Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Moo? No, this is a MAUD

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Jun 23, 1995

Posted to DU 23 June, 1995

-- Start: Friday, June 23, 1995 2:02:17 pm Diversity University MOOtime (EDT)  
Donald turns Ears on. 
CT_Ken says, "to macclark  Hi, Squeaky!" 
Donald says, "ok guess we can start now when you ready let me announce you. 
Donald says, " I am here as donc also." 
MacClark speaks up, "Ken type look" 
Stephe sighs 
DonC says, " ok let me introduce the speakers today." 
DonC says, " stephen Downes and Jeff McLaughlin" DonC  sits  
Stephe says, "Hi everybosy" 
Stephe says, "everybody, even :)" 
Onyx_Guest says, "Nice to be invited here as a guest. No pun intended " 
Stephe says, "my name is Stephen Downes and with me (*points to Onyx_Guest*) is 
 my colleague Jeff McLaughlin" 
Stephe says, "The two of us are administrators of The Painted Porch MAUD. What 
 'MAUD' stands for we'll tell you. *smiles*" 
Stephe says, "Jeff is a philosophy instructor at the University College of the 
 Cariboo in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada" 
Stephe says, "I am a distance education design specialist at Assiniboine 
 Community College in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada" 
Stephe pauses for effect 
CT_SueH speaks up, "" 
CT_SueH speaks up, "Canadian Content!" 
Stephe says, "We'd like to thank you for attending our session" 
Stephe says, "entitled The Painted Porch MAUD" 
Stephe says, "or, Why MUDs are so much better than MOOs" 
Stephe says, "In this presentation we will begin with a quick history of the 
 Porch. Then we'll discuss how we are using it now for distance education 
 delivery. " 
Stephe says, "We'll identify those features which make it unique and different 
 from MOOs and we'll chat briefly about the design philosophy behind them."
Stephe says, "At the conclusion of the session you are invited to tour the 
 Painted Porch" 
Stephe pauses dramatically 
Stephe says, "The Painted porch is born out of our experience with gaming MUDs. 
 Jeff, myself and two others at the University of Alberta frequented a place 
 called Muddog " 
Stephe says, "which no longer exists" 
Stephe says, "sadly" 
Stephe says, "After learning to program MUDs there we decided to adapt the 
 technology for educational uses" 
Stephe says, "The first incarnation of this was a mud called 'vlab' which ran 
 at the department of psychology at the University of Alberta" 
Stephe says, "The four of us developed this MUD and demonstrated it at the 
 Canadian Philosophical Association national conference in Calgary" 
Stephe says, "this was about two years ago" 
Stephe says, "Because access to vlab was unstable, we then started developing 
 the MUD at Athabasca University. At that time it was called Athabasca MUD" 
Stephe says, "While the MUD was at Athabasca we ran our first classes on it. 
 Jeff will tell you about those." 
Brice looks around for somewhere to sit. 
Stephe says, "When I took a job here in Brandon the MUD moved to Cariboo 
 College (They 'found' an unused pentium kicking about)" 
Stephe says, "The MUD was renamed 'The Painted Porch' to reflect the 
 philosophical theme" 
Stephe says, "We also at that time adopted the term 'MAUD' instead of MUD" 
Stephe says, "MAUD stands for 'Multi Academic User Domain'" 
Stephe says, "We wanted to indicate that the technology had evolved away from 
 its gaming roots and was now being used specifically for educational purposes"
Stephe says, "Jeff will now discuss the academic uses of the MAUD" 
Onyx_Guest says, "In terms of the educational purposes I first used the MAUD to 
 facilitate a Bioethics course" 
CT_SueH speaks up, "Please tell me what a MUD is?" 
