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Last Modified:
December 16, 2005


What is JaMOOka, anyway?

JaMOOka is an applet-based MOO client. Designed for JHCore MOOs, it uses Amy Bruckman's MacMOOse utilities and the MCP 2.1 protocol to facilitate a number of advanced MOO editing and programming tasks through client windows.

JaMOOka was programmed by Kevin Moberly, in collaboration with Keith Dorwick.

JaMOOka 2.0 is fully customizable and can be used by most users as their primary MOO client. Users need to allow popup windows to take advantage of JaMOOka's editing capabilities. Users also need to install the Java 2.0 runtime environment.

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What is a MOO?

MOO stands for "MUD, Object-Oriented," a form of MUD ("Multi-User Dimension" or "Dungeon"), a technology that grows out of game technology and is based in particular on "Dungeons and Dragons."

Most people characterize MOO as a chat tool, a place that supports synchronous chat in real time. That's certainly one of its major uses. However, since MOOs are fully customizable, users can use generic objects that have writable descriptions, messages and other properties. These objects range from rooms you can enter and leave to furniture you can sit on to notes you can write on. It's the user's imagination that limits how creative a given object can be: rooms, for instance, can be any kind of space from an atom to vast reaches of infinite space, and if a given existing object doesn't meet your needs, you can always use a copy of the generic "thing," an object that can be given to other characters, dropped and picked up, add scripts (called "verbs") to it, and change it at will.

This makes MOO an easily affordable writing space (free except for hosting costs) that offers both synchronous forms of text with their informality and lack of rules and asynchronous objects that can be highly formal with a great deal of attention paid to audience and ethic, and even low-level but important (in formal writing, at least) issues such as grammar and correctness.

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Why do I need a MOO client? Can't I just run telnet?

Sure you can, but many folks find a plain old telnet client frustrating since there's only one window for both inputting and for reading output. What this means is that you will find that your inputs will be disrupted by incoming text, something most users find disconcerting, especially in fast moving chats with lots of participants.

MOO clients have, at a minimum, two windows, one for receiving information such as room descriptions and chat from other uses, and one for entering your input at leisure, sending your text to the MOO only when you hit return.

Full MOO clients also offer editing in pop-up windows
that allow you to avoid use of the internal MOO editors, which are clumsy at best. Enter
@edit-options +local
when logged into a JHCore MOO to enable the use of client-side editors such as those built into this client. (This is a one-time operation for those with permanent characters).

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What do I need to run JaMOOka?

A computer with internet connection (preferably broadband); a web browser that supports Java; and the Java 2.0 Runtime Environment. With those, linking to the Java Client URL of your MOO will cause the client to download and a connection to the MOO to be made.

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How much does it cost?

JaMOOka is free for both users and MOO administrators; adminstrators should be aware that JaMOOka is under license.

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I hate pop-up windows. Why did you require them?

Unlike many pop-up windows, which are forms of spam, the pop-up windows generated by JaMOOka are key to its capabilities. Each is used for a specific purpose and each is set in motion by the user to send internal MOOmail, edit a verb, or otherwise modify the MOO environment. Users need to allow popup windows to take advantage of JaMOOka's editing capabilities.

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Why not another MOO client such as TkMOO?

For most users, the choice of MOO client is a matter of personal preference and there are many good clients out on the internet. We wanted a MOO client that was entirely cross-platform, supported editing windows, and.most of all, required no download or client customization such as the installation of a preferences or worlds file: a new Java client was our answer.

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What can I do with JaMOOka?

JaMOOka supports all editing capabilities supported by MOOs: with it, you can edit your own description, rooms and objects. In addition, you can write verbs that extend the functionality of the MOO. Teachers will especially appreciate the fact that no software installation or customization is required except for the installation of the Java Runtime 2.0 environment, also required by many other applications.

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Can I cut and paste between JaMOOka and other applications?

Yes. Although applet security restrictions prohibit JaMOOka from accessing the system clipboard directly, you can use keyboard shortcuts (control X, control C and control V for windows machines) to cut, copy and paste text between JaMOOKa and other applications.

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Where can I try it out?

JaMOOka was originally developed for AcadianaMOO, a joint project of Drs. Kevin Moberly and Keith Dorwick. You may visit AcadianaMOO as a guest by going to the AcadianaMOO JaMOOka page, then logging in using guest in the name field; there is no password (you'll need the Java Runtime 2.0 environment installed to make this work).

Click here to enter AcadianaMOO; then enter guest in the name field after you connect.

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I'm running a MOO. Can I offer JaMOOka to my users?

Yes, if you are running a JHCore MOO. We have tested JaMOOka on MOOs running in both the Linux/Unix machine environment and the Windows environment. In both cases, Apache, the most commonly used Open Source webserver, was installed and running.  There are no known issues with either the Lambda server running on a Linux/Unix machine or the Windows version of the Lambda server (WinMOO) running in Windows XP.

For security reasons, Java applets must be run from a single machine which must host:
  • the web page linking to the applet using an embedded <applet> tag
  • the webserver delivering those pages from that host
  • The applet itself
In the case of JaMOOka, the MOO, the webserver, the webpage linking to the JaMOOka code and the JaMOOka code itself must all reside on the same machine . (Gaming host sites will include Apache and maintain it for you; that will save you the trouble if installing, configuring and updating it.)

Inside the MOO database, you'll need to login as a wizard, install a copy of the MacMOOSE Utilities developed by Amy Bruckman and replace the do_out_of_band_command on #0 overwritten by the utils with one that is unique to JHCore MOOs running MacMOOSE.

The JaMOOka software is available for download at http://sourceforge.net/projects/jamooka. See our license for further information about the legalities. If you install it, make any improvements to the core or adapt it for other MOO cores, we'd love to know.

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What kind of license does JaMOOka have?

A GNU open source license. See license.html.

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I found a bug! Now what?

JaMOOka is currently under construction and there are only a few known issues.  If you find one not listed, please send a description of any bugs to: jamooka-bugs@louisiana.edu.

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Is there a user's forum for JaMOOka?

There are two. One is for general questions about JaMOOka; the other is specifically for support issues. They are available at http://sourceforge.net/forum/?group_id=151966.

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Who do I contact for more information?

For information about the client itself and especially about its code, please contact:

aristrides @ users.sourceforge.net

For information about this website, please contact:

gator70506 at users.sourceforge.net

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