We already talked about emits, which are the basic way of communicating text to a MU client. But what if you need something more complicated, like a character sheet or the who list? Technically you could shove a whole bunch of text together in the command handler and emit it, but there’s a better way: Templates.

The Template Engine

Templates are a special code class that handle complex information display. There are templates for all sorts of things in the game: the who/where list, mail messages, forums, character sheets, profile, descriptions and more. Templates use the Ruby ERB Template system, which mingles text with embedded Ruby code.

Diving deep into how to design templates is beyond the Quickstart Tutorial. There’s a separate article on Templates for you in the Advanced Coding section when you’re ready. Right now we’re just going to go into how to use existing templates.

Tons of MU commands have a similar display structure:

Some text

Ares provides a template to make this easy: BorderedDisplayTemplate

Try It!

Let’s give the bordered template a try. Modify the tinker command as shown below. Save it, then run the command in-game to see how it looks.

def handle
  template = BorderedDisplayTemplate.new "Some text to show.", "A Title"
  client.emit template.render

This article is part of the Code Quickstart tutorial.