2-2 Presentation of MOO & WOO environments

2-2.2 General features of MOOs

MOOs are a type of MUDs (Multi User Dimensions/Dungeons), widely used on the Internet for socializing and interactive role-playing games. They allow many users to log in at the same time, and interact with the program and among themselves. Currently, MOO technology is being used for many purposes: games but also private or professional communication, socialization and collaborative working. The MOOs became virtual "places" on the network where people can meet and collaborate on various projects. Technically speaking, a MOO is a network-accessible, multi-user, programmable, interactive system. When a user connects to a MOO he connects as a character with the help of a specialized telnet-based client program.The client's primary task is to send and receive I/O between the server and the user. The MOO server exists on one machine on the network, while the client is typically run by the users on their own machines.

Having connected to a character, participants then give on-line commands that are parsed and interpreted by the MOO server as appropriate. Such commands may cause changes in the "virtual reality", such as the location of the user. In the MOO architecture, everything is represented by objects. Each person, each room, each thing is considered as an object that can be looked at, examined and manipulated. The MOO keeps a database of objects in memory and this means that once created objects are still available at each session. A MOO world can be extended both by "building" and by programming. "Building" means creation and customization of new objects starting with some prototypical object. The internal programming language is quite powerful. It has been used to add an impressive set of objecs for professional use (such as an internal WWW client, generic classrooms, in-MOO information systems ). Note that it is possible to port objects between different MOO servers (provided that permission is given)

VMDL/MOO Report - 17 FEB 1996

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