On Sun, Jun 04, 2006 at 02:03:05AM +0200, Niclas Fredriksson wrote:
> Sure, a vast majority of players today use a client with 32 ship pos for 
> enemy ships. I don't think it's the "95%+" you're advocating (and with 
> the "statistics" taken from one single game on continuum you've shown 
> that it's actually less than that numer), but the exact percentage isn't 
> very important. Still, going from 32 positions to 256 is huge any way you 
> look at it (and that's a fact).
> > It's more noticeable during orbiting, or when you are going at high warp.
> Yeah, in hockey it's huge.

I remember when the "then-new" clients added 32 ship position support,
and there was an outcry of dismay about how borgish it was.  The same
was true of the 10 updates per second change.  But neither of those
changes resulted in clued players losing their edge or newbies becoming
clued.  Yes, you can make the argument that going from 16->32->256 is a
huge change that may eliminate some ambiguity about ship heading (and
all the "advantages" associated with exploiting that ambiguity), but the
bottom line is that, overall, such a change probably wouldn't make any
difference for most players.

The reality is that old, unmaintained clients like COW 2.x, BRMH (is BRM
even compatible anymore?), Paradise, TedTurner, etc. are falling by the
wayside.  While I don't like the idea of making such clients obsolete,
it's probably better for Netrek's future to focus development efforts on
just one or a few that are being actively maintained.  Frankly, I find
the continued "forking" of the COW derivative clients to be unfortunate,
as all those enhancements and bug fixes in SWINE/Netrek 1999/2000/XP/XP
Mod/XP 2006 should really be directly in COW.  There should be just "one"
netrek client, perhaps with different "skins" to support the look and
feel of other clients.  But this is the nature of open source, and it's
better to have a fork with continued development than no development at
all.  Others may disagree with my opinion about consolidation.

Anyway, perhaps a reasonable compromise is to sysdef and feature packet
the 256 position ship support.  That way, the choice to disable this
feature is available for INL, hockey and other servers as appropriate.