MUD Connection Stats on FindMUD

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:

  1. I go to the site and export the master MUD list. This is a one-click PHP script that gives me a CSV file.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.