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Programming ...

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I really have not done much programming today. What I did do, though, made me realize that the direction I had originally intended to take was an unecessarily difficult path.

You see, I've finished programing the item editor. It's really not much, just 85 lines of C code. Overall, it came out to about 200 lines of code that I needed to alter or fix. While I was programing the editor, I came upon the realization that integration with LUA was not going to be easy for the items, skills, NPCs and events. That's because everything I'm using is basically a number. Many of them were unsigned longs, which would become increasingly difficult to maintain.

So, I've narrowed down what is, and isn't a number; for example, things like "value" and "weight" are generic numbers; but, things like item type - which could easily be a regular integer in straight C code - needed to be changed to a string. While this may slow things down - on 486 processors - my real concern is being able to use LUA without having to code another library to translate those rediculous numbers into something a human would interstand.

Basically, they've gone from being described as 3265 to being described as a "weapon." A simple == operator in LUA, and not only does LUA understand what's going on, but the human behind the code knows, too. Which saves me a whole heck of a lot of time.

It also gives me another advantage: easy expansion. In the old system, the types of items/skills/etc ... were just #define's. That works all well and good in CircleMUD, because all of the code is contained in one executable. But, doing something like that with a scripting engine would be deadly, because if I wanted to add a new type, I would have to recompile. So, now, I just create a new type, and in the item script, I just do a simple check for that type.

It's actually kind of astonishing what very little code can expose to you.

So what I got accomplished today:

The item editor is fully functional.
I've expanded my engine to be much more robust.
And, a side note: I hacked together a quick array to unsigned long function (atoul). It works, and that's all I care about right now. ;)
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