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Associating Network Connections with Players

When a network connection is first made to the MOO, it is identified by a unique, negative object number. Such a connection is said to be un-logged-in and is not yet associated with any MOO player object.

Each line of input on an un-logged-in connection is first parsed into words in the usual way (see the chapter on command parsing for details) and then these words are passed as the arguments in a call to the verb $do_login_command(). For example, the input line

connect Munchkin frebblebit

would result in the following call being made:

$do_login_command("connect", "Munchkin", "frebblebit")

In that call, the variable player will have as its value the negative object number associated with the appropriate network connection. The functions notify() and boot_player() can be used with such object numbers to send output to and disconnect un-logged-in connections. Also, the variable argstr will have as its value the unparsed command line as received on the network connection.

If $do_login_command() returns a valid player object and the connection is still open, then the connection is considered to have logged into that player. The server then makes one of the following verbs calls, depending on the player object that was returned:


The first of these is used if the returned object number is greater than the value returned by the max_object() function before $do_login_command() was invoked, that is, it is called if the returned object appears to have been freshly created. If this is not the case, then one of the other two verb calls is used. The $user_connected() call is used if there was no existing active connection for the returned player object. Otherwise, the $user_reconnected() call is used instead.

Fine point: If a user reconnects and the user's old and new connections are on two different listening points being handled by different objects (see the description of the listen() function for more details), then user_client_disconnected is called for the old connection and user_connected for the new one.

If an in-bound network connection does not successfully log in within a certain period of time, the server will automatically shut down the connection, thereby freeing up the resources associated with maintaining it. Let L be the object handling the listening point on which the connection was received (or #0 if the connection came in on the initial listening point). To discover the timeout period, the server checks on L.server_options or, if it doesn't exist, on $server_options for a connect_timeout property. If one is found and its value is a positive integer, then that's the number of seconds the server will use for the timeout period. If the connect_timeout property exists but its value isn't a positive integer, then there is no timeout at all. If the property doesn't exist, then the default timeout is 300 seconds.

When any network connection (even an un-logged-in or outbound one) is terminated, by either the server or the client, then one of the following two verb calls is made:


The first is used if the disconnection is due to actions taken by the server (e.g., a use of the boot_player() function or the un-logged-in timeout described above) and the second if the disconnection was initiated by the client side.

It is not an error if any of these five verbs do not exist; the corresponding call is simply skipped.

Note: Only one network connection can be controlling a given player object at a given time; should a second connection attempt to log in as that player, the first connection is unceremoniously closed (and $user_reconnected() called, as described above). This makes it easy to recover from various kinds of network problems that leave connections open but inaccessible.

When the network connection is first established, the null command is automatically entered by the server, resulting in an initial call to $do_login_command() with no arguments. This signal can be used by the verb to print out a welcome message, for example.

Warning: If there is no $do_login_command() verb defined, then lines of input from un-logged-in connections are simply discarded. Thus, it is necessary for any database to include a suitable definition for this verb.

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