Stephe says, "A MUD is a Multi user Domain -- it is similar to a MOO" 
Stephe says, "In fact a MOO is a type of MUD" 
Onyx_Guest says, "For there was a large number of nursing students in a remote 
 part of BC who were required to take the course but could not" 
CT_SueH speaks up, "thanks" 
Onyx_Guest says, "and so, I gave lectures via audio conferencing and then held 
 seminar discussion groups on the MAUD" 
Onyx_Guest says, "I also maintained virtual office hours so that the distance 
 students could contact me" 
MacClark . o O ( ....WOO? ) 
Onyx_Guest says, "On the MAUD they also had simulations which they had to try 
 and comment on by using our BBS" 
MacClark speaks up, "what sorts of similations?"
Onyx_Guest says, "I then had a different group of D.E. students and we started 
 putting lectures on the MAUD so that they could access lectures" 
Onyx_Guest says, "The similations were based on 2 articles one concerning 
 Abortion, the other Euthanasia" 
Onyx_Guest says, "in each they had to 'experience' the scenario and make 
 choices based on their readings and personal views" 
Onyx_Guest says, "for e.g., would they opt to perform active Euthanasia on the 
 non-playing character" 
Onyx_Guest says, "they would then be moved to a different room to see the 
 consequences of their actions" 
Onyx_Guest says, "finally, they would post their thoughts on a public bulletin 
 board and the other classmates would engage them in discussion" 
Onyx_Guest says, "part of the 'cuteness' of the Abortion simulation was that 
 they couldn't 'quit' --they had to remain in the room " 
Brice raises his eyebrows. 
Onyx_Guest says, "the virtual lectures that we began to put on the MAUD were 
 for my Critical Thinking students" 
Onyx_Guest says, "and in the fall, I plan on running the same courses but with 
 the addition of guest virtual lectures " 
Onyx_Guest says, "a good part of the student's assignments are also done on the 
 MAUD using Maudmail and the BBS." 
Onyx_Guest says, "other profs who will be using the MAUD include those involved 
 in teaching via intereactive television, including, physics, e.s.l., biology, 
 computer science, and business" 
Onyx_Guest says, "one of the English as a Second Language profs has already 
 adapted the MAUD tutorial (which teaches people how to use the MAUD) " 
Onyx_Guest says, "she has a quiz based upon the tutorial screens to test their 
 abilities in understanding." 
Onyx_Guest says, "before I continue ...any questions so far?" 
Onyx_Guest smiles. 
CT_SueH speaks up, "What are the differences, benefits of MUDs?" 
CT_DickB says, "what is a mud but not a maud?" 
Ulf speaks up, "as i understand it it, your MAUD system does not allow activat 
 participation in the extension of the environment featured. correct?" 
CT_SueH speaks up, "Over MOOs I mean?" 
Onyx_Guest says, "Well, instead of trying to boast about the MAUD I would like 
 to point out some of the difficulties that students ran into and how we 
 resolved them" 
Stephe says, "While we pause for questions, as well, I'd like to introduce 
 Istvan Berkeley, the founder of vlab and a collaborator on the painted porch 
 (*indicates Quartz_Guest*)" 
Onyx_Guest says, "Actually, let Stephe respond to that SueH in a moment :)" 
CT_SueH speaks up, "OK - thanks" 
Quartz_Guest says, "hi there" Quartz_Guest bows 
Onyx_Guest says, "great questions and let's deal with them in a second. :)" 
ChrisS has disconnected. 
Quartz_Guest says, "Another advantage of MUDs over Moos is the fact that MUD 
 code is much more C like than moo code, this reduces the learning curve for 
 new coders and givres them a more portable skill" 
Onyx_Guest says, "some students found learning the commands to be difficult 
 because of the neeed for 'exactness'. Our response was to create an automatic 
 tutorial" JayC says, "isn't MOO a kind of MUD?" 
Stephe says, "[to JayC] yes" 
Onyx_Guest says, "they also tended to 'talk over one another'" 
Onyx_Guest says, "to which the response was to point out how if one talked over 
 another in real life, no one would listen, accordingly, people slowed down 
 some what and the discussions ran smoother" 
Onyx_Guest says, "and finally the lack of self-directed motivation was a 
 problem --but then again this is applicable to the conventional classroom as 
MacClark speaks up, "Can you tell us some examples of MAUDs used in natural 
 sciences at your place?" 
