Xpilot Development -- The Cutting Edge
At the cutting edge of Xpilot, there are not only the efforts of the
official developers, but there is a whole community of players and
Xpilot enthusiasts who like to discuss, tinker with, and improve the
existing code base.
Unofficial Xpilot development mailing list
Two years back, in the summer of 1999, I decided to start contributing
to that process myself. Therefore, I started hosting a mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org on my LUG's server to support all of those
Xpilot hackers out there. The archives of that list are here. This effort
received the blessing of the official Xpilot developers upstream, and is
now the principal arena for public discussion about Xpilot code
development. While patches continue to be accepted at
email@example.com, the developers watch xpilot-hacks as well and review
patches submitted to the list for possible inclusion in the official
Xpilot developer and user community on irc
For years on Europe's ircnet there has been a channel #xpilot,
and it continues to be visited, at irregular intervals, by developers
and players alike.
Two of the regulars, U and Baron, are working on an improved version of the Xpilot
server code which modifies the map format to allow arbitrary vertices
instead of the fixed grid of cells in the official code. Looks very
This channel is also where players rendezvous during Europe-hosted
tournaments. Connectivity to ircnet is bad in North America, but
irc.stealth.net:6660 works for me ... sometimes.
And now for something completely different ...
More recently, Bucko
and Daedlaes were inspired to port the entire code-base to C++. At the
same time, they are adding fltk widgets to a couple of new Xpilot
utilities, xpilotedit (a map editor) and xpwhere (a server
list, inspired by the Windows-only Xpwho). Why? Well, Bucko
wanted to build smart bots, which seemed easiest if the server were
redesigned in a language supporting a object-oriented style of
programming, and Jarrod wanted to add fltk to his C++ map-editor,
and then move from there to spiffing up the client with a new,
platform-independent fltk-based GUI.
To help them along, I founded on irc.openprojects.net a
channel #xpilot where we keep in touch. My contribution here is helping
them alpha test the code and lend my hand debugging wherever it is not
beyond my capabilities. We considered ircnet, but it's just too flaky
for us North Americans. OPN (openprojects.net) is not perfect by any
means, but it is an open-source development-friendly network, and that's
a nice thing.
Smarter bots, anyone?
And then in another corner of the Xpilot universe, Ben Jackson is working on his XPilot/MOO hybrid. Using this Xpilot server, it is possible to
teach the bots to move between any two points on the map. So, for
example, a bot could respond to your radar blip and fly directly towards
where you are, as a human player would.
I have made some modest contributions to the official Xpilot code and
docs myself. If you'd like to see my work, have a look through the
There are plenty of other people playing with different aspects of the
Xpilot code. I don't mean to slight them by leaving them off my list.
This is but a sampling of Xpilot development projects I have kept tabs
on or participated in recently. Comb the xpilot-hacks archives to find
what others are up to.