a multi-user networked online text-based programmable virtual environment
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3-MOVE is a multi-user networked online text-based programmable virtual environment, designed and built by Tony Garnock-Jones (mostly during 1997 and 1998). It was originally inspired by Pavel Curtis's amazing LambdaMOO software.

It includes a programming language compiler, virtual machine and standard libraries intended specifically for building shared, multi-user object databases and virtual environments. Users of the system can learn the language and construct new kinds of objects in the world, scripted with behaviours provided by the users themselves. A simple extensible adventure-game-like command parser lets users add to the vocabulary of commands understood by the system.


The world server:

  • Persistent object-oriented database.
  • Programming language, compiler, and standard library.
  • 32- and 64-bit support (originally for alphas!).
  • Stable, platform-neutral database format; support for database upgrades.
  • Simple security model (like many other aspects of the system, inspired by MOO).
  • Precise mark-sweep non-compacting GC.
  • Event-driven I/O.

The language, MOVE:

  • Prototype-based object-oriented language. Each object can have zero or more parents.
  • Each object has two namespaces: one for methods, one for instance variables.
  • First-class functions (lambdas). Closures. Higher-order standard library functions (map, etc.).
  • First-class continuations.
  • First-class preemptive green threads.
  • Integration of language features with VM's security model.

The world database:

  • User-level names for objects are expressed in terms of the scope implied by the user's current location, possessions etc.

  • Programmer-level names for objects are expressed in terms of explicit indexes (the Object Registry) and normal lexical scoping.

  • The world's modelling of locations, containers, players, exits, and inter-player communication is heavily inspired by LambdaMOO.

  • The command parser is entirely written in MOVE.

  • Control over listening-sockets and connected-sockets is entirely done by database-level MOVE code. Threads and connections are stored in the database, like any other object.

  • A simple line editor subroutine is provided, implemented in MOVE.

Source code layout

There are three directories here:

  • move: contains source code and makefiles for the server.

  • db: contains source code and build scripts to the world database. Once you have built the server, you need to build a database to run on it.

  • tricks: contains interesting little scripts to install in a world database, and a program for cleaning up the periodic database checkpoint files that would otherwise litter your hard drive.

Copyright and licensing

3-MOVE is Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009 Tony Garnock-Jones tonyg@kcbbs.gen.nz.

3-MOVE is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

3-MOVE is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with 3-MOVE (it should be available here). If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.