(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.
Since the three platform-dependant IDEs are, AFAIK, maintained separately from Inform 7 and by different authors/maintainers, why don't the Linux and Windows port maintainers grab a copy of the MacOS sources, look how it is done, and implement the Inform6 feature in the UI?
For example, I mainly stick with Inform6 (using Emacs as editor and IDE) because I want to implement features which are *not* possible in Inform7's natural language (asides from going the awkward way and using a meta project which consists entirely of embedded i6 code in an i7.project). And I don't want to re-activate my old G4 Macintosh just for doing stuff in Inform7's IDE.
Inform 7 is more of a program to show off the authors/programmers' skills and introducing a paradigm shift in the world of "programming". It's not suited at all to actually learning programming though. So, if you want to make a great IF game, then use Inform 7. If you want to learn programming (to a degree), use Inform 6. The authors obviously won't waste their time on such drivel as going back to I6.
I believe that I7 is being used in schools as a useful and fun way to introduce students to coding, and its familiar, English-like syntax is an important part of encouraging students to try it out.
However the way that I6 is written is much closer to traditional code, so I think this would be a useful extension to the teaching tool, allowing advanced students to not only "pop the hood" and see how Inform works, but also to become comfortable with structures like nested braces, indentation and other industry standards, thus allowing them to learn other languages more easily.
Voting for this because Inform 7 is unusable (due to lack of proper documentation), but the IDE would be really nice.
Adminemshort (Admin, Inform 7) commented
The *VW* tag means that we'd welcome a volunteer stepping forward to work on it, but that it's not a priority for people currently maintaining the system (there's a great deal else to keep up with). So it is unlikely to happen unless someone decides to make it their mission.
David Griffith commented
Has there been any new progress on this? I've only recently started dabbling in Inform7. Inform6 has always been my favorite. I too think it would be nice to have a mode by which this IDE can be used with straight Inform6. There's some new development starting up again with the Inform6 compiler to bring it up to date.
I like the Inform 7 idea of writing "english" text wich is the compiles two times, but I also agree to Bryan that I would like to skip one compile task and code directly.
Bryan Cayton commented
I agree with this whole-heartedly. While I like Inform 7, and can certainly appreciate the huge amount of work that went into its development and would not hesitate recommending it to someone new to writing IF, I've found, however, that my muse lies with Inform 6. Though still relatively new to IF myself, having looked carefully at other IF languages (TADS, ALAN, HUGO, etc.) and namely Inform 7, I've found that Inform 6 has the right balance of clarity and structure that works almost perfectly in line with the way I think. Being able to code Inform 6 natively in the Inform 7 IDE on a Windows machine (since it basically already supports it anyway) would be of great benefit to me (and I suppose, other stalwarts of Inform 6) and I really hope it is something that will be incorporated in future releases of Inform.