What can I find out about the Minetest world database format?
The How to Code - Systematic Program Design course has shown me that if you design your data well, it's easy to write good clean code. "Good" meaning code that is well structured and easy to understand. Even better, well designed data can guide you to be more effective at actually writing complicated algorithms.
When I got curious about how Minetest represents worlds, I was pretty excited to discover that they use a SQLite database to store the map. I'm comfortable with SQL, and expected to be able to jump in and start reshaping imaginary planets.
No such luck! Turns out their data structure was put together more or less by accident. It consists of a single mathematically derived number to represent the X,Y,Z coordinates of a given block, and a binary blob that serializes whatever information there is to know about that block. Neither of these representations is readily comprehensible by humans.
I've started a project I'm calling "Minetest-Cereal."
This project will attempt to decode databases in the existing Minetest format into one that fits the standards of the Systematic Program Design course. I want to make it easier to alter and explore Minetest world maps as data, and to convince you that data should be designed so that people can understand it too.