Onyx_Guest says, "nevertheless, the remote students finally felt part of the 
 classroom environment and enjoyed the informality that accompanies the MAUD" 
Quartz_Guest says, "well Vlab, which was a pre-maud was used by the biological 
 computation project at the U of ASlberta for lab meetings and the like - but 
 then again Cognitive science probably isn;'t a 'natural' science..." 
Stephe says, "OK, before I talk about the features of the MAUD, I'll answer the 
 question: although we've thought about natural science applications (and one 
 coder is building a human cell) there are none as yet" 
Stephe says, "As we've sketched so far, a MUD, and hence the MAUD, is similar 
 to a MOO in many ways" 
Onyx_Guest says, "other professors are planning on using MAUD first as a 
 meeting place " 
Stephe says, "It is a text-based multi-user environment like this one." 
Onyx_Guest says, "including those natural sci. students so that they get used 
 to learning about and from computers" 
Stephe says, "There is a variety of chat lines, such as 'say', 'tell', 'chat', 
 'shout', etc" 
JayC's point, he guesses, is that MOOs are a kind of MUD as are MAUDs 
Quartz_Guest says, "It has, we feel, technical advantages over the Moo enviro 
JayC nods 
Stephe says, "as well, we have a MUD-mail service, and bulletin boards (the 
 BBSs Jeff was referring to)" 
JayC says, "how is mud-mail, compared to regular email?" 
Stephe says, "additionally we have the similations Jeff described, a lecture 
 theatre, and in development, a conference facility" 
Quartz_Guest says, "well, it is pretty similar - although it is rather like the 
 BSU mailer" 
Stephe says, "MudMail is similar to email except that it operates within the 
 confines of the MUD only -- that is, you have to be logged on to the MUD to 
 use MUD mail" 
JayC says, "hm.  why do you use it instead of email then?" 
MacClark speaks up, "restricted user base" 
Stephe says, "we use MUDmail because it's convenient. " 
Stephe says, "also not all of our users have email accounts" 
JayC nods 
Stephe says, "OK, now let me point to the differences..." 
Ulf speaks up, "is there an interface between MUD and email? can users, for 
 example, forward their MUDmail to their email account if they choose to?"
Stephe says, "when you log on to the Painted Porch (and we sincerely hope you 
 will) you will notice a very different look and feel to the environment" 
Stephe says, "at this point you cannot forward mudmail to email. That is an 
 application we are working on." 
Stephe says, "The first major difference is the range of commands available to 
 the user." 
Stephe says, "We have adopted a 'virtual reality' feel to our commands, and the 
 idea is: if you want to do something, type that, and you will do it" 
Stephe says, "for example, to say something, type 'say '" 
Stephe says, "to nod, type 'nod'" 
Ulf speaks up, "one last question (don't mean to interrupt you, though): are 
 you saying that you are developing most of this on your own, for your porch 
 system in particular or are you using creations of other MUD systems much 
 alike yours (why reinvent the wheel)? " 
Stephe says, "to quit, type 'quit'" 
Quartz_Guest says, "well, it is a bit of both - Much of the existing mud stuff 
 can be used, but we are creating our own special stuff too" 
Stephe says, "The command set and the mudlib are drawn from existing MUDs, in 
 particular, we use the MudOS 0.9.19 driver and the Nightmare 3.2 mud ,oibrary, 
 heavily modified" 
Stephe says, "the difference between the ease of using MUD commands and MOO 
 commands is immense... no @, no capital letters, etc" 
Brice [to Stephe]: Isn't it hard to eradicate the MUD stuff like spell-casting 
 and combat. 
JayC says, "capital letters?  where?" 
Stephe says, "[to Brice] it is, yes" 
Onyx_Guest says, "some of it we've kept however" 
MacClark speaks up, "are these commercially available?  your models?  
