Xpertmud - The Mud Experience
The Vision

Xpertmud is very modular and flexible. The idea is to use the design and knowledge available with xpertmud to create a new tool, or a set of new tools which use the same scripting and plugin interface. This would enable the community to share a lot of code. In this document I propose a way how this might be done. Of course this requires more manpower, and I hope this document will inspire some of you out there to join the project.

The main idea evolved, when I read some threads about Qt/XEmacs and some other python-scriptable editors. I realized that all the technology that is needed to build a flexible, scriptable and pluginable editor is right now available within the xpertmud code. So why not use this as a starting point to create a Xpert Development Environment, a programming environment for extensible (think plugins), perl, python and (see lower) 42 scriptable applications.

The best way to look at this proposed environment is in my opinion to look at it in terms of a new directory (think module) hierarchy:

  • widgets/
    Some widgets which qt doesn't have, but which are usable in many applications. This includes modular and extensible fixed font widgets.
  • telnet/
    Basic telnet classes, which feature a very extensible, modular and easy way to code telnet applications. This is already available in the xpertmud codebase.
  • ansi/
    A flexible and modular ansi parser. Also available in the xpertmud codebase.
  • plugin/
    A library that allows Xpert applications to use plugins from within scripts. This is strongly coupled to xpert-script.
  • script/
    The environment to include scripting languages in Xpert applications. Because the scripting API is very application dependent this needs to feature a meta-compiler, which creates API files and binding library code from API specs and some code skeletons.
    • fourtytwo/
      A very basic scripting language, which enables Xpert applications scripting without being dependent on 3-rd party tools. There should be an easy way to compile perl, python and other language code from fourtytwo. Fourtytwo must have exactly the features Xpert applications need to fulfill their basic scripting needs. Not more and not less. Then application developers just code their extensions once, and the user can easily switch to other supported languages if they need more power in their own scripts.
    • apicompiler/
      A compiler that reads the scripting api in some yet-to-define format and generates C++ Classes that provide the glue between the scripting language and the application. The way the api is specified limits the possible scripting languages the environment can support in the future (think types), so this has to be done very carefully. The application coder just specifies the api and some C++ code that has to be executed once the callback is called. Using skeletons for the different scripting languages, apicompiler compiles not only some classes to use in the application, but also all the code for the dynamic library, which embeds the scripting interpreter.
  • mdi/
    A new (or qextmdi based) mdi for Xpert applications which need it.
  • compat/
    Everything that is needed to compile Xpert applications without kde and/or Qt 2.3 (think compatibility classes). There are already many of those in the xpertmud repository.
  • xpertmud/
    Our good old xpertmud client after some code cleanup.
  • xperted/
    An extensbile, scriptable and pluginable editor for kde and windows. Being a kpart it can be embedded for example in kdevelop. Being pluginable it can easily do expensive things like code completion. Being scriptable many things can be done simply with perl, python or 42.

Now if you're as excited as I am about writing the next generation cross platform editor, please drop me a mail and/or subscribe to the (very, very low traffic at the moment) xpertmud mailinglist. This will only be possible (and probably this will only be begun) if enough people join. Ernst and I can't do all this at the moment, but I know there are many talented coders out there!

So long,

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