For a few years I ran findmud.com. It was mainly an exercise in customizing Drupal, but there was no real need for it. The Mud Connector filled the mud listing and community need quite nicely.
FindMUD is gone now. It was time that it was put out to pasture. It was fun while it lasted.
FindMUD.com has broken the 600 MUD listing mark. Most of the last hundred additions have been by the admins of the MUDs being listed. Great for accuracy, but a lot slower than adding them in bunches.
I’d like to take this opportunity to blatantly advertise Cimmerian Abyss, an Ultima Online server put together by my friend Ed Zed (who some of you may know as Potius).
Check it out here:
If you like it, don’t forget to click the ‘donations’ link. 🙂
Even though Bast3 will be in development for quite a long while, I added a listing to FindMUD.com. Just trying to raise awareness and whatnot.
One of the things that I do for the FindMUD mud listings is check connections once in a while (approximately monthly) to see if a MUD server is running and then display a log of connection attempts on that MUD’s listing page.
When I was on shared hosting, that was a process that was far more involved than it should have been.
Step 1: Get a list of currently active mud listings to query. For that I created a custom hidden view in Drupal that I could copy and paste into my connection test app.
Step 2: Run the connection tests. I wrote an app specifically to do this by checking telnet connections to each MUD on the list. If would generate two sets of SQL queries. The first contained the connection results, while the second contained any changes to IP addresses. I called the executable file “Pizdook”, which is a scathing insult used in Orson Scott Card’s Homecoming series of novels. It represented my annoyance at having a multi-step process due to the limitations of using shared hosting. Here’s a screenshot:
Step 3: Log into PHPMyAdmin and paste the queries generated by Pizdook into the “execute SQL” window to update the database.
Thanks to some new-found knowledge of SQLAlchemy, I’ve rewritten the app as a Python script that I can run with a monthly cron job. Suddenly it’s hands-off, a single-step automated process that I no longer have to spend any effort on.
FindMUD.com has broken the 500 MUD listing mark. It’s growing slowly but steadily.
I just checked Alexa stats for FindMUD.com. Although Alexa isn’t exactly the full measure of the web since only a small percentage of people have the plugin installed, here are the MUD sites that FindMUD outranks:
It’s a respectable list, but we are far from surpassing the 800-pound-gorilla of MUD sites, the MUD Connector. I don’t expect that to happen, but I do hope to get into the top three at some point (the other two being topmudsites.com and mud.de.)
Of course, FindMUD needs a lot more work that won’t happen in a single day, but I am gradually improving the site. Just today we posted our own version of the MUD timeline.
Data entry is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. Even so, I’ve been making steady progress on FindMUD. It’s up to 300 MUD listings now.
Our next goal is to pass MudMagic, which has just over 500 listings. It won’t be blazingly fast, but it will happen.
One thing I’ve been working on is an automatic ‘ping’ routine that checks the MUDs listed on FindMUD every few days and shows the connection results on a MUD listing so you know whether a particular MUD is still alive or not.
Since I’m no PHP expert, it tends to be rough going sometimes. I know just enough PHP to be dangerous — it’s a lot like C but not *enough* like C for me to be comfortable yet.
Even so, I’ve managed to put together a semi-automatic routine that checks these connections. Here’s how it works:
- I go to the site and export the master MUD list. This is a one-click PHP script that gives me a CSV file.
- Paste the CSV file into a desktop application I wrote in C# .NET that cycles through the list and tries a connection to each MUD. It generates two SQL queries for me — One that updates the IP addresses for any MUDs whose servers have moved and one that updates the connection results table in my database.
- Take those those two queries and execute them on my database server.
It’s a seven minute process and not too much work, but it would be nice if it were fully automatic and happened at a specified interval instead of “whenever I do it”.
The two roadblocks I have at the moment are that the shared hosting I’m using for FindMUD doesn’t seem to allow outgoing telnet connections and they also don’t allow connections to a database from outside the server. Even though I could whitelist my IP address(es) in order to connect to the DB I don’t really want to open up any of my databases.
Being able to do #1 would automatically make #2 a non-issue since connections would be made from the server running the ping test. When I get hosting for Basternae 3 it’ll be on a server I can do whatever I want on, so this process should be able to become fully automatic.
I did a little bit of work on FindMUD.com today. I added a page that shows the top-ranked MUDs (as rated by users) on the site. Since the site is still fairly new there haven’t been very many ratings yet, so feel free to go on over and rate the MUDs you’ve played.
Over the past few weeks I’ve steadily been adding more MUD listings to FindMUD. It has now has over 200 MUD listings. That’s not super-impressive, but it does have more than MudBytes and Betterbox and is quickly gaining on some of the older sites (many of which are rather neglected these days).
I’ve been gradually building up FindMUD.com. Today I broke the 3-digit mark on listings.
The compile error count is now down to 2,654.
I’ve also added a codebase section to FindMUD since it seems that codebase downloads are getting harder and harder to track down these days.Â There are only a handful posted, but I expect that the list will grow as the site evolves.
I’ve spent the past day putting together a site called FindMUD. It’s pretty similar in concept to The MUD Connector, but done in my own way. I’m not sure the world needs another MUD listing site, but it was fun to create. Each listing can be rated by users, so as the site develops you’ll be able to get a pretty good picture of what the best MUDs are.
Feel free to visit the site, create a login, and add listings for your favorite MUD(s). Let me know what you think of the interface and whether I left anything important out of what is asked for when submitting a new MUD.
Since the site is brand new (only 6 listings so far!), I’m sure there will be plenty of room for improvement.