MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


Re: Composition area

Last week Chuck Mize wrote:

>Awhile back I was visiting different MOO sites and found a site that allowed
>you to set an input mode where what the user was typing would not be
>interupted by the noise in the room.  I thought this must have been a common
>feature so I did not pay more attention to it.  Now on our educational MOO,
>the main complaint we have is that comments being composed by one user are
>constantly being interupted by other users comments.

I replied that Biomoo had developed such a tool and it was called SMOC
(Spam Manager Output Control) - and that I'd send the code to those who
requested it.

Since there were quite a few requests for SMOC code, please permit
me to make a few additional points. To experienced MOOers, the notion
of providing a mechanism in moo for protecting the user from moo
output seems silly, particularly when getting a client is so easy.
But when you are dealing with a group of moo-naive users, you can
easily get away with using such a system.  Why?  Because when you
first send them instructions containing their userID and password,
you also include instructions for communicating in the moo which
uses the SMOC system.  They don't know any better and there's no
problem teaching them this way from the very start.  Our experiences
with scientists who used a moo for conferencing had no difficulty
learning to communicate in this manner and they weren't bothered
with the details of acquiring a client.  In other words, when you're
faced with a situation where you don't have the resources to provide
a client for everyone and bring them in that way, and your audience
doesn't want to be troubled with acquiring a client, you can teach
them a new way of communicating, using the SMOC system.

Instead of typing: say hi (or "hi)
you just tell them, type: say (or ") and hit return.
The moo then prompts them to enter their statement and protects them
from moo output at the same time.
Same with emotes (:) or whatever stage talk mechanism you wish to
incorporate.  For example, in the Virtual Conference Center used
at the First Electronic Glycosciences Conference, the users could
type: to <return> and then they were prompted for the person they
wanted to direct their statement to and then what it was they wanted
to say.  After entering their statements, they are updated on any
events that occured in the room while they were in the protected

The SMOC system is also handy in spammy rooms, where the user may
wish to enter a simple command.  This is accomplished with a 'do'
command which then permits the user to enter *any* command such
as 'examine blackboard'

Note that the code I've been sending does not handle the 'to'  
(or stage talk) command nor is it incorporated into Biomoo.  

OK - got that out of my system.  Thank you for your patience.

John (aka Watson Crick - BioMOO Wizard)
John Towell, Ph.D.               |   "Among the many virtues of text-based | 
Post-doc: Informatics            |      Networked Virtual Environments     |
Northern Illinois University     |       is lack of having to take notes." |
                                 |               ... Watson Crick          |
m50jft1@             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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