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Old 07-24-2002, 12:59 PM   #21
mhc
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This is long-winded, but the fact is that admins get so angry about people who exploit bugs in their MUD...and I don't see the justification. If you didn't do it right, and someone figured out how to break it, it's your fault. Stop blaming everyone else.
It is possible to construct provably correct code. Unfortunately, beyond a few simple line, the work to prove it correct gets so large that it is not possible to perform for any practical applications. Therefore, there will be bugs in any code. Everyone will make them.

Then, it is well-known in computer science and the discipline of software testing that no amount of testing will reveal all bugs. It's sad, but true. In non-professional development environments, like MUDs, there will be more bugs, too; few MUDs have extended system tests of changes. You cannot demand it, either.

Given this, your statement about not blaming your mistakes on others looks less than good.
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:40 PM   #22
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It is difficult for any programmer to cover every aspect of how a function interacts within a game with the other functions. There exists, or should, a measure of respect between the players and the programmers which would allow for a path of communication to explain the possible holes which could be exploited.

By the same token, the programmer should reward those who report possibly abusable holes in the code. This creates a perpetual system whereby the programmer implements changes, and the players report loopholes or errors, and not just the issues wherein the code does not work as advertised.

If the player, rather than reporting the loophole, instead uses it, this is fine. They have, whether intentionally or not, agreed to the consequences of this abuse if and when they are caught. By doing it, they are wagering that they will be able to get away with it. When caught, they often show indignation, claiming they 'did not know it wasnt acceptable'. The programmer should consider, did they deliberately use the loophole for its advantages, or did they ignorantly do so, believing it is an intended consequence of the program?

Those who do so out of ignorance shouldnt be punished. They should be encouraged to report future issues which are not explicitly stated in the helpfiles as being a product of the function (one does maintain helpfiles, yes....?)

Likewise, those who intentionally use the code for their selfish personal gain, knowing or suspecting that it is a bug or loophole and not even questioning it, should have the FBI sent to their house and their computer systems confiscated, for they have violated all trust....
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Old 07-24-2002, 06:53 PM   #23
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Thank you, Robbert. That was about as objective a post as I've seen in a while, and very much to the point in many cases.

I agree with everything you say, in fact, but I take personally don't follow the rule that people who exploit bugs in the code, even knowingly, get punished. I'm a perfectionist at heart, and I constantly encourage people either reporting or exploiting bugs in the code that I write. I play and run pure-pk games, and one of the biggest complaints I have an administrator is pbases who have no ability to expand their repertoire in tactical combat.

A good way to encourage them to try out new ways of fighting is to encourage them to look for bugs. They start looking for bugs and testing out new combinations and ideas on MOBs, and in doing to perpetuate a mastering of the game far beyond what most laymen-MUDders ever do.

So when I say that I blame no one but myself, and I don't punish players for overstepping their bounds in regards to bug-exploitation, it is largely because I want to get them to explore the code as much as possible.

-Visko
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Old 07-25-2002, 12:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I'm a perfectionist at heart, and I constantly encourage people either reporting or exploiting bugs in the code that I write.
If someone finds a bug, and doesn't let you know of it, how do you attain the perfection for which you strive?

After writing the above counterquestion several times, I had an epiphany. I think the base difference in our views comes not from different beliefs - for we've both said that we recognize the truth in one anothers statements - but from a different concept. I see the programming as a step towards the end, which is providing a stable medium to the players in which the laws of the world are known (gravity causes things to fall, mages get burned at the stake, one who is heavily encumbered will not run as fast as one who is not...).

You see the programming as the end result: Have I accounted for each eventuality the player may try with this function, and how will this function interact with others?

In the former (my view), there exists room for error. Perfectionism is still there, but it is with the understanding that no one can consider everything, and at 150k+ lines of code it is difficult to account for all eventualitys (attributed more to my poor programming skills rather than the size of the program; MS Windows is more than 3million lines of code).

With the latter, the fact that a function you have written is unabusable is proof positive that you have done what you wished. You've won, in that particular case. In others, the players will win, and it is up to you to discern if they have found something for which you did not account.

Both views have merit. But this accounts for the differences in our opinions. Am I wrong?
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Old 08-03-2002, 06:27 AM   #25
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Sorry for getting back to this so late; I seemed to have passed over it in recent forum browsings.

You are perfectly correct in the previous post; we start from different places and (I assume?) shoot for the same goal; the implementation of new code in ways that will not be abused by the players, and therefore will add to the game fairly for everyone.

I admit that I do tend to be anal retentive about making sure things are "unabusable", and I can only blame my former player-only self for the fault; I was the one who set about exploiting every code problem I could find, and I had an equally anal retentive coder admin who was constantly patching up what I broke.

I realize that allowing for room for error, and letting the players do some of the debugging for you has good merit; for one thing, it does distribute the debugging time a little better around the game.  Normally, I'd even subscribe to the idea, given a non-total-pk environment where any "bug" the player finds can easily turn into a serious problem 20 minutes after they've found it.

Case and point, one of my little pranks: on a game I used to play avidly and now rarely log into, the game changed top admins, and was moved to another directory on the server.  The problem was that the permissions were changed for the code and the area files, but not the existing pfiles.  Therefore, all new characters kept their equipment, but old characters constantly defaulted to what they had before the change of permissions, no matter whether or not they saved.

I used this "glitch" to clone 100 sets of some of the best equipment in the game, and clone 1500 qps, which in that game could basically get you the best set of any kind of quest eq in the game, making you invincible, in effect.

The admin promptly deleted all of my characters, and stripped the equipment from all of the players who had joined me in doing this.  However, there was a good 6-hour period where I had the entire game on its knees.  It is this kind of scenario that I try (perhaps anal retentively) to avoid; I'm not omnipresent on the game, and there are very few people I would trust to a)Know what's going on immediately, b)be able to handle it in a mature fashion, and c)fix the problem quickly to avoid conflict.

Therefore, I just do it myself ahead of time and then tell the players that everything not specifically hard coded out is legal, and if I want to change those rules, I'll do it through the code.

Anyway, my 4 cents or so.  And you're right about everything, as usual

-Visko
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Old 09-02-2002, 12:37 AM   #26
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Synozeer, or another Moderator: Any idea why this showed up in "most recent" links on the mainpage? I've seen this a time or two int he past, too. On a slow connection at the moment, else I'd look over the other pages. Did someone edit a particular point here?
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Old 09-02-2002, 01:19 AM   #27
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Smile

I'm pretty sure it pops back to the forefront anytime someone votes in the poll.
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