Friday, June 22, 2007

Equinox & ECF serving interactive fiction

After a couple of years of being lazy and procrastinating, I finally got Ziggy to the point where we now have it running live [Beta] :) at Idle Thumbs (thanks Spaff, Jake and others from Idle Thumbs for your help with this) . Ziggy is a server side application based on Equinox and ECF, it enables people to play interactive fiction games on web forums, acting as a bridge between the forum and an IF virtual machine.

At first it was just plain Java, a very simple app hacked together in only a few days, but has suffered many a rewrite since then and is now fully OSGified. I separated it into four main components: server, Interactive Fiction API & implementation, Bulletin Board API & implementation, management client -- all of these are now packaged as OSGi bundles and the client is an RCP application. The Bulletin Board API is open source and is also incubating at ECF (still needs some work before becoming part of a release). The Interactive Fiction API may also become open source at some point, and there are other interesting uses for it. For example another plug-in I developed allows playing these games inside an Eclipse console, which I hope to make available soon.

Thanks to taking advantage of ECF's communications container abstractions, Ziggy's potential is not actually limited to bulletin boards -- it was easy to add just a bit of code to make it work over instant messaging and IRC, but this aspect of it is not public yet.


Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

That's awesome!

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