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                                WHAT HAPPENED?

A lot of people have asked me why I stopped developing the Java version of
WolfMUD. Had I got tired of it? Had I moved onto something new? So here goes,
sitting comfortably? A long time ago at a keyboard far, far away ...

Back in 1998 I was at the peak of my Java programming phase. All the code I
was writing was Java based: Web services, desktop applications, tools and
utilities - everything was written in Java. My Java actually goes back to 1995
with the early alpha releases of the JDK.

After seeing so many people on the MUD forums get flamed for asking simple
questions like "How do I compile X MUD on my system using Y compiler" I
decided I could do something to help. In 1998 I started on the Java version of
WolfMUD and in late 1999 released it on an unsuspecting MUD community.

Everything went well. I had a small community. People were using it for all
sorts of things: research projects into AI and natural language processing,
school projects, the testing of new Java implementations.

It was even mentioned in an O'Reilly Book[1]:

  Killer Game Programming in Java
  By Andrew Davison
  Publisher: O'Reilly Media
  Released: May 2005
  Print ISBN: 978-0-596-00730-0 | ISBN 10: 0-596-00730-2
  Ebook ISBN: 978-0-596-10494-8 | ISBN 10: 0-596-10494-4

  From page 903:

 "Sites with Java source code, but not Java 3D, are:

  WolfMUD (http://www.wolfmud.org/)
  Supports multiplayer, networked adventure games, including a GUI-based world
  builder consisting of zones with objects. Unlike a large number of MUD
  development sites, this one is actively supported and even has good online

I love the O'Reilly books and have between 40-50 of them on various topics.
Typically that is one of the very few Java books I don't have :(

I also had an article published in a magazine called "News 3X/400" which was
for professional programmers working on IBM's AS/400 "big iron" machines. IBM
had just ported Java to it and of course as I was working in an AS/400 shop I
got WolfMUD running on it! As we pushed it up to 750,000 players (simulated)
IBM was very excited and we had fun touting "dungeons and dragons on a machine
usually used for serious number crunching". I even highlighted a few bugs and
worked with their labs to test and fix them :) Later I had it running on an
S/390 mainframe "bigger iron". To complete the family of IBM machines it also
ran on an RS/6000 running AIX. All of the machine names have now since changed
and seem to be iSeries something - I haven't worked on any in a long time :(

However in late 2002 my Java period came to an abrupt end. I still continued
to actively work on WolfMUD until about 2004-5. During the last few years my
enthusiasm for Java died - in fact it actually started to die after the J2SE
5.0 release in 2004. I really did not like what Sun were doing with Java and
the direction it was taking. Watching from afar things seem to have gotten
even worse since 2009-2010 when Oracle acquired Sun and became the 'steward'
of Java.

The rest, as they say, is geography ;)

  [1] Killer Game Programming in Java:

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