Category Archives: Source Control

ModernMUD Source Now on Github

As dumb as the name might be, I decided to go with “ModernMUD”.

The source code is available on Github under the BSD license:

https://github.com/Xangis/ModernMUD

There’s a lot more to be done with documentation, but the XML comments are decent enough to make IntelliSense useful. I’ll probably be posting more about invidiual sections of the source, particularly the clients (all four of them!), in the near future.

If you’d like to chip in, or use the code to build your own MUD, you are more than welcome to do so.

I Am Addicted To Github

Until recently, the only code I’ve released as open source has been the Magma MUD codebase.

In the process of posting the Magma source on Github, I kind of got hooked on posting code online. Since then I’ve posted the source for a handful of applications, a mix of Linux and Windows desktop apps. A 12-day commit streak so far, yay!

I’m also considering open-sourcing the Basternae 3 codebase. The main things that make it easier to work with than old-timey C-based MUDs are the use of C#, which has amazing exception handling and debugging capabilities (no more attaching gdb to a core dump), and speaks XML natively, so data files are Human-readable, portable, fairly robust, and extensible. The editor is also getting to be pretty good.

To open source Bast3, I’d need to write a lot more documentation, and I’d need to “genericize” a lot of things that are specific to Basternae. It’d be a lot of work, but I think it’d be a fun project. The source is already in a private repository on Github, but that’s the easy part.

Visual SourceSafe 2005 Is The Worst Application Ever

First off, don’t think I’m using VSS2005 for Basternae because I’m not – I’m using Subversion. However, I am using it at work. If I had a choice what source control application we used I’d be using Subversion there too.Over the years there have been many deeply flawed software applications. Luckily market Darwinism has weeded out most of the unbearably bad programs. If nobody wants to use an application, it fails to sell and ends up perishing.

The problem is that Visual SourceSafe 2005 seems to be immune to this force. That might be primarily due to the fact that each release has about fifteen minutes worth of code updates added to the previous release.

Here are some of the problems with VSS:

1. Unbearably slow. I’m on a gigabit network and have a very fast server and it still takes ten minutes to check for code updates.
2. The interface is completely counterintuitive. It’s as if the design team studied up on good design principles, high-quality user interfaces, and even performed user testing studies just so they could do the exact opposite of what would make using their software a pleasant experience.
3. Don’t try to fork or branch your code. You’ll never understand it and you’ll completely screw it up, no matter how many times you have done it before.
4. When your code differs from that on the server, you get a dialog box asking you whether you’d like to keep your changes or replace them with the code in the repository. Nevermind that they managed to word the dialog in such a way that it’s hard to tell what you’re actually doing — the “Apply to all items” checkbox does absolutely nothing.
5. VSS is far too opaque. Unlike Subversion, which tells you exactly what it’s going to do before it does it so you can make changes or cancel, SourceSafe will just do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, without your permission. It’s incredibly easy to screw up a directory structure, check out things you had no intention of checking out, or perform all sorts of spooky voodoo that you never even gave the app permission to do.
6. It’s so terrible even Microsoft won’t use it.
7. It doesn’t encourage you to leave comments when you check in code. In fact, the comment window is disabled by default in Visual Studio 2005.
8. It’s hard to figure out who broke something when you want to revert, mainly via a combination of #7 and #2.
9. It slows down Visual Studio and sometimes even causes it to crash. VS.NET is already a resource hog, so adding an unstable plugin isn’t the best idea.
10. Don’t ever try to work offline/disconnected. VSS will screw everything up in very creative ways. For instance, I modified a single line of code in a single file while offline and it somehow managed to check out 500 code files when I reconnected. None of these files had been modified.

I’m not the only one who hates VSS. For further reading:
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000660.html
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000079.html
http://www.highprogrammer.com/alan/windev/sourcesafe.html
http://www.developsense.com/testing/VSSDefects.html