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  1. Parse valid responses to disambiguation requests as disambiguation requests rather than new commands

    When a disambiguation request is printed, Inform decides whether to process the next input as a response to the request or as a new command by checking to see whether the first word of the input is a verb. Ordinarily this works well, but it will break when an object's name contains a verb. See http://inform7.com/mantis/view.php?id=1127 for an example.

    In comments there, zarf says:
    "This has been the intended behavior since the I6 days. It would be bad if a disambiguation prompt made some other command untypable, by stealing its verb. (It is less bad if a disambiguation fails, because…

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      1 comment  ·  Admin →
    • Allow "<action> involves" tests to use a description of objects instead of a specific object

      Currently (6L38), the following type of construction won't work:

      A vegetable is a kind of thing.

      Instead of doing something when the current action involves a vegetable (this is the PC avoids healthy foods at all costs rule):
      say "No. I'll have nothing to do with vegetables."

      The compiler complains specifically that a specific object is needed here instead of a description of objects, so this is aparently by design. However, it would dramatically simplify writing rules like the above to have this feature.

      At present, the same logical end result can be achieved -- it just requires more laborious…

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      • Make directions more compact in manual..

        Make it easier to get a gist of what the program can do. I am so lost.. :/

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        • (World model/actions) Add a sanity-checking layer to action handling

          Add checking for the sanity of an action before trying implicit actions (like the "Delicious, Delicious Rocks" example, where if we're trying to eat something, we notice it's inedible before rather than after implicitly picking it up).

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          • Allow phrase "number of turns <condition>" or "number of times <condition>" to evaluate as a number

            Although it is currently (6L38) possible to construct rules like:

            Every turn:
            if the player has been in Place for exactly one turn:
            say "1.";
            If the player has been in Place for exactly two turns:
            say "2.";
            If the player has been in Place for exactly three turns:
            say "3."

            this is obviously labor-intensive for larger sets of branches based on given values of elapsed time. It would be nice to be able to write something like:

            Every turn:
            let n be the number of turns player has been in Place;
            say "[n]!"

            and there are several other possible…

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            • Fix broken links on the learn page

              http://inform7.com/learn/manuals/

              The links for both "Writing with Inform" and "The Recipe Book" are broken.

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                1 comment  ·  Admin →
              • (Syntax) May conditional relations directly consult a rulebook

                As is, we must use a To phrase (and global variables) as a go-between, just as the "can see" and "can touch" relations do. But this is such a powerful pattern that I feel it merits fluid expression:

                The friendship rules are a rulebook.
                Likability relates a person (called X) to a person (called Y) when the friendship rules succeed with X and Y.
                A friendship rule: if X is.....

                I think of this compound construct as a very good "design pattern" for Inform 7, much like using an amendable table to define kinds-of-value while holding all of an extension's…

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                • Show a list of recent projects on the splash page

                  The splash page currently lets you start a new project, open the most recent project, or browse to open another project. The third option is alright if your projects are all in the one place, but if they're not it's a bit of a nuisance. Instead, a list of the most recent 5 or so projects could be shown for you to choose between (still with the option to browse if needed.)

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                  • (Programming) "involving" to refer to both noun and second noun

                    Ability to write

                    Instead of doing something involving the baseball: ...

                    as shorthand to catch both the case where the baseball is the noun and the one
                    where it is the second noun; and perhaps also

                    Instead of doing something indirectly to the baseball: ...

                    to catch only the one where it is the second noun.

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                      planned  ·  0 comments  ·  Admin →
                    • (Releasing) Have "release along with private source text" still build HTML

                      When releasing along with source text, I note that marking the "source text" as "private" not only doesn't link it but also skips the generation of the typeset HTML version; the only effect the statement has is to copy in source.txt. Personally I'd prefer it to still generate the HTML source; just not to link to it.

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                      • Abstract out block value initialisation/shell code, for use with other phrases

                        When you use block value types (indexed text etc) the code a phrase produces is actually placed in a SHELL function, with the head rule function instead being used to initialise the block value and close it down when finished.

                        It would be useful to be able to do this with other functions. I am having a look at refactoring Flexible Windows, as it is very slow because every time you change a window it runs a bunch of code. If we could use the same sort of stuff as block values do, then the window configuring could run once,…

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                        • note unknown (uniquely occurring) words in certain compiler errors

                          There are certain compiler errors that are often produced by typographical errors. It would be nice if the Inform 7 compiler were able to detect that one of the words in the offending line appeared nowhere else in the code, and issue a comment like "It looks as though 'tchochke' appears nowhere else in your code; is it perhaps misspelled?"

