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  1. (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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                  • Increase the ease of using action names (as variables, in tables, in switch-style if blocks)

                    It seems quite painful to try to construct an action from a collection of its parts (actor, action name, noun, second noun). The closest thing is the provided "try X <verb>ing Y <preposition> Z", such as:

                    let new actor be the youngest person in the location;
                    let new noun be a random edible thing;
                    let new second noun be a random animal in the location;
                    try new actor giving new noun to new second noun.

                    However, the usability of this phrase is sharply limited due to difficulties in using an action name variable with it. The "giving" action name must…

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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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                        • (Parsing) Allow OOPS to be turned off

                          The option to remove OOPS mistake-handling from the parser's
                          behavior, with a line such as

                          Use no oops command.

                          (And/or one might want to be able to assign a different word this function,
                          for ease of foreign language translation.)

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                            planned  ·  0 comments  ·  Admin →
                          • (Parsing) A way to restart the command sequence

                            That is, a way to abandon the current action(s) and begin command
                            processing all over again with a new input. The activity "after reading a
                            player's command" is already capable of modifying the command text, but
                            that happens before the command is converted into an action, and well
                            before action processing starts. So at present, something like this is
                            impossible:

                            Instead of taking a candle, reparse the player's command as "get lamp".

                            For instance, in an extension to deal with new player input, you might have
                            determined that a player has used a recognized noun and a recognized verb,
                            but…

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                              This is always likely to be tricky, and the user of such a feature would
                              need to keep in mind that earlier rules might already have changed the
                              model world, or printed text; so the current action would not be magically
                              undone, but only abandoned part-way. However, we agree to explore this
                              suggestion; it might further be possible to give the player multiple commands
                              to perform, using a full stop between commands (but not a slash as found in
                              test commands).

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                                We try, but there are some things that are surprisingly hard problems linguistically. Where there are specific examples of misbehavior, we are willing to look at them.

                              • (World model) Better conversation handling in the library

                                The current system is pretty rudimentary and hard to develop anything complex with.

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                                  Planned, sort of: that is, we are working on an extension that could be bundled with Inform, but would not add bulk to the standard rules for those who do not want it.

                                • (World model/Programming) Make Inform 6's Scope_reason visible

                                  To facilitate some existing scope issues, Inform 6's scope_reason should be exposed at the I7 level, as seen in Ron Newcomb's "Scope Control" extension, here:

                                  http://inform7.com/extensions/Ron%20Newcomb/Scope%20Control/source.txt

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                                  • (Syntax) Translate the phrase body of "which description is..." into a state machine implementation

                                    I think I briefly mentioned this a long time ago, but given the news
                                    that closures will be added in a future version, I think it ought to
                                    be restated in depth: I propose adding an NI feature to facilitate
                                    writing "to decide which description is..." phrases, by translating
                                    the phrase body into a state machine implementation based around a
                                    closure.

                                    (Caution: long technical discussion follows, some based on speculation
                                    about I7 features yet to come. For now, this is just something to
                                    think about, and possibly -- I hope -- refer back to some time after
                                    this upcoming release.)

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                                      1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                    • (Namespace) Make compiler smarter about abbreviating object names

                                      Have the compiler allow abbreviations where they're unambiguous but
                                      choose the shortest match otherwise. For instance, if we have:

                                      The car key is a thing.

                                      And somewhere else:

                                      The car is a thing.

                                      Then could the compiler be made to assume that, since there's an identifier
                                      called 'car', 'car' by itself always refers to the car and never to the car
                                      key (although 'car' could otherwise be taken as a reference to the 'car key'
                                      if 'car' had not been defined as a separate identifier).

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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →

                                        This is a good idea but very difficult to implement; we will see whether it
                                        turns out to be possible.

                                        There are also possible hazards. At present, ambiguous names are resolved partly
                                        by seeing what names are closer in the source text; this is useful in resolving
                                        ambiguities between extensions and the main source. We are concerned that
                                        implementing this feature might introduce errors which the current implementation
                                        resolves correctly.

                                      • (IDE) Skein accessibility

                                        Work to make the skein more accessible to visually-impaired users: currently it is not useful to them.

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                                        • (Programming) Allow conditionless definitions

                                          To allow definitions such as

                                          Definition: the orange is citrus.

                                          including no condition at all.

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                                            planned  ·  0 comments  ·  Admin →
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