Circle: Re: Important: Should Circle switch to ASCII playerfiles?

From: Alastair Neil (
Date: 04/24/95

>Before anyone gets too deeply into discussion of how to convert playerfiles,
>for use with other UNIX systems, I may as well bring up an idea I've been
>thinking seriously about for the past couple of weeks: switching Circle
>over to using ASCII-based playerfiles.
>Why?  Well, first, I'll tell you the reason I've wanted to stick with binary
>files in the past:
>-They take up less space (1K per player vs. 4K per player, or whatever the
>min blocksize of your filesystem is.)  I found that less than 25% of players
>have rentfiles in practice, so a binary file saved space.
>-They're faster.

Well it sounds like a good idea.  I am in the process of converting my
Circle 2.2
based mud to use a binary database format for objects mobs etc - this certainly
does impact the time taken to boot but you can only do this if you have
online building (ultimately I hope we will support both binary and ascii
database modes
switchable).  Since circle 3.0 does have integrated online building perhaps you
should consider moving the database to a binary system too.

The advantages of ASCII player files?...1)  Easily editable. But if you are
doing more than

transfering one or two chars or maybe tweaking
or two, then you will want to write a program
there is no real advantage.
                                                                   2)  No
endianness probs switching to a new machine,

however it is really easy to swap the bytes around.
Easier to fix corruption problems. Big Win.
 Disadvantages?                                       1)  Speed... ASCII is
slower - but this is not terribly

relevant for playerfiles - more important for DB
Size... Disk space is cheap.

Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menschen niemals glauben wuerdet. Gigantische
Schiffe, die brannten draussen vor der Schulter des Orion. Und ich habe
C-Beams  gesehen - glitzernd im Dunkeln nahe dem Tannhaeuser Tor. All diese
Momente werden verloren sein in der wie Traenen im Regen.
                                Zeit zu sterben... 

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