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  1. (IDE) Expose template layer within the IDE

    Make the template layer available for browsing from within the IDE. Minimally, this might mean making the Reserved extensions folder available from within the Extensions menu (probably with a different name, e.g. Templates). More useful would be an Index pane or special documentation page listing the templates and the order in which they are compiled (if this is straightforward). Links from this index could take us to the i6t file and to each template file's documentation (i.e. the docs currently available only in the Appendix A and B pdfs). If the goal is to hide the template layer from most…

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    • (Extensions) Enhance Extension versioning to indicate compatibility.

      The existing model is to have exactly one version of a given extension on inform7.com. This means that, when an extension is updated to work with a newer version of I7, the older version is no longer available.

      Similar to the way I7's download page (http://inform7.com/download/) shows all previous releases, perhaps it would be useful to include downloads for previous releases of extensions. Adding extension syntax (e.g. "Tested with 5T18 and 5U92") would make scripting this relatively easy.

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      • (IDE) Remove extensions from the Open Recent menu

        The Open Recent menu item collects both projects and extensions. The extensions tend to push projects out of this list, so it would be good to either leave them out (they're quick enough to access through the Open Extension menu) or have separate Open Recent Project and Open Recent Extension menus.

        (This is the Mac IDE, don't know how if other IDEs have the same issue.)

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          1 comment  ·  Admin →
        • (Debugging/Optimization) Add MEMORY command to display memory use in play

          In order to allow people to see, for instance, how much of the z-machine readable memory they are using up.

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            1 comment  ·  Admin →
          • Choose something differnt from "active" as reserved term.

            In the new Inform 7 builds, Use options can be "active" or not "active". There seems to be little reason to use such a common term for such an obscure feature, especially since it breaks at least one oft-used extension, Simple Chat. (Updating the extension may seem like little work, but updating all the games that have made use of it, including its "active" property which the writer will constantly use, is not.) Please choose some other word to describe the status of use options.

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            • Pathfinding for dynamic relations

              Specifically, it'd be nice to use things like "number of steps via" for relations on values.

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              • Make the IDE have night time themes for my tired eyes?

                I'd like a dark room type theme. :)

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                • (Syntax) Allow lengthy kind of value names to be abbreviated

                  Names of kinds of values can grow to arbitrary length, and it can become tiresome to type them out over and over when working with code that makes heavy use of some particular complex KOV. Therefore, being able to introduce shorter aliases would be useful. It could look something like this:

                  A sequence transform denotes a phrase list of numbers -> list of numbers.
                  A number grid denotes a list of lists of numbers.

                  That's a fairly simple macro system. Slightly more useful would be if we could make generic aliases:

                  A sequence denotes a list of numbers.
                  A K…

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                  • (Parsing) [Any things] token

                    Add "[any things]" token, to refer to multiple objects anywhere
                    in the game; it should be possible to raise scope limits on this.

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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…

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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…

                      • (Parsing) [room] without [any room]

                        Support for [room] as a grammar token matching rooms that are in
                        scope. At the moment we have to use [any room] - potentially qualified
                        with an adjective, be it built-in or supplied by a definition - [any
                        adjacent room] or [any oniony room] for example. Seeing as we can add
                        rooms to scope explicitly, [room] is currently an omission.

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                          planned  ·  0 comments  ·  Admin →
                        • Ability to define the IFID

                          Currently the IFID is autogenerated and the author can't change it manually. It would be important to be able to do so, given the rise of collaborative authorship and increased use of version control for IF projects. Autogenerated IFIDs also mean that if a game is distributed in source code form, each time it's compiled on a different computer it receives a new IFID.

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                          • Provide a general forum for feedback on the documentation

                            Currently it seems as though the only formal ways to leave feedback on the documentation are to make a report on mantis or to make a uservoice suggestion. But mantis reports are only for outright mistakes, and uservoice suggestions are too weighty and inconvenient for minor suggestions, especially given that we only have ten votes. Whereas complaints on intfiction.org aren't guaranteed to be read.

                            So it would be nice to have a centralized place to give feedback about the documentation. Perhaps some sort of comment form on the individual documentation pages would be convenient?

                            (The specific issue I wanted to…

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                              1 comment  ·  Admin →
                            • (Parsing) Understand "shards" as a broken vase

                              The ability to use objects and kinds with qualifications, E.G:

                              A vase is a kind of thing. A vase can be broken.
                              Understand "shards" as a broken vase

                              This is already possible, since one can rephrase it as:

                              Understand "shards" as a vase when the item described is broken.

                              ...but it would be better if Inform could do this automatically.

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                              • (Parsing) Understanding properties as things needs to be more flexible

                                More flexibility in how the parser copes with object names given
                                the instruction to "Understand the foo property as describing a bar", where
                                foo contains an enumerated kind of value. At present this only allows the
                                property to be given at the beginning of the object name, like an English
                                adjective. This is fine for colours and temperatures, but fails in some
                                other cases, for example a "can of cola" or "glass of lemonade" where cola
                                and lemonade are elements of a "flavour" kind of value.

                                One approach is to make flavor a kind of thing instead, and use a…

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                                • (Parsing) Null token for topics

                                  We can already use -- as a null token in a list of slashed alternatives for a phrase definition, as in "To review the/-- landmarks."

                                  The suggestion to use -- as a null token for understand grammar is planned, as in 'Understand "google for/-- [text] in/on [library computer]" as consulting it about (with nouns reversed)." See http://inform7.uservoice.com/forums/57320-general/suggestions/751366-parsing-null-token-for-understand-grammar.

                                  I suggest allowing -- as a null token for topics, as in 'Instead of consulting the library computer about "the/-- zombie apocalypse:", simply so that all three cases are treated uniformly. (As things stand, the given topic will match "the zombie apocalypse"…

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                                  • (Multimedia) Allow figure-names to be forced to refer to resource number 0

                                    This can be done now using a decide phrase and a drop into I6, e.g.:

                                    To decide which figure-name is no-picture: (- 0 -).

                                    But this cannot be used in all situations (e.g., initially definition of a property name). A special purpose constant (e.g., "nothing") that would refer to resource 0 might be one way to go about this.

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                                    • (Documentation) Clarify the RB and WI buttons

                                      It's not totally obvious what the RB and WI buttons mean on examples. Perhaps it would be useful to change to buttons that actually spell those out, or at least have a tooltip that explains if you hover.

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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                      • (Parsing) "all" vs "all [thing]"

                                        A way to handle "all" and "all [xxx]" differently, so that
                                        "deciding whether all includes" would work differently depending on whether
                                        the player had typed TAKE ALL or TAKE ALL BOOKS.

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                                          We are not opposed in
                                          principle, but would need more specific suggestions about what authors want
                                          to be able to do, and in what syntax.

                                        • (Parsing/Documentation) Document the way parsing lists are made

                                          A general observation: it seems that parsing involves a lot of list
                                          building & modification. There's a list of items in scope, a list of
                                          player-selected items that need disambiguating between, and the
                                          multiple-object list containing all items selected by the player.
                                          That's at least three lists, and ideally each of them may need
                                          authorial tinkering: adding an item here, removing an item there,
                                          printing the contents for debugging, fiddling with the results of an
                                          ALL, etc. And then Jon has apparently found about three subspecies
                                          of disambiguation, creating a dedicated rulebook for each in his
                                          extension; I still can't…

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                                            This suggestion makes some assumptions that are not completely right: for instance, scoping is not managed as a single list but rather addressed recursively. That said, we appreciate that the current system is insufficiently clear and consistent. Reviewing Disambiguation Control seems like a useful step.

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