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  1. Allow custom relation to specify object tree structures

    Object tree structures are the most efficient in Inform, but they are limited to only the built in relations. If you have relations between non-model world things it would be potentially possible to use object tree structures for those relations. This would help to model the Flexible Windows system, and probably for conversation models too.

    I don't think this functionality should be exposed directly to Inform 7, but if those relations were defined in the template code rather than in ni itself, then it might be possible to add extra relations which use the object tree.

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    • Disable Auto-Save and add a Save Revision option instead of using Save As to save as a new project.

      Having auto-save enabled all the time is dangerous because temporary source changes designed for testing can become accidentally permanent. Also, using Save As to try to keep different revisions or backups is not very graceful because it save it as an entirely new project, and not just a revision of the same project.

      I've almost lost an entire project when my computer lost power. The file was still there, and was the right size, but it was entirely blank. I suspect this is because Inform keeps the file permanently open and only writes to it after closing the program or…

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        1 comment  ·  Admin →
      • Revise Writing with Inform (main manual/documentation)

        Writing with Inform needs a reorganization of material, as well as comprehensive reference materials to accompany it. We plan to do this, but not immediately. Currently we are constantly revising the documentation and adding or removing sections as the language changes, so it is not practical to do a ground-up rewrite until the language stabilizes further.

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          planned  ·  5 comments  ·  Admin →
        • (Actions/world model) Make it easier to create new accessibility rules

          Currently it's tricky/annoying writing new accessibility rules because one has to separately check the requirements on noun and second noun, as shown in the "Electrified" example:

          if the action requires a touchable noun and the noun is electrified, say "You fear touching [the noun]." instead;
          if the action requires a touchable second noun and the second noun is electrified, say "You fear touching [the second noun]." instead.

          But internally I6 does have the information about which object-that-needs-touching we're looking at. We just need to expose it to I7, with something like

          To decide what object is the touching goal: (or…

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          • (IDE) Add smart bracketing to IDEs

            For punctuation that changes text color, the IDE should supply the terminating mark (after the cursor) when the initial mark is typed. In other words, if I type "[", the editor would automatically insert the "]" immediately after the cursor. This would prevent the entire source code below the insertion point from having to be converted to the new color, something which can create lengthy waits (and even crashes) in larger projects. It should be smart, however--place an opening quote mark or bracket directly before another character, for example, and the auto-closing should not occur.

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            • (Debugging) For the annotation * to be added back to Inform

              Intended so that people can note comments in transcripts
              without the game interpreting their remarks as commands. (this is a feature of the Inform 6 6/11 library)

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                1 comment  ·  Admin →

                This would hardly be difficult, but we removed it because we had the impression that it annoyed more people than it helped. If feedback shows this to be wrong, we can reconsider.

              • (IDE/Win) Add a "search in Documentation" option in context menu

                In internet surfing I use quiet often the select-the-text and mouse-right-button mechanism to launch searchs (google searchs).

                It would be great to have a similar feature in the Source tab.

                (Actually I select the text, copy it, paste it in doc-search-textbox and then press return key)

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                • (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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                  • (actions) permit the definition of empty kinds of action

                    Currently the only way to define a kind of action is to give an example of it; e.g. "Looking is acting fast."

                    It would be convenient to allow a kind of action to be defined directly, by "Acting fast is a kind of action." This would be especially convenient for extensions that define a kind that may or may not be populated by the authors that use it--for instance, an extension might want to write rules for "acting fast" in case the author wanted to define any actions as acting fast, without forcing any particular action to count as acting…

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                    • (Debugging) Ability to remove all test commands while still running within the IDE

                      To be able to compile a z-machine game within the IDE but devoid of the
                      testing commands, to allow full-sized z-code games to take full advantage of the
                      skein (etc). This would be in addition to the Use memory economy command,
                      intended for games very close to the z-code limits.

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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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                        • (Multimedia) Allow figure-names to be defined by table

                          As the author of a number of multimedia extensions for I7, I've heard from a couple of users asking whether there is a briefer way to assign figure names to image files. As I'm working on a WIP that currently has well more than 100 defined figures, I understand why they'd want that. The standard syntax works well for a handful of figures, but there is a lot of extraneous typing when the number of figures goes beyond that. Would it be possible to allow figures (and perhaps sounds) to be defined using special-purpose tables? A simple Table of Figures…

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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 →
                              • (IDE) Have Replay include hyperlink input

                                If using a hyperlink extension (for example, Basic Hyperlinks), the Replay feature only plays back commands that you've typed in at the prompt, not links you've clicked on.

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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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                                  • (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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                                    • Enable a story.ni file or *.inform folder to be opened with Inform 7 for Linux by clicking on it or from within Inform.

                                      I have projects that are no longer in the history file of Inform. I have associated story.ni files with Inform, but all that happens is the Inform welcome screen appears. So there is no real file association with Inform.

                                      After selecting “Open an existing project” when I move to the folder where the story.ni file is, the list remains blank. Even if I type in the file name (story.ni), Inform will do nothing to open the project. (That is, when I click on Open, *nothing* happens. It doesn’t open the file, it gives no error message, it doesn’t close. It…

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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                      • (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 →
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