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A Simple MUD Client v1.0

What it is

This is a small telnet client, that can be used to connect to a MUD. It understands ANSI colour and it has a 500 line scrollback buffer. You can scroll through it with PageUp/PageDown, or with the mouse.

Unlike the other ANSI applets I've seen, it also has a separate input line, so the text you type doesn't get mixed up with incoming text from the MUD. The command line has a history buffer, and remembers the last 32 commands entered. Use the up and down arrows to scroll through the remembered commands.

Note that, to make the most out of this limited buffer, commands entered more than once are only stored once in the history buffer. E.g., if you enter the sequence of commands "inventory", "look", "consider all", and again "look", the first instance of "look" will be erased, to conserve buffer space. I.e., the history buffer will now look like: "inventory", "consider all" and "look". To put it otherwise, it tries to remember up to 32 _different_ commands, which hopefully should be more useful than if 20 of them were duplicates.

Also, being specially designed for MUD's, the keypad acts as a direction pad. E.g., you can press '7' on the keypad and have 'nw' sent to the MUD. It really makes walking around faster and easier. (You must have NumLock ON for this to work.)

The function keys also produce some useful commands. (Though if you're not on Discworld or a derivative thereof, they may not match the commands understood by the MUD, and thus will be less useful. In a future release, I might make the program load the commands from a text file.)

Due to popular request ;) it now does wrap incoming text, and it does it by breaking the line at a space character. It turned out that you can't reliably expect the MUD to always do the wrapping for you. Note that, due to speed reasons, it only wraps incoming text, not lines of text already received. I.e., if you resize the screen or change the font size, the already received text isn't re-formatted to the new width. (But any text you receive from now on, obviously is.)

What it isn't

Briefly, it isn't a general purpose terminal emulation. It understands the ANSI colour codes, and the ANSI bright and reverse video commands. But that's all. It does NOT understand the cursor positioning commands, nor underline, nor italic, nor the rest of the ANSI standard. (At least not for now.)

It also doesn't wrap text by itself. It assumes that the text will come already wrapped around from from the MUD.

I.e., it should be ideal for connecting to most MUD's, but not for playing a telnet version of space invaders, because it lacks cursor positioning.

Also, it doesn't have local scripting, aliases, timers or triggers. At least, not for now. Those would significantly inflate the size and number of classes downloaded, when used as an applet. I.e., it would make the applet load a whole lot slower. If you really need those, grab a copy of zMud or gMud instead.

The Buttons

Disconnect
Disconnects you from the MUD. Note that this will make you net-dead, instead of properly logging you out, so it's generally bad practice.
Connect
Connects you to the MUD. If you were connected already, it first disconnects you, and then connects again.
Large Font
Use 14 pixel bold Courier for a font. You'll appreciate this if you're using very high resolution, like I do :) If your MUD auto-detects screen size, but it is NOT fully compliant with RFC 1073, you may need to reconnect to force it to notice the new screen size.
Small Font
Use 12 pixel plain Courier for a font. Mainly there for those of you with 640x480 screens. If your MUD auto-detects screen size, but it is NOT fully compliant with RFC 1073, you may need to reconnect to force it to notice the new screen size.
Detach
If it's used as an applet, detaches it from the html page and into a separate frame. I.e., now you can resize it freely, to suit your preferences. This button will only be visible if it's run as an applet, and it isn't detached already.
Attach
Nukes the frame, and attaches the client back onto the html page. This button will only be visible if it's run as an applet, and it is currently detached.

Hints

On Discworld or derivatives, use 'term network'. This will enable negotiating window size on the fly. I.e., when you change the window size or font size, Discworld will automatically adjust its text wrapping and pausing.

Compatibility Considerations

The applet uses the 1.1 AWT event model, as opposed to the more simplistic 1.02. I.e., you'll need a browser that does understand Java 1.1 to use it as an applet, or a 1.1 or 1.2 compatible JDK or JRE to run it as a standalone application.

It has been extensively tested as an applet with Netscape 4.51 and 4.6, and Internet Explorer 5.0. As an application it has been tested with Sun's JDK 1.2.1 with the HotSpot JVM, IBM's 1.1.7 JRE, and Microsoft's Virtual Machine build 3167 and 3177.

If you have Netscape Explorer 4.05 or earlier, it has a problem with understanding the 1.1 AWT event model. Allegedly, there is a patch for that. Or you can just get a newer version of Netscape.

Also, I would recommend NOT using Internet Explorer or the Microsoft JVM to run it. They are buggy and slightly incompatible with the standard. Note that I'm not preaching anti-Microsoft theory, but it's based on actual testing. E.g., under my current Microsoft JVM, it doesn't seem to notice the PageUp and PageDown keys, so you're stuck with using a mouse to scroll back. Also, it doesn't seem to allow using ALT and the keypad to enter extended characters. Unless you enjoy wanton incompatibilities and headaches, avoid Microsoft's Java implementations. It's that simple.


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