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                     JOURNAL FOR SUNDAY 11TH APRIL, 2021

SUBJECT: WolfMUD v0.0.18 released
   DATE: Sun 11 Apr 19:55:19 BST 2021

The next release of WolfMUD, v0.0.18, is now available for download[1].

This is the eighteenth official release of WolfMUD, the last release being
Halloween 2020. A lot of the work and effort for this release has been
happening behind the curtain, making WolfMUD work smoothly with Go’s module
mode. The official documentation says you can just drop in a go.mod file and
you’re good to go. Pfffft! Not so. Aside from updating documentation and
tooling there is all the testing that has to be done. If it was so simple
there wouldn’t be pages and pages of documentation just for module mode[2].

As well as support for module mode, this release includes support for @refs in
zone files. An @ref lets authors refer to fields defined elsewhere in a zone
file, see docs/zone-files.txt for all the details. The supplied zone files
have been overhauled, cleaned up and use @refs — providing examples authors
can look at and crib from. The player experience has been improved with
asynchronous communications — the handling of commands is no longer delayed by
other players with a slower network connection. A number of bugs have been
fixed in the record jar package. The documentation in running-the-server.txt
and compiling-from-source.txt has been rewritten, be sure to check them out.

Of course no release would be complete without numerous other minor additions,
bug fixes and assorted tweaks…

Main highlights from the release notes:

Module Mode

  - WolfMUD now uses Go's module mode instead of the older GOPATH mode. As a
    result the use of 'go get' to obtain WolfMUD is considered deprecated. The
    preferred method of obtaining WolfMUD is Git and cloning the repository.
    Alternatively the binary and source archives are provided for each release.


  - Zone files can use @refs to reference fields defined at another reference.
  - Fields in a record jar can have an optional preferred ordering applied when
    the record jar is written. The default preferred ordering for WolfMUD is
    specified in the attr/ordering package and can be changed to suit.
  - The preferred ordering of fields in a zone file is now documented and is
    intended as a guide to ease collaboration between authors. Details can be
    found in docs/zone-files.txt.
  - New wrjfmt tool for formatting record jar files. See Known bugs / Issues.
  - An optional Makefile is provided for building, testing and running WolfMUD
    on Linux during development.
  - An optional Makefile is provided for building WolfMUD releases on Linux.
  - A new botrunner tool has been added to simulate players on the server for
    load testing.


  - The supplied zone files have been cleaned up and make use of the new @refs.
  - Player files are now written out with the preferred field ordering.
  - Minor performance improvement inlining state.CanLock check in state.AddLock
  - Network writes to clients are now asynchronous. This improves performance
    when handling player commands. Clients on a slow connection are handled
    better and no longer hold up other players.
  - All commands and tools should now be placed in the bin directory.
  - Default data directory for binary, source and Git clones is ../data
  - Default root directory for binary, source and Git clones is WolfMUD. The
    instructions for Git clone on the website and in documentation is now:

      git clone https://code.wolfmud.org/WolfMUD

  - Most documentation in the docs directory has been rewritten/ improved.


  - The documentation in getting-started.txt has been incorporated into the
    running-the-server.txt and compiling-from-source.txt guides.


  - Fixed an issue in record jars where the name of the free text field was
    included at the beginning of the text if a named free text field was used
    as opposed to an unnamed free text section.
  - Fixed a formatting issue when writing out free text sections. Free text
    sections are now unfolded and refolded when being written out.
  - Fixed a comment in the text package which was causing the copyright notice
    to appear as a package comment.

Known Bugs / Issues

  - The new wrjfmt tool is a work in progress and has several limitations,
    however it has been made available 'as is' due to the benefits provided
    when used to clean up the zone files.

      - Comments will be stripped from the record jar
      - String lists will be compacted
      - Camel cased field names will be title cased
      - Named free text fields will become free text sections

    Despite these limitations, it is very useful when formatting a zone file
    and comparing the output with the original zone file, using a text diff
    program, and manually applying changes.

  - The new Makefiles for WolfMUD and building releases are currently only for
    Linux and rely on Bash.


  [1] Download area: ../../../downloads/

  [2] Developing modules: https://golang.org/doc/#developing-modules

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