                          This would save me some time staring at a particularly tricky syntax and trying to figure out where it went wrong when the mistake was that I left out the second t in "tchotchke" (admittedly choosing a word I can't…

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                          • Clarify the problem report for top level "let..." phrases

                            Currently writing "Let Cave be a room." outside a rule raises a problem report that "You wrote...but I can't find a verb here that I know how to deal with, so I am ignoring this sentence altogether."

                            This might be a little hard to understand for anyone who hasn't absorbed all the relevant documentation. I7 takes great pains to produce helpful messages, which is the only reason this one stands out.

                            A more tailored message would be splendid, a la "You wrote "let Cave..." but that suggests that Cave should be or begin a temporary name for something. I expected…

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                            • MoveFloatingObjects should set self when calling found_in

                              (This was originally a bug report, but jesse suggested moving it here. See http://inform7.com/mantis/view.php?id=594 for original post.)

                              The problem is that MoveFloatingObjects is not sufficiently flexible for extensions that want to make new and better kinds of backdrop.

                              Way back in the I6 days, the MoveFloatingObjects routine would call "i.found_in()" to decide whether i should be in or out of the location. But in the rewrite to the template system, this was changed to:

                              address = i.&found_in;
                              m = address-->0;
                              if (m.call(real_location) ~= 0) ...

                              The difference is that the old way set "self" to i (for the duration of…

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                              • (IDE/Compiler) Provide a better compiler response when a command is indented below the end of a rule

                                I do this all the time. Consider the following code:

                                Check an actor going (this is the automatically open closed doors rule):
                                if the door gone through is not nothing and the door gone through is closed:
                                if the actor is the player, say "(first opening [the door gone through])[command clarification break]";
                                silently try the actor opening the door gone through.
                                if the door gone through is closed, stop the action.

                                Note the full stop after the "silently try the actor opening the door gone through" command. The compiler should be able to detect the invalid command after the full…

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                                  1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                • (IDE) table extra-column errors are unclear for large tables

                                  If I have a table like the following:

                                  table of q
                                  x(tab)y(tab)z
                                  1(tab)2(tab)3
                                  4(tab)5(tab)6
                                  7(tab)8(tab)9(tab)10

                                  The error the IDE displays shows the whole table and not the specific line. I can use PERL to figure this out on my own, but it is messy. Could the IDE show only the first line that fails?

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                                  • Allow constants I7 constants to be linked to I6 constants

                                    Currently you can define constants only for kinds of value in Inform 7. You can define variables and objects with the "translates into I6" syntax, but you can't use that to define them with a I6 constants. Well variables can, but they're not treated as constants in I7, and you can't use them in tables for example. You can't define an object constant by the translates syntax because you'll get an I6 error about using the name twice. It would be useful to be able to bring an I6 constant into I7, especially if it's not limited to kinds of…

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                                    • Support for bundling old game files into a Blorb archive

                                      A long-running complaint about IF systems is that every new release of a game breaks compatibility with old save files. This is a manageable nuisance with old-fashioned native interpreters -- you can keep your old game files, or delay upgrading until a convenient time. A web interpreter gives the player no control: the author installs an upgraded release, and players find that their save files have effectively disappeared.

                                      True backwards compatibility of save files is a very difficult problem (which is why this is a *long-running* complaint). It requires much more game file introspection than Zcode/Glulx currently provide, and that…

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                                      • Restore "recording on/off" and "replay" functionality from I6 level

                                        I6 offers the debugging commands "record on" to start recording only player commands to an external file, "record off" to negate "record on", and "replay" to play back a series of commands saved to an external file.

                                        While this is very similar in functionality to the built-in (and generally superior) skein, and the skein offers many features that "replay" did not, this feature is missed when beta-testing a work.

                                        Since saved games are not transferable between compilations of a work, and since interpreters do not provide a skein like the IDE does, playtesters must retype all commands to get back…

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                                        • (Windows/IDE) Auto-size the toolbar buttons based on the height of the toolbar images

                                          I'd like to customise the icons used in the Inform toolbar. I find the default icons a bit blurry, and "un-Windows-like". I've found that I can replace the icons by editing/replacing a few PNGs in the Images subdirectory. It'd be great if Inform could make allowances for differently sized (smaller) toolbar icons. This would also make a primitive form of skinning possible for the Inform IDE.

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