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I suggest you ...

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  1. Have a "no graphics" and "one window" options for the IDE interpreter

    It is currently the case that Quixe will not open graphics windows. This causes graphical games (Alabaster, etc) to throw Glk errors -- as opposed to either degrading gracefully or gracefully refusing to run. If the IDE interpreter had options for these cases, authors could test for them and not be blindsided by these errors.

    2 votes
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    • (World model) Allow regions to overlap

      I've been working on something that might become an extension, which will, among other things, add walls, floor, and ceiling to indoor rooms and ground and sky to outdoor rooms. Making these features backdrops is easy, and defining two overarching regions (the Great Indoors and the Great Outdoors) in which the backdrops will be visible is also easy. But at that point, defining any _other_ region becomes very difficult.

      It doesn't seem to be possible to define a large region first (in an extension, for instance) and then add smaller regions later in the code, even if they _don't_ overlap…

      2 votes
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        1 comment  ·  Admin →
      • Make testing commands and ``if the player consents'' interact consistently across VMs

        The I6 procedure YesOrNo doesn't take input from test strings under the Z-machine, but it does under Glulx. The inconsistency means that lines like

        - - - -
        Test me with "jump off cliff / y / perform first aid".
        - - - -

        have to be written

        - - - -
        Section "Test Strings with Yes/No Answers" (for Glulx only)

        Test me with "jump off cliff / y / perform first aid".

        Section "Test Strings without Yes/No Answers" (for Z-machine only)

        Test me with "jump off cliff / perform first aid". [The human must enter `y.']
        - - -…

        2 votes
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          1 comment  ·  Admin →
        • Allow non-temporary named values after the dash in a phrase argument

          So that code like

          - - - -
          There is a room.
          Foo is a thing that varies.
          To bar (X - a thing that is foo): ....
          - - - -

          could be written without ``a thing that is.'' Or, if there is a good reason for this syntax, change the problem message provoked by omitting those words to suggest that the author might have intended them.

          2 votes
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          • (Rules/Programming) Allow rules to act on multiple, typed parameters

            Expansion of the rules model to allow rules to act on multiple,
            typed parameters, as in:

            Reaction rule for a powder (called reagent A) with a powder (called
            reagent B): ...

            To combine (reagent A - a powder) with (reagent B - a powder):
            consider the reaction rules with reagent A as the first component
            and reagent B as the second component.

            (The original proposal is laid out in more detail at
            http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.int-fiction/msg/964587315d0702b4).
            It is undeniable that the main "decision mechanisms" provided by Inform -
            phrases, properties, rulebooks, actions - nearly meet at the edges, and
            that as their…

            2 votes
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              1 comment  ·  Admin →

              We don’t regard overlaps as necessarily a bad idea. Without going entirely
              in the Perl direction of “there are many ways to do something”, we can
              still benefit from providing what seem natural facilities to the user. It
              might seem cleaner – better, in traditional computer science aesthetics -
              to have just one construct (the rulebook, probably) and build all else from
              that – actions, phrases, properties, even variables – but that would be a
              burden to the user, taking us away from natural language, and would also be
              less efficient to run.

              We think a simpler and less disruptive approach might be to allow the user
              to say that the definition of any phrase is a rulebook. For instance, the
              following prototype:

              To react (reagent A – a powder) with (reagent B – a powder) – this is the
              reaction rulebook.

              would create a rulebook, which would be initially…

            • extensions updater *VW*

              I'd love to see in future editions of Inform the choice of downloading and installing automatically all new (and updated) extensions from the Inform7 website.

              1 vote
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                1 comment  ·  Admin →
              • (IDE) Remember scroll position when using forward/back documentation buttons.

                Make the Windows IDE forward/back buttons in the documentation and index behave more like a browser and remember the scroll position. Some of the index pages are long and when you find the bit you want and click on it, then come back, you end up at the top of the page again, having to scroll down to where you were.

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                • (Windows/IDE) Fix/Improve Jump List under Windows 7

                  Currently, the jump list populates with opened Extensions but not with the Story files. It would nice to have the Jump List working.

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                  • Make it possible to make "room" a kind of "thing"

                    I just spent 30 hours working around the fact that it isn't and that it cannot be made one even by redefining the Standard Rules.

                    I realize this is not straightforward at all as it requires digging about in crusty old Inform 6 code to eliminate aliased flags and whatnot.