 Nightmare, etc.?" 
CT_PennyM has disconnected. 
JayC continues to be annoyed by MOO being implied to not be a MUD 
Stephe says, "The MudOS and Nightmare code is freely available" 
Brice tries to comfort JayC. 
Onyx_Guest says, "we have maintained some 'play areas' " 
Stephe says, "Now I haven't tried to code on a MOO but I understand, as 
 Quartz_Guest indicated, that it's easier" 
JayC says, "yeah, the only restriction on mudos and nightmare code is that you 
 can't restrict access to servers" 
Stephe says, "JayC you are misinformed there" 
JayC sighs, digs for his license 
Ulf speaks up, "what would happen if i typed 'take the pencil from the table in 
 front of me'? would your virtual reality MUD understand that i want to get 
 something i refer to as a pen from something i refer to as a table? " 
Stephe says, "There is also the myth that users on a MUD cannot create objects. 
 The system allows us to give that capacity to anyone, hwoever" 
Stephe says, "[to Ulf] well, we have no exact case (not having any pencils on 
 the MUD *grin*) but yes, that is the flexibility of code we are looking at" 
Stephe says, "it is, we admit, imperfectly executed, but is constantly  improving"
Onyx_Guest says, "however the route to go is with 'take pencil from table' more 
 efficient and easier to type" 
Ulf speaks up, "are you seeking to accomodate new users with that approach 
 without losing the flexibility of allowing experienced users to type short 
 commands (in this case 'take pencil from table' or some such)?" 
Stephe says, "we don't have users create objects, generally, for the same 
 reason we have tried to go with naturalness of commands: we don't want the 
 user to be distracted by the technology" 
Onyx_Guest says, "moreover, the ability to create is not all that relevant to 
 the particular courses that we offer" 
Stephe says, "[to Ulf] the short commands are accomodated to. eg. the program 
 code if(sscanf(str,%s take %s pencil %s table)==3)  allows a wide variety of 
 syntax to work" 
Stephe says, "every aspect is designed for ease of use" 
Quartz_Guest says, "" 
Stephe says, "this extends to the design and layout of the rooms and the mud as 
 a whole" 
MacClark speaks up, "So at this point you use the MAUD environment primarily 
 for discussions responsive to specific situations?" 
Stephe says, "We have striven to keep room descriptions simple and clear (we 
 found that users wouldn't read long cluttered descriptions)" 
Onyx_Guest says, "instructors have the ability to create and they can 
 indirectly give that ability to the students if they so choose (although it is 
 limited to whatever the instructor codes)" 
Brice [to Stephe]: Good point about the distractions from technology
Brice [to Stephe]: I am tutoring on a MOO as we speak 
MacClark speaks up, "Is this the sort of thing that could be done by your 
 average dumb middle aged biologist?" 
Stephe says, "we don't want people to get lost, so we have a context sensitive 
 'map' command -- just type map and a map of where you are will be displayed"
Quartz_Guest gives Onyx_Guest a bucket... 
Stephe says, "yes. Coding for the MUD is decidedly simple" 
MacClark . o O ( ....there is a God.... ) 
Brice . o O ( named Nietzsche ) 
Stephe says, "And coders are supported by the administration and with sample 
 objects. " 
JayC shrugs, that's true of the MOO cores too 
Stephe says, "And we are carefuil about tone with coders -- no put-downs, etc. 
 Just positive supportive help" 
Quartz_Guest says, "also, because of the similarity betwewen mud code and C, it 
 shoukld be easy to find an RA to help coding too" 
Stephe says, "yes JayC there is a lot of the stuff in the MOO core which is the 
 same as the MUD and MAUD - they have the same origins, after all. It is a 
 difference in emphasis here." 
Quartz_Guest says, "I taught one middle aged Phil prof to code from cold in 
 about a weekend - by the end he was really good. That is how easy it is." 
Brice smiles. 
