Tag Archives: jabber

ldmud jabberd

Mud <-> outside world communication. It’s an idea that I’ve been throwing around for months (years now). I’ve given up on it several times. And today, it reared its ugly little head again when McKay (Sora) poked me about something vaguely related.

The incarnation of the idea this time around is simple enough that I’m willing to commit to producing it in the nearish future. It’s simpler than previous ideas but still adds a lot of value to the game – and by virtue of being simpler it has the added bonus of being more likely to see its way into implementation 😛

General Idea

Write an ldmud erq daemon that masquerades as a simple chat line inside the game and as a simple jabber user on the outside.

The ‘jabber’ channel would be added by default to all players (along with the ‘chat’, and ‘newbie’ chans). It would ideally eventually supersede/merge with the general purpose ‘chat’ channel.

The mud would log in to a normal jabber account (probably walraven@simud.org or something similar).

Players inside the mud would be allowed to register a single jabber account (such as their google talk address or something) with their character account. The daemon would then add those accounts to its contact list.

When somebody says something over the channel, it is broadcast to everyone in game as well as everyone who is currently logged in to the jabber side of things. When somebody in jabberland sends an im to the account in question, it is relayed to the chat line as if the player in question had said it normally from within the game.

IM’s from non-registered accounts will simply be ignored.

Users who log in/out of jabber should have their presence announced on the channel, and should show up in a special section of the ‘who’ list. Users who log in and out of the game should have their presence announced to jabber-side users.

If a user is logged into both jabber and the mud, they should still receive the jabber-side messages unless they turn this option off.

Example

Sora, Malap, and I have all signed on for the jabber service with our various accounts. We all maintain a generally high degree of jabber presence all day, every day.

A newbie logs in to the game. The three of us see the notice and are able to instantly help out if needed. Even though we’re not actively playing around in the game world, we can answer questions and the world doesn’t feel empty.

Athenon and Garvin have jabber accounts but don’t use them 24/7. They could register as well, and thus give us an even better semi-permanent presence in the game.

If the newbie is still playing and Garvin logs in, he’ll see the notice and will be able to chat with a fourth person. All w/o anyone else actually being inside the game space itself.

Potential Upgrades

  • Ability to direct tells over the same connection somehow w/o the danger of replies being broadcast to the whole mud? Hmm…
  • How about forwarding in-game IM’s to the user’s jabber account in stead of spamming them on login?
  • Ability to send basic informative commands from jabber. Ie, ‘who’, ‘finger’, ‘uptime’.

jabber advocacy

The last few months have seen me becoming more and more evangelical when it comes to the wonderfulness that is Jabber. I’ve been running jabberd 2 on Hedwig for at least a year now, probably longer (although it looks like I am currently three revisions behind the most recent release…).

I’ve been using jabber slightly longer than that because when complimented by a good client like Psi, I am able not only to secure my communication with the server but with the help of GnuPG, I am able to encrypt conversations with actual people. I pretty much always encrypt conversations with Peter and have used it in the past to securely transfer bank information and stuff.

Peter showed me a releveant post from Drunken Batman’s Blog a little while ago while we were discussing our project for the PyWeek competition that we’ve foolishly engaged ourselves in 😉

The blog pretty much confirms everything I’ve been expecting over the last little bit. The commercial IM providers are looking to kill access to their services by old and third-party clients. They don’t like Google. Google is going to do nice things for Jabber, etc…

OSX isn’t doing bad by Jabber either. Their server release ships with ‘iChat Server’ which is an Applefied front-end for administration of a pretty stock jabberd 1.4 server. By default, all users on the server have jabber accounts. The only tweak I had to do on Alumni was to uncomment server to server functionality. (There is no gui for it, so I had to manually edit the xml config file) Without having done this, the server would have been only useful for internal communication. It is now possible for users to IM me on my personal account in stead of forcing me to log in to the mac.

Upon having fixed this feature, I sent out a huge email to all of our users. I am giving them the promise that if they take the trouble to start using Jabber, they’ll be able to get better response times out of me for their service requests 🙂

I’ve also mentioned Jabber to Sarah again today. We’ll prolly be setting her up with it as well so she doesn’t have to deal with certain elements of ICQ yuckiness – such as getting through pesky firewalls at work 😛 Last night, I wound up getting to set up Kyle and Stori’s computer for the service as well – Dad popped up out of the blue and Dallin and I hed him get things going on the box they’ll be hauling out to her this weekend.

I’ve made sure that Penny’s using her account again on both machines she logs in to and we’ll probably be sneaking it on to her mother’s machine when we’re down babysitting Dallin 😉