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.