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  1. (IDE/Compiler) Semantic code highlighting

    Improve the syntax highlighter by also highlighting words based on what they mean to the compiler. We could have different colors for objects, rulebooks, kinds, variables, properties, etc.

    The semantic analysis would have to be done by NI, producing a markup file for the IDEs to read.

    137 votes
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      We’re seriously considering this, but more discussion and planning is needed: it would require a great deal of work not just for the core of Inform but for all of the interfaces.

    • (IDE) Make Inform more SCM compatible *VW*

      I can't help it ... I'm a software engineer first and an IF author much, much, much further down the list. I want to keep my Inform project in SCM (Source Code Management). I use Git, which has no problem with many of the normal problems (spaces in the file names, etc.).

      However, it's a little hit-or-miss figuring out which files are (re)generated from the source, and which are not. Some guidelines would be nice, and if all generated files were put in a subdirectory, that would be even better.

      The biggest challenge is the Skein. It's stored as a…

      60 votes
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      • [IDE] Code-only searching in the documentation

        Add a check-box next to the documentation search box that would search only the code snippets in the documentation, and not the main text. Searches for 'in' would become useful, as well as many other English phrases that are also I7 code.

        49 votes
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        • (IDE) Create a new IDE for ANDROID devices *VW*

          Given the rise of Android devices (phones & tablets) I'd like to see a new IDE created for the Android platform. At least for Tablets. This would allow for writing 'on the go' as ideas come to mind.

          41 votes
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          • 37 votes
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            • (World model) Three-way relations

              It would be nice to have two-way relations that also have an attached value for weighted relationships of some kind; or three-way relations. (These are essentially the same thing, only with different formal properties and kinds of terms.)

              30 votes
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                We
                would still like to see this. The most formidable problems are to do with the
                storage requirements – naive users could easily ask for enormous amounts of
                storage (e.g., a ternary relation between things) without realising how badly
                this will scale as their projects grow larger. Sparse data representations in
                dynamically allocated memory are more plausible, but come with a performance
                hit, and would be restricted to Glulx.

              • (IDE) Add bookmarks in the source text

                A way to bookmark one's place in the Source text panel so that one
                can quickly jump back to it. We propose to allow the user to set bookmarks in
                the source, with shortcuts to jump back to the most-recently set; the bookmarks
                would also be visible in the contents view of the source, and could be deleted
                again.

                29 votes
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                  started  ·  4 comments  ·  Admin →
                • (IDE) Support external editor

                  The IDE should keep a timestamp of the last time it saved the source text. Then, when the IDE is foregrounded, it should check the story.ni file's modification time. If the file was updated more recently than the IDE saved, the IDE should silently "revert" to the newer contents.

                  This would allow the user to have the file open in an external editor, save, switch to the IDE, and compile.

                  (This is the preferred behavior for Mac text editors. See TextWrangler/BBEdit, for example.)

                  27 votes
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                  • (Windows and GNOME/IDE) Allow writing of Inform 6 projects *VW*

                    At present, neither the Windows IDE nor the GNOME Linux IDE allows the user to write a project entirely in Inform 6, though both IDEs can package a pre-compiled Inform 6 project with metadata. I'd like to see this feature, already present in the Mac OS X IDE, implemented across the board.

                    25 votes
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                    • More control over colors and styles in Glk/Glulx

                      Authors have repeatedly asked for more control over the styles used in
                      the game. At a minimum, some way for arbitrary colour changes to be allowed -
                      this is the one area where Glk/Glulx is behind the Z-Machine.

                      18 votes
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                      • (Mac IDE) In tables, align word-wrapped lines of text with their columns

                        When a line is word-wrapped in a table, it would be nice if it aligned with its column rather than pushing all the way to the left. This would be especially helpful with topic/response dialogue tables, where the response may frequently run longer than one line. These tables may be lengthy and it can be hard to easily identify where rows begin and end.

