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Command system?


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Heya! If you are asking from a minecraft-style-command-system standpoint:

There's currently no commands available that would let you interact (setblock/testfor/etc styled) with the world and there's no command block. What we do have is:

  • A lot of commands to help you administer the server and player privileges as well as commands useful during development
  • A macro manager on the Client that let's you execute several commands at once using a keyboard shortcut. So you can e.g. map /time set day to CTRL+D - The idea is borrowed from World of Warcrafts Macro System, thats kind of the direction i want to go with this - as ways to automate your character (/equip, /say, /spell, /use, etc.)
  • Server mods can freely register new commands and handle their response

I'm also undecided if a minecraft-style command system is something I should implement - the whole idea of it feels like an excuse for not having a mod api which Vintagestory has however. Conceptually it is also kinda ambiguous. I would rather go for either fully programmable blocks through Lua code or have let such commands be the actual blocks (teleport block, testfor block, setblock block, etc.). 

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Well if that is the case, I would like to recommend something:

Use a custom LISP dialect for commands; that gives you a ton of power, versatility and possibilities, while still keeping the commands simple which is, in my personal opinion, the best thing about commands: You don't need to learn a entire scripting language for them, only bits and pieces and a brutally simple syntax.

Using something like a custom LISP dialect here makes things more streamlined, so the parsing of commands is never really ambiguous. This in turn can make auto-completion simpler, since you have a unified form of how commands are structured. Also, the syntax of LISP actually looks like the command syntax you can find everywhere, so there's no need to change your habits.

A simple dialect could be (here as EBNF):

command ::= EXPRESSION


WORD       ::= ?Any sequence of characters, terminated by whitespace?
STRING     ::= '"' (?Sequence of characters without '"'?) '"'
NUMBER     ::= ?Insert Grammar for Numbers here?
JSON       ::= ?Insert Grammar for JSON Object here?


I just wrote that grammar up, so don't throw that blindly into a parser generator!

Oh and before I forget: Vintage Story looks darn beautiful for being in the alpha stage

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Oh wow, haven't seen an EBNF for a few years now :D

If we go that far, wouldn't it make sense to just go all the way and use lua/c# expressions as commands? i.e. /command SetBlock("water", GetPlayerPosition(FindNearestPlayer()));
Thats more powerful, still pretty simple syntax and perhaps even less effort than implementing a custom parser.


14 minutes ago, Longor said:

Oh and before I forget: Vintage Story looks darn beautiful for being in the alpha stage

The magic of shaders and consistency ^_^ Thanks!

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Well... lets compare the command you provided:

SetBlock("water", GetPlayerPosition(FindNearestPlayer()));

With a LISP-style variant (entity selector syntax just invented):

setblock @(type: "player", count: 1) "water"

Which one is simpler, and which one is faster to type, taking into account that you would have basic understandings of both variants?

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To be quite honest, the C# variant is simpler to read and understand. It immediately gives you an understanding what it does. With your lisp syntax command its not immediately clear what it does. I can also make the C# variant faster to type at the cost of intuitivness: setBlock("water", PlrPos(NearestPlr()))

I don't really see the gain of a LISP Syntax here :(

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