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Are you really just DIKU in disguise?

Anyone who knows their general MUD history knows why this is here and would inevitably become a question sooner or later.

Aardwolf was developed to look as similar to the old game as possible which may lead to some questions on whether it really is a unique codebase at all. Several points on this:

  • We have extensive CVS logs showing the development of the MUD over a number of years. These logs show steady progress from a 500 line basic socket driver through to the current 150,000 lines+ that is Aardwolf V3.
  • We have fixed hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of bugs that were reported by player testers, things that already work just fine in Diku/ROM. Deliberately coding these bugs to 'appear different' would be a massive waste of time and arguably take longer to do intentionally than rewriting the MUD did in the first place.
  • Even if we were inclined to do that, it wouldn't work. You can't hide an entire codebase. Too many subtle bugs. Too many things too easily noticeable. Btw, feel free to use tildes all you like in V3 :)

Perhaps most importantly, wanting to clear any confusion early on, we asked Hans Henrik Staerfeldt, one of the original DIKU authors, to review our code and give feedback on whether or not it is a DIKU derivative. Hans reviewed an early version of our code in 2004, stated that it clearly was not, but wanted to see a more final version. Hans reviewed a final version of our code in January 2008 and his statement, quoted exactly, is below:

"Having reviewed the Aardwolf MUD code, and evaluated this aginst the DikuMud source distribution, I must say that your code is very nice. Apart from the parsing of old VNUMS, and the _notion_ of having a string substitution system with AN/A HIS/HER etc (which is a rather obvious notion), as well as the notion of bit-vectors - I see very little likeness with DikuMud. Certainly the code itself is indeed independent from the DikuMud distribution (which is the important part), the only things that are used are design patterns which are obvious for this sort of application (its is after all doing many of the same things, as one would expect a MUD to do).

--Hans Henrik Staerfeldt

Also related, as part of bugging Hans to do this in the first place even though he was short of time, the following extract is from an email to him:

> Understand you're busy but I can think of no better person to do this. If
> it helps, we're not looking for you to "certify" that you have reviewed
> every line of code in detail and it is not Diku, more that you've seen
> enough of the MUD and its structures to be comfortable it is not a DIKU
> based MUD.

The response to this was:

You were perhaps not looking to do this, but I wanted to do it to make very sure. Im like that :^P

It is reasonable to assume from this that Hans was thorough in his review before making the statement above.

This whole page may be redundant and unnecessary, but if it can allow us to focus on building a great game rather than debating speculation, it serves its purpose. We will not publish his email address here but anyone capable of using Google can find Hans and ask for themselves if they feel so inclined.