                        Since this gets messy if inner columns align, perhaps this only applies to the final column in a table. Authors would then just need to save their longest lines for the last column, which they are…

                        18 votes
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                          under review  ·  1 comment  ·  Admin →
                        • (IDE) Facility for converting spaces to tabs

                          The ability to convert spaces to tabs in the IDE. This is a fairly common feature of text editors (handled very nicely in TextMate, for example). Code is often shared in tab-incompatible spaces such as web forums, newsgroups, and through email, with a resulting need for manual fussing is necessary to correct code for use in the IDE.

                          This feature could take at least two forms (not mutually exclusive):

                          1) Select some text and use a menu option to convert spaces to tabs.
                          2) A setting to allow the same conversion to happen automatically when text is pasted into the…

                          17 votes
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                          • (world model) a way to move or conceal doors

                            There has never been a satisfactory way in Inform to implement a concealed door that is revealed under certain conditions, or a door that leads to different locations under different conditions. I realize that these are hoary cliches of adventure gaming, but despite this (or, really, because of it), I would like to see some kind of solution in Inform.

                            15 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Admin →

                              There are assorted ways of faking this behavior, but I can see that it’s sometimes a stumbling block for authors, and it’s easy to do wrong. Historically, the way the map was constructed meant that this kind of adjustment would have been hard to do, but we’ll see whether that has changed.

                            • Make search results a tab in the IDE

                              Is there any reason why the search results can't be made into a regular tab in the IDE, just like Source, Errors, etc.? Often I find I want to keep the search results window around for a bit, but it's a pain to have it floating in front of my workspace. It's also the only part of the IDE that seems to stick out in an ugly way from the rest of the design.

                              15 votes
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                              • (Programming) Get rid of "a random" when it's obvious there can only be one

                                A better way to refer to a single item with a given
                                specification, in a situation where it's known that it must be the only
                                one. At present "a random..." is sometimes used for this, so for instance:

                                try inserting the item into a random pocket that is part of the garment;

                                Here the author knows that the garment has exactly one pocket, and is
                                really trying to say "the pocket which is a part of this particular
                                garment" - no actual randomness is really involved, and the source text is
                                therefore misleading to read.

                                Various alternatives are proposed. At…

                                15 votes
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                                • (Syntax) Change the misleading "visible" in "applies to a visible thing)

                                  In action descriptions, the terms "applying to one visible thing" is misleading -- what's really meant is that the thing is *in scope*, and often it isn't visible at all, especially if we're talking about something that is placed in scope at a distance, like a conversation topic.

                                  14 votes
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                                  • (Extensions) Have an extensions repository *VW*

                                    Extensions should be accessible through a repository, like an apt repository.

                                    Inform 7 should automatically download and install any extensions it needs but doesn't have, while keeping all old versions accessible.

                                    13 votes
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                                    • (Syntax) Provide a special "nothing" constant

                                      That there be a special class of constant that would be usable in initial property and variable declarations and that would evaluate to the type-specific null value for each type--this would probably be expressed as "nothing" in I7-level source code. (I imagine this would need to be handled at the I7 compiler level, rather than in the template layer.)

                                      13 votes
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                                      • Write an basic reference manual ASAP.

                                        The existing manuals do not qualify as reference manuals, and will never do so, as they are not even intended to do so. The well-hidden syntax document is a start, but does not actually give specifications for half the syntax elements, and does not explain the semantic restrictions.

                                        As a programmer who is extremely picky and perfectionist, I found myself having to learn the language partly by reading the source code (in three languages -- I6, I7, C), and partly by fighting with the IDE as it rejected constructions which appeared perfectly valid from the syntax documents and the "manuals".

                                        12 votes
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                                          For the reasons Andrew points out, this sounds like a substantial task. However, anyone who likes has always been free to write additional manuals; if there is a volunteer who has a specific idea about what they’d like to see, they’re welcome to write it. We have linked many of those resources from the Inform webpage.

                                        • (Website/Extensions) Allow all extensions to be downloaded in single .zip *VW*

                                          Make it possible to download a complete set of available extensions from a single zip file.

                                          11 votes
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                                            started  ·  7 comments  ·  Admin →
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