19.10.10

Mamnuts and PyTalker are dead, long live TZMud!

I had several choices, really. I could choose to undertake the huge task of fixing Mamnuts (actually throwing away most of the underlying NUTS-inherited code), but it was simply too much work. Or I could take PyTalker by the horns and just make its idea work - which had an estimated amount of man-hours quite inferior to the first option. But... what about maintaining and expanding it afterwords? One of the issues with PyTalker would be that, as soon as a working version was released, I would have to work on implementing each feature Mamnuts had, to be able to have a convincing argument against the usage of Mamnuts, leaving to the side the only unarguable preference: the common "but I prefer C to Python!" (and, really, there's lots of people saying that in the talkers world, imagine that!). I hoped to find a good team to do the job with me, but others would find even less time than me to dedicate to the job. It wouldn't work. Sigh. Well, I would have to do it by myself... with the use of nice Python frameworks. And, while looking at those and who contributed to what, I just saw that there was a third, quite more interesting option: get back to the origins - now without configurability limitations - and assume once and for all that a talker is a kind of MUD with certain particularities. And so, the best way to deal with my issue was, really, find out the best configurable, well-maintained, clean, active, secure, with a nice community MUD codebase, and try to just add the configurable options needed to turn a MUD codebase into a "MUD/Talker codebase", or, in fact, a MUD with a configuration option that would let you set it up to behave like your typical talker, with just something like

allow_utf8 = True
speechmode_default = True
talkmode = True
Now, guess what... that's exactly what you need to do to turn the MUD codebase "TZMud" into a talker. That's right: TZMud is a server to host a multi-user domain (MUD) in the tradition of LPMud, but implemented in the Python programming language, and, since it's 0.9 version, with a configurable option to turn it into a NUTS-like talker.

This is also, obviously, the time to say goodbye to PyTalker and Mamnuts. Don't be sad: you'll be probably able to find me lurking on the TZMud project. And, most importantly, if you're planning on running a talker (or running one already), switch to TZMud. It lacks lot's of features, that's for sure, but that is easily fixed: just open a ticket asking for what you're missing. Feel free to contribute with code, if you can, the project maintainers are quite open and happy to review/accept your code.

This is the last blog post on Mamnuts' website.

1.10.10

Happy Music Day! Here's how to celebrate...

Today is the International Music Day, and here are my suggestions for you on how to celebrate it... by giving you the info about 10 free (and legal) downloadable albums:

20th March 2010

Today is a day to celebrate Music, but there's an "event" that celebrates music monthly. On the 20th of each month, musicians all over the world are invited to create, compose, interpret and record one song. That means no ideas from beforehand; no writing, performing, recording, mixing, mastering of the track before or after that day. For those who like the concept but don't know how to make music, you can also contribute by making the artwork for one of the month's editions. Today, I'm leaving you the link to "20th March 2010", a double CD showing you what this artists do in one day, and what do they do when they're not limited to 24 hours.

Aural Apocalypse September 15th, 2010
After a monthly celebration, an weekly one. Aural Apocalypse isn't a propper release, but an weekly podcast, allways with great music (mainly Neofolk, Dark Ambient, Neo-Classical and Medieval) and witty comments, including "news of the apocalypse" and a bit of history in the first episode of each month. That's right, this is one of my tasks for every wednesday... The episode I'm recommending you is the one that features for the first time my music (one Ambiansu track), and also refers Noori Records. But, if you like it, don't forget to check out every other episode, this is great stuff indeed.

2 Years Of Torture Compilation
But the international music day is not weekly nor monthly, it's yearly. Another yearly usual happening is for record labels to celebrate their own aniversaries. On February 11, 2010, Love Torture Records turned 2 years old. To celebrate, they have put together this amazing compilation, which I here leave for those who are fans of heavier/harsher sounds. Music styles found here greatly vary, but they are mainly experimental, electronic, avantgarde and noise tracks.

Noori Records 2009 sampler
And after the previous item, I had to show you another yearly label release, this time not to celebrate the label's aniversary, but to celebrate one year of releases. This is the Noori Records 2009 sampler, a lot softer release than what you'll get in the previous recommendation, with Merankorii playing "dark-ambient Jazz", Betray-Ed with its neofolk, +ko+ko+ with their industrial dark ambient, and Ambiansu with two experimental tracks. Every of this bands have more freely available music, so if you like any of them, just follow the links to their own websites...

Various Artists - Falésia 3
Still in the "label compilations", but this one is different: Enough Records (a really nice Portuguese netlabel you should get familiar with if you aren't already) decided to make a compilation devoted to Portuguese projects surrounding the dark ambient genre neighbourhood. After the success of the first and the second, they ended up doing a third (and possibly the latest). This one includes projects like Dyman, Sektor 304, Ambiansu and +ko+ko+. After listening to this, and if you like it, don't forget to check the first Falésia (3 CDs worth of material) and the second one (2 more CDs).

Zero Is Enough
Also from Enough Records, and also in the dark ambient vein, even if with more cinematic elements, comes "Zero Is Enough", a mixtape I made using only Enough-released free music, scanned from the complete catalog, from the earlier releases to the latest stuff. This mix tape is a special made for the RadiaLX event organized by the free radio "Rádio Zero", and was aired (online and offline) for the first time on that event. The excelent cover artwork was made Francisco Noá, in his first collaboration with Enough Records.

Do What Thou Will
Another compilation that is, in itself, a celebration of music, is "Do What Thou Will", a ritualistic compilation created out of the concept of "doing what thou will" using as the starting point an 11 minutes unprocessed and raw acoustic piece of ritualistic sounds, created by "Akoustik Timbre Frekuency". The result is simply this: 333 minutes in 35 tracks and 2 videos, by the artists invited by ATF...

Nouvel Ordre Mondial [A Tribute to Ministry]
Another kind of free compilation, this time a tribute. Ministry was a well known industrial band with 27 years of carreer, until its mentor Al Jourgensen decided to retire the band in 2008. It's discography had many phases, from its initial EBM and experimental Synthpop, passing from thrash, until the latest releases in a more metal vein. But if you think its discography has many styles and variations, you have to listen to what other artists decided to do with its compositions for this tribute: from the almost neo-classical piece from Patient to the thrash metal from the Evolutionary Armageddon covers, you have here something of all - an interesting tribute album in many aspect, and a must-have for Ministry fans.

Meranata
But if sometimes several artists join together to celebrate the tracks of another band on a tribute, some other times bands just decide to enjoy and play with each other tracks. This album is such a case. TVK netlabel invited Merankorii and Nata "to rework tracks from each others back catalog in any way they saw fit resulting in the split release (in more ways than one) that is MERANATA. This is what happened in the aftermath of that experiment. Two very different approaches, but with much common ground."

Necktar 2017 volume 2
"Necktar 2017 volume 2" is a futuristic/electronic compilation with 92 tracks and more than 8 hours of music. It intends to be "A mere journey through time, the great work of anachronistic alchemists, the apiary of a network of precognitifs... Difficult to define Necktar 2017, till the first cycle is not achieved. Currently it is a compilation of hors norme (not normal) music for free sharing, articulated in several thematic episodes. For know what it will be ultimately, unless we can travel through time, it won't be until 2017." In other words, this cycle of compilations intend to be a musical Sci-Fi predictive work, showing us how will be the world in 2017. This "part 2" is concentrated on "Random / Perception / Cycles : Reproduction". This year's volume (part 3) is already in the works, and is going to be about "Macro / Perception / Micro : Evolution".