Onyx_Guest says, "The difference in emphasis is such that we try to promote the 
 virtualness and the userfriendliness of the environment" 
Stephe says, "Again, we really hope you'll visit us right after this session. 
 We will all be there." 
MacClark speaks up, "Super!" 
Stephe says, "The address is: telnet 4000" 
Onyx_Guest says, "it allows for virtual lectures, text simulations, seminars, 
 public and private postings. " 
MacClark speaks up, "Thankyouveddymuch!" 
Stephe says, "When you log on, pick a name for your self. No need to register 
 as 'guest'" 
Onyx_Guest says, "as well we envision it not just as a Learning place but a 
 meeting place" 
MacClark speaks up, "Great!" 
Ulf speaks up, "it appears as if that is what you are gearing towards. the 
 underlying MUD server really does not matter a whole lot. i am sure it would 
 be easy to produce an exact copy of your MAUD with an underlying MOO server." 
Stephe says, "And vice versa, Ulf. Sure. We have chosen the MUD only because it 
 agrees with our emphases" 
JayC is confused Ulf speaks up, "ok, then i understand your motivation, i think" 
Quartz_Guest says, "not really, the inheritanc e of moo objects ca make things 
 much harder to do on a moo, as can the verb attachmewnts" 
Brice waves. 
JayC eyes Quartz_Guest 
Onyx_Guest says, "simpler rooms and directions, ease of code etc. all act to 
 assist the non-computer literate person from using the MAUD " 
Ulf speaks up, "altho emphasis could be laid on the exact same things with a 
 MOO just as well" 
Stephe says, "I think so. From a coding standpoint I can't comment tho." 
Brice speaks up, "COuld be and is." 
JayC [to ulf]: really, we should stop needling them.  a good enough answer is 
 "the people we had locally knew lpmud better than moo". 
Stephe says, "heh -- we _are_ the people we had locally :)" 
Stephe says, "Anyhow, thank you for attending this session, and again, please 
 join us at 4000 for a tour" 
CT_SueH speaks up, "ime to go to the Porch?" 
Onyx_Guest nods. 
Stephe says, "yes, I think we're done, unless Jeff or Istvan has anything to 
Onyx_Guest says, "Im 'kane', Stephe is 'Labatt' and Quartz_Guest is "Nomad'"
 ---------------------------------JayC (#5753)----------------------------------   1)
 The Nightmare mudlib 3.2, neither in whole nor in part, may ever be 
     used for profit.  Access to any mud making use of
 the Nightmare mudlib      may only be restricted based on 
security reasons or reasons of network      limitations. 
Specifically, access may not be restricted in order to      
charge access tolls.
 ---------------------------------JayC (#5753)---------------------------------- 
Stephe says, "I will remain logged on here as Stephe in case there are log on 
 problems, and you can chat with me as 'Labatt' on the porch. Jeff is 'Kane' 
 and Istvan is 'Nomad'." 
JayC shrugs; you can't restrict access to nightmare mudlibs 
Quartz_Guest says, "avctually, when we were looking for an environment, I did 
 quite a bit of research - the LPMUD environment is MUCH easier and more 
 flexible than Moo, the editor is also considerably better too" 
JayC says, "nobody uses the in-moo editor; that's why we have clients" 
Quartz_Guest codes in both 
CT_Ken waves in appreciation to all, leaves the room quietly, and implodes. 
MacClark speaks up, "So Nightmore is more or less public domain or shareware?"
CT_SueH has disconnected. 
Quartz_Guest says, "yeh, but than can cause problems too" 
CT_Ken has disconnected. 
MacClark speaks up, "oops, Nightmare" 
Quartz_Guest says, "totally!" 
Stephe says, "We don't charge anybody for using the Nightmare Mudlib. We can 
 bar sites if we need to -- indeed, I had to disable the existing mechanizm on 
 the Nightmare mudlib which was shipped" 
JayC [to MacClark]: Yeah, looks like it.