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                    • Allow text and binary files to be declared and blorbed from the Materials folder

                      Allow text and binary files to be declared and blorbed from the Materials folder, much like figures and sounds, now that Blorb has the TEXT and BINA chunk types.

                      (And regenerate infglk.h so that the associated glk functions, glk_stream_open_resource and glk_stream_open_resource_uni, are available by name.)

                      1 vote
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                      • (Syntax) Make rules able to refer to actors

                        "Before printing the name of something while an actor doing something" is allowed right now, but we can't continue "If the actor is the player, say 'your '." and so own, because we cannot refer to actors further. This means that we can't write general rules in this manner.

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                          1 comment  ·  Admin →
                        • Have the current location be in scope when it "should be"

                          Or at least make it possible as an option. The fact that it isn't appears to be a piece of special-casing deep in the hardwired Inform 6 scope routines. (As it is, scope search goes down into the players contents, and goes up to the room, and goes down from the room, but the *room itself is deleted from scope* for some reason.) Actually, I think those were hard-wired in Inform 6 -- are those scope routines written in C?

                          Well, anyway, it turns out to be incredibly hard to work around this oddity in the scoping rules: you have…

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                          • Change the wording of "I am ignoring it" errora

                            The error messages are cryptic, often nonsensical, and in the case of "I am ignoring it," the error message is a flat-out lie.

                            "Ignoring" an error causing line would be to not include it in the compile attempt. The error message phrase needs to be changed to "so I cannot continue to compile."

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                            • Hotkeys for commenting out selected code all at once

                              A contextual menu item, and hotkeys, for commenting out selected code all at once, by inserting "[" and "]" around the selected text. This is particularly important in that restyling large chunks of text - as placing the first [ will do near the start of code - is extremely computationally expensive in the interface applications.

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                                We accept this proposal. It’s already being experimented with on OS X and Linux, and is planned for the new Windows source panel implementation.

                              • (Syntax) Allow "row of the table"

                                "Choose row N of the Table of Something" gives a compiler error; the correct syntax is "Choose row N in the Table of Something." But I find "row of the table" to be much more natural English (or American), and it would be nice if it were also recognized.

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                                  planned  ·  2 comments  ·  Admin →
                                • Enforce ordering on ``is'' comparisons that test the kind of a value

                                  Based on http://inform7.com/mantis/view.php?id=959#c1742, Inform could encourage clearer code by rejecting

                                  - - - -
                                  if a number is three, ...
                                  - - - -

                                  in favor of the more natural

                                  - - - -
                                  if three is an number, ....
                                  - - - -

                                  This would parallel the restrictions on assertions:

                                  - - - -
                                  A room is the lounge.
                                  - - - -

                                  is disallowed, whereas

                                  - - - -
                                  The lounge is a room.
                                  - - - -

                                  is not.

                                  1 vote
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                                    1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                  • (IDE) Indent selected lines when you press tab

                                    It'd be nice if the editor would follow the convention of indenting selected lines when you press tab (and move them left when you press shift-tab) instead of replacing the selection with a tab character.

                                    The "move selection right/left" hotkeys are available at least in the Mac ide, but tabbing would be faster and the hotkeys don't work with non-American keyboard layouts where brackets are behind special key combinations.

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                                    • (IDE) Enable shifting of code blocks in extensions too

                                      Currently, the Mac IDE offers hotkeys that allow you to shift code one tab stop to the left or right. However, this works only in project windows, not in extension windows. Since extensions require example code blocks to be indented one tab stop, there is a special need for this feature in extension files. Please add it!

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                                      • Allow phrases to be defined to automatically cast values

                                        It would be useful to allow phrases to be defined which would cast between values, for example:

                                        To decide what indexed text is (file - an external file): ...

                                        Such a phrase wouldn't have any non-variant text. Alternatively, and to make clear that it is a special phrase, it could be worded like this:

                                        To cast an external file to indexed text: ...

                                        To prevent headaches the compiler should not use more than one conversion at a time. That may not be enough to prevent headaches... perhaps the compiler should also complain if reciprocal casting phrases are defined? I don't…

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                                        • (Publishing) Include licensing information in the Babel bibliographic data

                                          This would be printed in the banner and also automatically be added to IFDB.

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                                            Currently the banner-printing of such information is pretty easy to arrange
                                            and is further supported by the Extended Banner extension by Stephen Granade. Any arrangements concerning metadata would have to be taken up with the Treaty of Babel contributors and IFDB maintenance. If there’s a consensus there, we’re willing to build support into Inform.

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