The “NUTS” family of talkers all trace their origins back to the original Neil’s Unix Talk Server, written in C. This lineage is probably the most prolific and popular across the various codebases, simply based on the number of forks made.
A NUTS-style talker often defaulted to a “speech-first” mode, where entered text
was treated as normal chat text unless preceeded by a command or command shortcut
character. In speech mode, input lines that begin with a dot(
followed by a command word were interpreted as commands that would either alter
the speech behavior (ex:
.shout) or execute other functions in the world (e.g.
moving between rooms in the case of
.go). An alternative “command mode” was
available for users who preferred a more MUD-like experience, where all input
began with a command word and “normal” speech required the use of the
This user experience was so popular that some of the other talkers outside of the NUTS family adopted or emulated the dot-command input behavior along with other features like markup formats for changing ANSI text and background colors within user-entered text without requiring users to understand ANSI color codes.
For more information, please read the NUTS Frequently Asked Questions written by Neil Robertson.
On July 18, 2002, in the
alt.talkers Usenet group, author Neil Robertson
retroactively applied the GNU General Public License v2.0
to all original NUTS source code releases. (Note: the GPL version was not explicitly
stated but, based on the date, GPLv2 is assumed since it was the latest version
available at the time.)
I’ve decided to GPL the entire NUTS code from the very first version to the very last. Since I can’t be arsed to re-release all the code with a new copyright this post will have to suffice. Why anyone would want to use 10 year old badly written flaky code in their own I’m not sure but someone did and asked if he could GPL is so I thought what the hell, might as well GPL the whole lot.
NUTS History (also written by Neil)
NUTS started out as a university project in 1992 for the final year of my degree course and it was the 2nd best option in my opinion from writing a MUD which the CS department decided “wasn’t appropriate”. So I came up with some specious title for a talker project along the lines of a “multiuser realtime networked conferencing system” or some such bullshit and they fell for it :) Having seen a number of other systems such as the complex EW-TOO by Simon Marsh (which to me seemed to be inhabiting some middle ground between mud and talker), the very simple such as the talker built into Unaxcess (sp?) and the truly appalling (did someone say IRC?) I designed NUTS as being a system that anyone would be able to master straight away the minute they logged in. These days its somewhat more complex and probably sits alongside EW-TOO in the talker stakes but hopefully its still just as easy to use for first timers.
These are the dates on which various nuts version were release as best I can remember or find out…
|Winter 1992||Chat Server||Original project code - never released|
|Jan or Feb 1993||1.0.0||Project code with bug fixes and name change|
|September 1994||2.1.1||(date from archived tarball)|
|Feb 1996||3.0.0a||alpha test release|
|3.3.3||Final NUTS 3 version|
|September 2005||4-1.4.1||(date from archived tarball)|