MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


Re: appropriate communication

>> I guarantee if you implement any of the so-called "solutions" that
>> have been offered so far to the page/whisper problem, you will
>> successfully drive away anyone who might otherwise connect to your
>> MOO, and you'll get a reuptation as a control-freak code-nazi.

> Indeed. This is the worst idea I've seen on moo-cows in ages.

> I page people in the same room as a means of sending a private message. You
> may be a better moo-coder than myself and can argue 'whisper' is more
> secure, but that's really not the point. The question is: Why are *you*
> deciding that my paging is 'inappropriate'?

Part of reason the JHM page Do What I Mean code is there because
paging is often more convenient as a command than whisper---there's
that great "'munchkin" abbreviation.

Actually, it's a little deeper than that.  The page-dwim code is a
side-effect of a different design feature in TinyMUD-related systems:
there are multiple commands for private communication between two
users.  In TinyMUD, the page and whisper commands were different;
whisper is as we know it today, but paging cost TinyPennies.
Initially, you couldn't even send a text message with a page---you
would only notify the recipient of your location.

At least for some people, page and whisper have different
connotations.  Whispering is, well, whispering.  Paging has a flavor
of wanting to get someone's attention.  On one system I work on, your
terminal bell goes off when you receive a page, and optionally the
sender can set a flag that makes a big popup window show up in the
middle of your display.  For a while I had certain pages routed to my
alphanumeric pager.

For more food for thought, here's a tiny section of a big
multidimensional table my group at work came up with that describes
various MOO communication modalities.  This slice deals with directed
communication between single users without reply information:

                    Public         Private
Same room         | stage-talk     whisper
Different room    | ?              page

...and from what I said previously, you can see this isn't truly
orthogonal, since page has certain notification connotations that the
others don't have.  If all you're really using page for is short
conversations of the form "hey, cmere, we should talk", it's probably
not important, and a useful reduction of orthogonality for the purpose
of providing a simpler user interface.  But some users sure do like to
have long page conversations, so this decision is questionable.

The situation is a mess.  I don't think there are any clean solutions
to this known yet.

Jay Carlson

Flat text is just *never* what you want.   ---stephen p spackman

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