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  1. 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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        • (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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                    • (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.

                            • (Parsing) Add ways to affect whether [things] is accepted

                              I wanted
                              to remove all of the grammar lines using the "[things]" token; this
                              required having to completely remove a number of commands and re-
                              introduce all of the grammar lines which didn't use "[things]".

                              A bit more ambitious solution to that specific problem would be to be
                              able to declare actions as being able to accept multiple nouns (i.e.,
                              move this from the grammar to the actions themselves). This would also
                              give more flexibility to allowing "[things]" to be qualified with
                              properties (as mentioned elsewhere in the proposal), but I suspect it
                              would be tricky to make this work…

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                              • (Parsing) Ability to refer to the list of things which is currently being disambiguated

                                This might involve canceling disambiguation entirely because
                                items should be considered equivalent; removing specific items from the
                                disambiguation list, while continuing to consider others; and the ability
                                to add or subtract from the "likeliness score" of an item, rather than
                                having one Does the player mean rule control its likeliness completely.

                                Rule for disambiguating when every object under consideration is
                                destroyed: say "It no longer matters which is which.".

                                Rule for disambiguating when an object under consideration (called
                                candidate) is inactive: remove candidate from disambiguation list.

                                In a modified way, we might take this on. We propose to add a…

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                                  We think that it might be useful to have a look at Jon Ingold’s
                                  “Disambiguation Questions” extension, which does some of these things, and see whether some or all of its
                                  features should be adapted for the main language.

                                • (Parsing) Ability to create commands that resolve to an action + specific object

                                  To
                                  quote the suggester:

                                  Often a situation arises where I want to understand a form of player
                                  input that doesn't match an existing grammar line, but I don't want to
                                  have to define a whole new verb just to recognize that one command.
                                  You can kludge around this like so:

                                  Understand "turn stereo down" as a mistake ("[trystereoadjusting]").

                                  To say trystereoadjusting: try setting the stereo to 2.

                                  ...but what's really needed is a companion to "Understand as a
                                  mistake," that allows for understanding commands which actually do
                                  produce actions in the game world.

                                  Understand "turn stereo down" as a command…

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                                    1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                  • (Actions/Problems) Give problem message for non-functional "for two turns" with out of world action

                                    With the syntax:

                                    Check requesting the pronoun meanings for 2 turns: say "Bad memory?"

                                    The issue:

                                    Rule never fires (nor should it.) A problem message should point out that out of world actions require zero turns, or, ask the author if she instead meant 'for the second time'.

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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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                                      • (Bibliography/Babel Treaty) Default Story Creation Year to compile year

                                        The variable 'story creation year' is automatically available in I7 but defaults to 0 if the author does not set it. Is it possible to have this default to compile year?

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                                        • Add phrases for writing and appending indexed text to a file

                                          The current phrases accept only text, so to output indexed text one must store the value in a global and use a substitution or else drop down to I6.

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