarily by themselves?  Based on the mails I see here, and
get personally, I'd say not even 1 of 10.  Everyone else seems to use the
mail group as a sort of interactive manual + personal teaching assistant.
It makes the people on the list feel like resources... like they're being
used, that people unfairly take advantage of their good nature.

        Let's be brutally honest; how many people would have joined the
CircleMUD mailing list if it's stated goal was "Teaching people how to
program in C, and also talking about CircleMUD "?  I know I sure as hell
wouldn't have been here.

        You think you're capable of learning C on your own? Fine. Do it.
Don't complain to others when it doesn't work.  Don't keep pulling
people's sleeves crying, "Help!Help!" when you have problems.  There is no
lack of resources in the world (books, classes, people you know
personally), or on the net (newsgroups, millions of manuals, downloadable
books, free example source code, etc) that you should EVER have to depend
on CircleMUD as ANY sort of howto.  You have access to those resources in
one way or another.  Use them.  Don't (ab)use us.

        To steal my own quote; "Effectively debugging code requires a
level of ability with C surpassing mere knowledge of the syntax or even
day to day use".

        If you teach yourself how to program in C, there is no doubt
you're going to be a very strong programmer.  If you're being taught in
any sort of organized way, it's the same.

        If you're learning by depending on others, with code so
complicated that the amount you ACTUALLY understand (as opposed to what
you learn to do by rote) is negligible, how do you think you're going to
do at debugging?

        That's right, you're not going to do well at all.  You're going to
have random inexplicable crashes.  You'll have code that never works,
you'll break things that 'always ran fine before' and have no clue why.

        Then you'll come running to the list for help, and make yourself
into a pariah.  Save yourself the pain.

Now, for a disclaimer:  There ARE a select few people who simply have the
devotion, and mental stamina to follow through and learn.  We're lucky
enough to have a few of those people on the list, and I've made it a point
to single these people out in the past as exemplary examples.  These are
people who, when stuck, search the newsgroups, write 5 or 10 pieces of
sample code, go to the bookstore and read through the books that they
don't have enough money to buy, try out more sample code, download
examples or examine other code which does nearly the same thing as what
they want, and after all that, they ask a simple, discrete question - and
they UNDERSTAND the answer without a 3 page description and sample code.

        These people are still the VAST minority. Were that it not so.

        Till that changes, to save myself the trouble, I'm going to stick
by that quote at the very top.  Learn to program, than write code for the
circlemud, NOT the other way around.


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