A Modern +Finger?

  • Tutorialist

    Hullo folks!

    I'm looking for what people thing a modern +finger should have. The traditional finger has the following information:

    • Name
    • Connection Status
    • Mail Status
    • Alias
    • Location
    • Full Name
    • Temperament
    • Position
    • Wiki/URL
    • Song
    • afinger-notification
    • ability to add more items.

    In my original +finger (used on DW, TR, CoFaB, and Reno) I took out afinger, and the ability to add non-specific items. I took the afinger out because it typically resulted in people being annoying about it. I took out the ability to add &finger-<whatever> to your +finger because people would make them annoyingly long. But I'm currently working on a +finger code that isn't just /for me/ but that anyone can take and set up (and wasn't coded when I was still learning to code).

    What should it have? What are the items that it should pull /automatically/ that people don't set, but it simply "knows" about -- e.g. name, sex, alias, connection status, etc. What of those should it already know?

    And what items should be player-setable but 'standard' if any? e.g. position, fullname, age, etc.

    AND should afinger be brought back?

    Should finger-<thing> be brought back? If so should there be a limit to the number of them that people can set? e.g. You can only setup to 5 different non-standard finger fields?


  • Tutorialist


    Should the code no longer be 'finger'? Should we change it to 'info'? +info <bob>?

  • All those look fine, I guess; it feels redundant to have location in there, when most people will be checking +where for that.. You should definitely allow custom fields.

    Also, perhaps profile or character notes; it's my big peeve about WoD MU*s, I +finger someone and 'yeah, you're connected, I can see that, you're IN THE ROOM WITH ME and why do I need ot know you have seventy unread mails?'. The +finger tells me nothing about your character.

    Maybe it's from coming from MU*s that, that's a big thing (and probably one of the few things, besides faction/quote/subfaction) that is in the +finger.

  • It should have:

    • Identification: Name, alias, gender, web link (usu. for wiki), maybe position.
    • Location: Room location, connection status.
    • Any other things the game wants. (template, email)
    • Any 5 other things the player wants.

    The player things, including web link, should be under: &finger.<item>.

    All lookups should be on the game object as &finger.<item> as well. e.g.:

    &finger.position finger frob <ff>=get( %0/position )
    &finger.web_link finger frob <ff>=get( %0/finger.wiki )

    Oh, and no "afinger" notification.
    Oh, and no calling player data with u().

  • Tutorialist

    @Thenomain said:

    All lookups should be on the game object as &finger.<item> as well. e.g.:

    &finger.position finger frob <ff>=get( %0/position )
    &finger.web_link finger frob <ff>=get( %0/finger.wiki )

    Yes, yes. That was already in my design plans, my loveliest of mentors. <3

  • Thank you God for not including &afinger.

    There's nothing at all less cute then people who think its cute to respond to a +finger with some commentary.

    Beyond that, I like "Availability" to be part of the regular attributes. That, and maybe PlayedBy, considering how so many games use that. Yes, someone can put it into their custom things if they want, but what's your "standard set" sort of defines a bit about your culture as a game.

    Hm, which makes me think you should probably make the standard set configurable. :) But I over-engineer sometimes.

  • Tutorialist

    @ixokai said:

    Hm, which makes me think you should probably make the standard set configurable. :) But I over-engineer sometimes.

    I am, indeed, thinking about how to do this.

  • Pitcrew

    This is probably a given, but if a field isn't set, it should just not show up on the display (i.e. if I don't set my 'position', then it shouldn't display: Position: <blank>). Unless the field is mandatory, in which case it should probably be pulling from somewhere else automatically anyway. Again, probably a given.

    Fuck afinger.

    I like customizable content, in that I think some people will use it well. I think it should probably be left up to the game how much custom stuff you can add to it.

    ... I would like it if it was +info. Just saying. I mean, it would take some getting used to, but.

  • Shit +finger doesn't need:

    • Song: This is useless info for at-a-glance stuff that, given the prevalence of character wiki pages, ought to languish there.
    • Temperament: Rarely used and usually only to tell people 'oh my character is grouchy please don't take that OOC'. You know how you don't get people thinking you're a jerk IC and OOC? Don't be a jerk OOC.

  • Actually, I don't think any of those basics besides name for the header should be included if you're working on a generic +finger. I think most of the time should be spent on allowing it to smartly display any given number of finger stats with ordering. So a game admin would type something like, I dunno, +finger/fields <comma separated list> and those would be the game standard fields, in the order they want them displayed.

    Then something like allow player finger attributes with a max allowable. And, of course, default to get(<player>/finger.<attribute>), but with an override like @Thenomain suggested.

  • @Thenomain said:

    Oh, and no calling player data with u().

    Quoted for truth.

  • Admin

    @Coin said:

    I like customizable content, in that I think some people will use it well. I think it should probably be left up to the game how much custom stuff you can add to it.


    Now, it'd be lovely if +finger was settable to display different things to different groups to facilitate first meetings, which is something we sometimes do in a very disorganized fashion in wiki pages. I mean otherwise +finger is nearly useless (unless you're on Shang :) ) since other than to check an idle counter why would I +finger Bob after I've met him a few times? I already know IC/OOC more than enough.

    However let's say I meet Bob for the first time in a bar. What's the biggest obstacle to such scenes? Awkwardness, right? Striking up a conversation, finding something to talk about. What if I can +finger him and based on our perspective groups I get a bunch of stuff he volunteered to be public knowledge for them? So, if we're both Vampires I'd get his Clan/Covenant and maybe position if any. If he has a mortal standing (say, Fame 1 as a blogger) it lists that. If we're both in the same Covenant I might have even heard a tidbit about him, included in a field (with a twitter-like limit of 128 chars, no novels).

