An example in the refrence:
mob/verb/change_world(F as file)
shell("DreamMaker world")

seems to allude to the ability to recompile a world on demand provided that DreamMaker was in the same folder.
Could anybody give me some more information on this? I want to try my hand at making some evolutionary AI without creating an in-game scripting language (mainly because I can't seem to get selection statements to work).

Also can you tell me which file shell() is referring to in that command?
That snippet is for linux, however you can accomplish the same thing in windows using dm.exe (which is found in the bin directory in the BYOND installation folder). The parameter passed to dm.exe is the .dme environment you want to compile.

dm.exe [options] sourcefile[.dme]
        -h   view this help
        -i   generate include.txt
        -l   list all included source files
        -code_tree  show the DM code tree