To Newbie Imps, and All Who Discourage Them

From: Ground Zero Enterprises (
Date: 12/25/96

> First of all.. if you do not know how to program... THEN I WOULD SUGGEST

This is not a flame, and is not directed at any one in particular.  I 
have just seen many people make statements like above and I feel that my 
experiences qualify me to comment.  If you want to flame me, do so 
personally or you will prove nothing else that you are a hopeless idiot.  
If you actually have an intelligent reply that you believe the list would 
benefit from (highly doubtful), by all means reply to the list.

When I started thinking about implementing a mud about a year ago, I had 
never seen C in my life.  I asked a few dumb questions from a friend who 
did not mind, and then bought a C book.  I then spent months learning, by 
myself mostly, Circle code and C in general.  I am by no means a C 
expert, but I can easily understand about any code, derive abstract code 
from scratch and restructure entire parts of CircleMUD.

To all those tired of newbie questions, from being one once myself, I 
would suggest a short simple personal message to them if you have the 
time and are feeling nice.  Otherwise delete it.  The flames sent create 
much larger problems then the harmless newbies.

To newbies, I think these tips will be VERY helpful:

1.  BUY A BOOK!!!  And if you can't afford a book, read the tutorials that 
    are all over the net.

2.  Read the code thoroughly.  If there is some code you do not understand,
    try cutting and pasting it and rewriting it in english (like '&&' would  
    be 'and').

3.  When you are finally ready to code something for yourself, code by 
    example.  I am not saying to just cut and paste and chage a couple 
    small things but analyze why each thing is done in a similar piece of 
    code, and then decide if it is necessary, not necessary, or how it would 
    need to be altered to work for you.

4.  If you _still_ need help you can try looking in man pages, although 
    sometimes a bit confusing, but excellent for learning how to use 
    patch or diff or understand the autorun script.  IMHO the mailing 
    list should be the absolute last resort, after you have tried and 
    tried and tried, and still cannot figure something out. 

5.  Lastly, be committed.  No one wants to play a mud that is half-rate.
    If you are not committed to making an excellent game, or not  
    committed to learning how to do it, I agree you should not even start. 

Besides the above information you should learn how to use gdb or another 
debugger. When you do need help, a backtrace from a debugger can often be 
an invaluable tool in diagnosing a problem.  If you mail to the list, 
including the backtrace, and the code that seems to be causing the 
problem is probably a good idea.

I hope this can be of some aid to someone, and possibly help put an end 
to the childishness that often surfaces from the list subscribers.

Sorry for making this so long,

Final Note To Newbies:  Coding is a big part of mud implemnting, as is a 
willingness to work with others and your players.  Remember though that 
areas are a big part of a mud also, maybe bigger than the features.  Most 
of the people I know immediately quit when they enter the mud in Midgaard.
Not that these areas are bad, but originallity can count for alot when 
trying to catch a player's attention.
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