    So that takes a nearly defunct command and makes it into something usable, even useful.

  • @Arkandel
    I like the idea, but would worry that this would cause bloat. I would think that this is better served as a +info sort of tidbit? If you coded +info to filter available entries based on the viewer, then allow for locking for groups, races, whatever, then this becomes much more useful in this context.

    I would prefer to see games where there is the +finger (OOC info, usually) and +info/+profile/+whatever (IC info), separated. I have considered building +finger to where it isn't a single command, but can store entries like +info, for OOC stuff like RP Prefs, Schedules, etc. That draws a very solid line between IC and OOC categories, if it is important to your game. Many can do IC and OOC in one screen/command/area.

  • @Cobaltasaurus

    I took the afinger out because it typically resulted in people being annoying about it.

    As long as you aren't locking the AFINGER attribute to someone other than the player themselves, they can remove it (&AFINGER me=), and the annoyance is gone. Some players demand AFINGER functionality. So much so that in my coded systems, I made it a toggle for viewing of items that it /might/ make sense on. But, then again, I try to externalize Preferences on how code functions as much as I can to players, like entirely changing the ANSI color scheme of the game's code to whatever you want.

    By not providing AFINGER functionality, and coding +finger to where players cannot parse non-harmful code like embedded pemit() calls, you are flipping the coin over and forcing functionality (or lack thereof) onto your players.

    And it isn't just AFINGER. Small 'features' such as this are always preferences by player.


  • Add me to the people who loathe &afinger with the burning flames of a thousand suns going supernova at once. That is only mild hyperbole; I really despise &afinger.

    I finger people for the usual reason: "Oh, who's that?"

    Entirely too many self-important morons think this is an excuse to do any number of things from there:

    • Demand to know what you found fascinating about them. (This is especially funny when they leave it mostly blank and there is nothing whatsoever to find fascinating. Besides, if you already knew enough about them to find them fascinating, why would you be checking basics like +finger? Pfft. Idiots.)

    • Strike up the world's most long-winded conversation about shit you could not possibly care less about even if someone was holding a gun to your head and demanding you give at least one wee fuck. (Again, especially annoying when there is nothing interesting about them whatsoever or no commonalities there.)

    • Start screaming "STALKER!" at you if you +fingered them once before a month ago and had simply forgotten. (Again, usually because they were completely uninteresting.)

    • People actually using +finger constantly to be stalky fucks and trigger your &afinger to make you feel watched. (A game played often enough on the aforementioned Shangrila that there's mention of not fingering someone if they have you on +ignore/etc. in policy.)

    ...I may not be entirely rational on this point since I find the above so needlingly-peeve-inspiring, but I see absolutely no positives whatsoever gained from &afinger. None. Not a fucking one.

  • Admin

    @Rook I don't think it's that important which command does this as long as the playerbase adopts it. It can be +info, +glance, whatever.

  • @Arkandel
    I can agree to that. I think +finger, the command itself, is outdated. Most people have no idea where it came from and so on, but we all use it. I bet every one of us logs into a game and doesn't even check +help, they just type +finger <name>. AMIRITE?

  • @Rook said:

    @Thenomain said:

    Oh, and no calling player data with u().

    Quoted for truth.

    Assuming you're working in TinyMUX. It's safe in PennMUSH, as it gets evaluated with the permissions of the object it is on.

    That aside, I found it useful to - if you have SQL access and are using MediaWiki - to have it automatically generate the wiki link if a player has one. Or rather, if a page exists with the character's name.

  • Tutorialist

    So here are my thoughts before on features:

    • The "all basics" that every one will get: name, alias, connection. (If they aren't in the room with you, and you don't want to scan through a giant +who that is actually helpful.)

    • Then there will be a section that staff on that game decides is important that staff will set up with +finger/fields <list>. (Staff should put these in, in the order they want them to appear on +finger, I think. That way I could sort it out the way they want it to list.)

      • Should there be a default list?
      • Also perhaps a +finger/fieldsadd, this way you don't have to rewrite it everytime you want to add one.
    • Then staff can decide with +finger/customfields <#> how many different custom fields a player can set. It'll default to five. If staff want more they change it. If staff want less they change it. (If staff only want the game specific mandatory fields -- then they only get those.)

    • Further support:

      • I'm contemplating how I could make the appearance customizable (I always liked LAmush's boxed in +finger, personally.), but unsure of how I might go about that without a) making the code really complicated, or b) basically having fifty different versions.
      • Contemplating how I could allow staff on the games to specify if they want say mail-status, gender, etc in the top banner as well. Most folks don't seem to think these are mandatory, but some games might want them.

    Code Design

    • The goal is to code something generic enough that any game can use it comfortably, no matter their subject.
    • Internally a design goal is to keep the code simple and clean, and not a convulted mess. I want other non-supercoders (@Thenomain, @Glitch), to be able too look at it and say: Oh! I know what that does.
    • Yes, all attributes will be finger.<thing>, and will be called with lattr and iter or some other manner other than get(thing1), get(thing2), get(thing3). :p

  • Just a delayed response.. I like the &afinger. When people do it it makes me think we might have similarities. What I HATE about them is when people do stupid shit like make it @pemit the person doing +finger. On a couple mu*s I've gotten people who do stuff like 'X moans in delight as you finger her.'

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