  But like the document says, you can't 
 restrict access, even if you're non-profit. 
JayC says, "that is, if you're gonna follow through with their license 
Stephe says, "You can restrict access. You can't restruct access to only those 
 people who have paid." 
MacClark speaks up, "Neat.  When you say restrict access, you don't mean to 
JayC says, "it sez: may only be restricted based on security reasons or reasons 
 of network limitations." 
Quartz_Guest says, "actaully, we restricted access to Vlab, as it was a purely 
 research environment. We had multiple guests though - this was enough to 
 satisfy the nightmare crew" 
MacClark speaks up, "Ah, so that would be appropriate then" 
JayC thinks their license needs to be rewritten, but that's what it said 
Onyx_Guest nods. 
JayC says, "better than LambdaCore; lambdacore doesn't HAVE a license" 
JayC fumes quietly at Pavel 
Quartz_Guest says, "there is a difference between 'access' and the privilidges 
 which access can bring." 
Stephe says, "In any case, the creators of Nightmare (Descartes et al) are 
 fully aware of the Painted Porch and what we do" 
MacClark speaks up, "From where could I get a copy of Nightmare or Lambdacore?" 
Stephe says, "We have sought his advice in the past and keep current with new 
JayC [to Stephe]: yes, but they have to answer to other mudlib authors that 
 they drew on 
JayC says, " is a good MUD ftp site" 
JayC is a little biased 
MacClark speaks up, "Any other advice welcome also." swb speaks up, "what do you thik of LPMOO?" 
JayC's advice is to figure out what people you have locally, what people do the 
 same things as you on the net, and look around 
Stephe says, "yes it is a good site tho sometimes not updated as quickly as 
 we'd like (last time I looked they still stocked ModOS_0.9.19 which is quite 
JayC thinks LPMOO is a cool thing to experiment with, but it's kinda slow 
Stephe says, "I can never remember the other release sites... I do know there's 
 one at" 
JayC lives with Rob, LPMOO's author 
CT_DickB has disconnected. 
Stephe says, "There is a complete list at the MAUD Web site at www.assiniboinec." 
swb speaks up, "OK" 
Onyx_Guest says, "well Im heading over to the Porch, I hope to see you there. 
 Indeed you can carry on this conversation over there too :)" 
Onyx_Guest has disconnected. 
Ulf speaks up, "where are you guys on the Porch. me and a couple of other 
 people are waiting to be shown around (poout)" 
Stephe says, "it may be slow due to netlag" 
Brice says, "i'm having trouble loggin in there.  Oh" 
Brice says, "I see" 
MacClark speaks up, "o.k.  I'll see how successful I am...." 
MacClark says, "bye, all...Thanks for an interesting discussion."  
Quartz_Guest says, "OK, I will go over there now too - If you cannot login, ask  
Stephe here, otherwqise Kane & I will meet you there" 
MacClark waves to all 
MacClark has disconnected. 
Quartz_Guest wave 
Quartz_Guest has disconnected. 
Brice has disconnected. 
Obsidian_Guest has disconnected. 
ChrisS says, "whats the telnet address, sorry to be late" 
swb says, " 4000" 
ChrisS says, "thanks swb" 
Donald says, "ok sorry missed that :(." 
Donald says, " ok thanks scott" 
ChrisS says, "ill go now" 
Donald says, "Got to run to Marist one. thanks chriss please log it." 
CT_DickB says, "stephen  are you here?" 
Stephe says, "i am here" 
CT_PennyM claps loudly for a demo 
CT_PennyM smiles broadly 
CT_PennyM giggles 
Diamond_Guest speaks up, "what session is going on here opplease?" 
Johann has disconnected. 
JayC has disconnected.
Agate_Guest says, "Hi Moulton" 
Donald says, "you here for Meridian tour ?" 
Donald says, " sign is outside in icde room , plus instrucitons."

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2024 1:22 p.m.

Canadian Flag Creative Commons License.