[Haskell-beginners] Training tasks

umptious umptious at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 16:02:21 CEST 2012

On 19 April 2012 20:20, Michael Litchard <michael at schmong.org> wrote:

> Hi, I noticed one of your suggestions
> > - A version of the classic Traveller/Elite trading system - a really nice
> > little toy business rules system that can be code either minimally or to
> > show off the funkier features of a language to get more flexibility and
> more
> > interesting pricing rules. Minimal version would be a few tens of lines
> and
> > the config file declaring item
> I couldn't find anything on Elite, could you give me a reference?
> I found a reference concerning Traveller, but if you had anything in
> mind, it may be helpful.
> Thanks :)

If you download Oolite, available from most Linux repositories, it should
have the same trading rules as the original Elite (which it stole from the
Traveller pen and paper game.) There's a space trading game for the Palm
Pilot that has improved more interesting rules - maybe you can find a Palm
emulator if you don't have one? -

Basically, you like goods that can be traded and you have worlds to sell
them on. Worlds have government types and economic types - and in more
complex variants ecologies and events - that affect the price and supply of
goods. Eg Fish will be cheap on a Farming world with an Ocean environment,
but expensive on an Industrial Desert world especially if it is Rich; Guns
will sell for more if a War is going on; Survival Equipment and any Food
Item will sell for more in the aftermath of a disaster. You can also model
legality based on a Government type.

The challenge is to get a system that allows trade rules to be concise and
expressive while being written in a form that can be edited by a
non-programmer - the config can be an .hs file, but it should be one that
even a non-coder can understand and edit. It's a nice problem because it's
scalable (you increase the complexity of the rules) and it has a lot of
characteristics of real business systems. I knocked out the core of a
solution last night - together with the recursive Shape Editor it's one of
the best language test programs I know - and should have something nice
around Monday if you want a copy.

- Jay
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