Project Updates

It seems like a good time to put up a general update on the progress of all of the goodies I work on, assuming anyone even cares anymore :P

It looks like the merger between the old AFKMud and SmaugFUSS sites has been a total success. Average user visits to the combined sites are higher than the individual sites were combined. Had I known this would have worked so well before I would have done it sooner. The focus of the SmaugFUSS project side of things has begun shifting more toward modernization and enhancement rather than strictly fixing bugs. All in all, the project is healthy and vibrant and everyone seems to be having fun too, which is what's important.


The codebase development has been excruciatingly slow lately. The initial conversion of code to using std::string has not gone well and several bugs have cropped up recently that have been very hard to track down. The trunk is about 3/4 of the way through applying the changes that were initially installed for Alsherok. The trunk code has not been in a usable state for a very long time and I find this frustrating. There's also been very little interest in the codebase itself which has once more led me to wonder why I should continue to focus any energy on it.


The MudBytes site has seen a sharp rise in user participation in the last few months and I can only say I'm quite pleased with the results. Though I haven't been as involved in the day to day discussions since my reinstatement as an administrator, I like what I'm seeing. People have been generally friendly and helpful and there are a lot of interesting things being talked about. It's exactly the kind of thing the forums are there for. It would be even nicer if that discussion led to more code contributions which is what the site itself was built for and continues to focus on.

Quicksilver Forums

Development work on the forums has slowed to a crawl. Most of us simply don't have time to devote to the major rework the 2.0 trunk is targeting and we've already overshot the original plan to have something viable out by January of 2008. It doesn't look like this is going to happen at all for a long time to come. But we are still working on it, so the project is not dead. It's just dormant. It might be nice if there were more contributors besides just the 4 of us ( Myself, Geoff, Matt, and Jon ) because that would mean things got done faster. Even just small patches for things are helpful. Instead it seems anyone who shows interest in development of any kind would rather fork the project and splinter the userbase.

QSF Portal

Development on QSF Portal hasn't been much faster than QSF. I released a minor update to it not to long ago which hasn't seemed to generate much interest. And further complicating things is the fact that it suffers from a few bugs that really suck. So I'm going to have to fix those and generate another update. Since this project is partially dependent on what happens with QSF it's probably not too surprising that nothing much is getting done. I don't have time to fly solo, and that's exactly what I've been doing since the beginning outside of some small things that trickle in from time to time. Open source projects thrive on user participation as much as they do developer participation. We can only do so much.


Compared to just six months ago, Sandbox has made leaps and bounds in terms of support and features. There's been some slight interest starting to perk up recently. But I fear that any hope of serious competition to things like Wordpress and Moveable Type is pie in the sky thinking. Everyone seems to want uber-fancy interfaces and oodles of AJAX and as far as I can tell, Kiasyn and myself have never had any intention of going down that road.

I have plans on the horizon to add more user levels: authenticated visitors who can bypass the spam filter when they post comments, trusted visitors who will be able to see content that is marked as invisible to guests and authenticated visitors as well as the ability to edit their past comments, guest authors who can post blog entries and such and have limited access to the AdminCP ( like non-owners have now ), and of course the all powerful admin/owners.

The AdminCP interface is in need of an overhaul, but I'm not sure exactly where to go with that. I'm also planning on adding some controls to the public side to allow for the editing of comments, blog entries, and user profiles for those who can't use the ACP. There may be some room for AJAX controls here, but don't count on it.

I'm going to add comment support to the gallery section and a last 5 images box to the front page.

Most of this is getting into things that go beyond what I need/want from Sandbox, so if people want it done faster then offering up patches or design layouts would speed things along greatly :)


The intermud network is chugging along just fine. The code is pretty well stable other than one glaring bug which hasn't seen a solution yet. The logging pages for the channels need some serious help though and I'm planning to overhaul that soon with something more like what the I3 network is using for their logs. As time goes by the current logging implementation for the public channels is becoming a bandwidth hog and is losing its usefulness since it has no dates.


About the only activity here is the overhaul of the MUD's website. I've switched it over to the Sandbox package instead of the old busted static HTML with frames. Yes, frames. The website hadn't been updated in years and the last time it was frames were the "in thing". A lot has changed since so it was a long overdue update. I think it also showcases how good Sandbox's custom HTML page feature works since the vast majority of the site is built using those. Other than that, the code is at a virtual stand still other than patching up bugs caused by string work.


Back in August this wasn't much more than a blip on my own radar. I needed something to replace Poweradmin and it seemed like a good idea to use something that had most of the bits in place, so I built myself a domain management interface using QSF as a core. I stripped out all the forum related support, kept the skinning, users, and database portions, and went to town. It worked quite well. I then decided to offer it to the public, figuring if anyone even looked at it I'd be flattered. Little did I know that a whole lot of people would not only look, but take a great interest in seeing it improved. There are now sites out there managing 100,000+ domains with it. Which is far beyond anything I ever expected to see happen. I've had several people offer up patches and idea and give me bug reports and other suggestions. The project has grown rapidly in the last two months alone. So much so I was no longer able to manage it from the blog via random emails and hijacking of the PDNS-users mailing list. It's the kind of thing that OSS development should be. The irony of it all is this wasn't ever something I planned on having a lot of people using. It just happened that way. If only the rest of my stuff generated as much interest :P

So there you have it. A sort of quick breakdown on where things stand. If I've missed something you wanted to know about, feel free to post a comment.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

« Conspiracy Theory in the Making
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Posted on Mar 1, 2008 11:12 am by Samson in: , | 3 comment(s) [Closed]
Thanks for the update, Samson. I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of the way things have been going on MudBytes, but I definitely think that the changes recently to the alsherok web site have been vast improvements. Otherwise, I don't really have anything to add regarding the other projects you mentioned except to note that I only follow QSF in relation to QSFP and I don't really follow PDNS but have got a copy of it that I downloaded when you first put it out there and that I do follow all of the others you've mentioned.

Try not to let the actions of a troll like drrck mar what has otherwise been a pretty good last couple of months. Even he isn't totally argumentative. :)

Ever notice that most of the troubles on MudBytes have been by folks with names that start with D or another letter close to D, like C or E... maybe that's conspiratorial to. ;) (Guess Davion, Dragona, Darian, and I (I'm sure I'm missing names) should be offended by that coincidence/conspiracy...)

On the other hand, maybe we should've known Drrck's character from his first appearance at MudBytes just from how changing the r's to an i is telling, or the fact that Drrck looks like it would rhyme with Jerk.. but that doesn't help with folks like Detah (another recent and prominent D name...) or ...well, the others. ;)

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