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[Frugal] Converting the PCGen Data Files (WAS Re: (unknown))

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  • andargor
    ... tag ... data ... syntax ... Or if the data were in XML and the rule logic described somewhere for PCGen, the LST could be regenerated with each new version
    Message 1 of 28 , Jul 6, 2004
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      --- In pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com, "Frugal" <frugal@p...> wrote:
      >
      > IT would be so nice if every time someone messed around with a data
      tag
      > they were forced to increment the LST version number. It would make
      data
      > management a lot easier if you could state which version of LST
      syntax
      > your LST files were.
      >
      > --
      > regards,
      > Frugal
      > -OS Chimp

      Or if the data were in XML and the rule logic described somewhere for
      PCGen, the LST could be regenerated with each new version ;)

      Andargor
    • Mark Coletti
      On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 08:55:51 +0100 (BST), Frugal ... It was put the rules in the data that did it for me. What you re talking about is really a knowledge
      Message 2 of 28 , Jul 14, 2004
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        On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 08:55:51 +0100 (BST), Frugal
        <frugal@...> wrote:
        >
        > <quote who="Tir Gwaith">
        > > There is no "neutral" version, just the perception of one. [...] there won't
        > > ever be a stable version, because new rules will
        > > always be written.

        > I think that a 'neutral' version of the data can be farily easily created.
        > The problem the D20 is not the data, but the manipulation of the data.
        > Every time a company brings out a new rule the way the data is to be
        > manipulated needs to be changed. As you stated the problem is not the
        > data, but the extra rules that are always added.

        > As I see it encoding the rules can be done in 3 ways:
        > - The PCGen way: every thing is hard coded into the program, new rules
        > mean new code
        > - Put the rules in the data: As well as encoding the data, also encode a
        > scripting language to manipulate the data.
        > - Plugins: New rules get encoded as plugins that are loaded into the
        > program as needed. So a dataset would contain data and a list of plugins
        > that are required to manipulate the data.

        It was "put the rules in the data" that did it for me. What you're
        talking about is really a knowledge base; which makes sense in that
        PCGen *is* essentially an expert system that relies on a
        knowledge-base containing rules for various d20 based gaming systems.
        The problem is that most of the knowledge is either hard-coded in Java
        or in LST files, and most of the "inferencing" for the huge cloud of
        rules is also hard-coded. (Think IF-THEN and SWITCH statements as a
        crude sort of linear, data-driven 'inferencing'.)

        JESS is a free, open-source, expert system implemented in Java. I can
        easily see where most of the PCGen "knowledge-base" currently spread
        among Java and LST files could be rolled into a knowledge-base
        containing explicit rules. Specific systems would just add new
        knowledge-bases that contain fresh sets of rules (including some that
        may remove or modify existing ones).

        A JESS (or similar system) based PCGen system would be inherently
        smaller since the brunt of the inferencing will be left to the
        inference engine, and the rules would be explicitly codified as, well,
        rules. You could also set up the knowledge-base such that you can
        generate explanations. One thing about the d20 systems is that
        they're very complex once you consider all the different rules and
        their respective interactions. If, say, a character has an 18 AC, it
        might be nice to know *how* and *why* it's currently 18. All the
        rules that trigger AC mods could contribute to explanatory text. "AC
        base 10, +2 for Dexterity, +3 for ring of nimbleness, +3 to <mumble>
        spell effect."

        Of course this is all pie-in-the-sky ramblings implementing JESS in
        PCGen would entail quite a bit of work. (Um, I think.) But, what the
        hell, it makes for a pleasant gedankenexperiment. %-)

        More info:

        http://web.njit.edu/all_topics/Prog_Lang_Docs/html/jess51/

        Cheers!

        MAC
        --
        I'm taking reality in small doses to build immunity.
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