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[freeciv-ai] Re: Generalised improvements AI support

[freeciv-ai] Re: Generalised improvements AI support

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To: Raahul Kumar <raahul_da_man@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Per I. Mathisen" <Per.Inge.Mathisen@xxxxxxxxxxx>, Freeciv-ai <freeciv-ai@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [freeciv-ai] Re: Generalised improvements AI support
From: Raimar Falke <hawk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 12:29:24 +0200
Reply-to: rf13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On Wed, May 08, 2002 at 01:24:17AM -0700, Raahul Kumar wrote:
> > > > And worst of all, the flags system is only open to two coders, Per and
> > > > myself. Have you seen anyone else send in patches? The AC approach is
> > better.
> > > > Moving stuff into rulesets is the obvious and smart approach.
> > > > 
> > > > I am in doubt how much extra, needed flexibility this approach will 
> > > > give.
> > > > To convince me you will need to post an example ruleset or something
> > (like a list of sensible units that cannot easily be created with flags) 
> > that
> > > > shows me why I am wrong.
> > > 
> > > I'll offer you two types of evidence. If there are any modpack writers
> > reading this email, please chip in. One: the existing sytem is far too 
> > limited.
> >
> > Look at all the existing modpacks. They all implement the exact same 
> > wonders,
> > and quite often the exact same units, just with different graphics. The 
> > Ancients modpack is a great example of this. The buildings are uncannily 
> > similar.
> > 
> > The current approach is that the modpack writer submit a patch which
> > implement a new flag and this flag is added to the CVS. At some point
> > we have a convex hull over all flags.
> I don't understand what you mean by convex hull. 

At some point we have all flags which are useful for modpack
writers. I know that we have to do something before we add the 100th
flag. But we are from this now.

> We need all the generality we can possibly get.

No. If you follow this you would end up having scripts in the ruleset
and afterward the complete game in the ruleset.

> Unfortunately, we also need all the performance we can possibly
> get. Once gen-impr works with AI, there can be a discussion about
> performance. Until then, there is little point.
> You're missing a big drawback with the current approach. As far as possible, I
> always thought our goal was to make Freeciv configurable via rulesets. I want
> to keep modpack authors out of the code.
> Consider: If someone wanted to add the proper Civ 2 air combat to Freeciv
> before my changes. If the land of AC patches, I could have opened a tileset,
> added some 
> unit_defend changes, and I would have been done.
> Time taken: 5 minutes, and that's being generous. Includes testing time.
> Current system: I have to find the parts of the code that deal that matter,
> combat.c, which is easy to find/understand. Not a fair test. There's lots of
> other freeciv code which is much harder to grok. Now that I've changed the
> flags system, I have to compile, fix any compile errors, and finally I'm ready
> to test
> my patch. Time taken: 15 mins, without testing.

> There is a big difference in the time it would take a modpack writer to be up
> to speed with the two systems. The flags way, the writer must get proficient
> with freeciv code. The AC way, anyone can easily write their own modpacks.

IMHO the ease of a modpack writer isn't one of the primary goals. That
the game is playable however is one. And this goal can't be satisfied
with a very slow game.


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