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  1. Add Use options to control compilation

    During the work on the German extension we sometimes met the point where it
    would be nice if the author could determine whether certain sections of the
    extension code would be compiled or ignored just by setting a use option
    (like one can exclude or include sections for the use with a certain
    extension or story file format).

    For example:

    The use option traditional kinds translates as (- Constant
    TRADITIONAL_KINDS; -).

    […]

    Section – New kinds (for use without the traditional kinds option)

    […]

    6 votes
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    • (Namespace) Addition of namespace control

      "namespaces", or some other way to help prevent ambiguities. We
      listed this in the previous consultation document: the idea was to perhaps
      create some concept of namespace, which would in particular help prevent
      names in one extension from interfering with names in another.

      6 votes
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        Since the initial discussion, there have been some changes to the way that Inform resolves its
        ambiguities, and it may be that this is no longer felt to be as necessary; we
        have heard fewer complaints about namespace clashes recently. So we’re
        curious. Is this still a pressing concern? We would prefer to avoid
        complicating the language more than necessary, but at the same time want it to
        be as practically useful as possible.

      • (IDE/Compiler) Mark errors in the source code with a red underline

        This would make it faster and easier to track down trivial errors than having to mouse over to the "Problems" pane and click on the tiny orange arrow.

        6 votes
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        • recognize "more" and "most" for comparatives and superlatives (or allow hand-rolled definitions

          Section 6.8 of Writing with Inform recommends that we choose our adjectives carefully if we want to use comparatives and superlatives, as Inform will turn "spacious" into "spaciouser" and "spaciousest." But rather than force the author to think of a word that will work well with Inform's declension algorithm, why not automatically recognize "more [adjective]" and "most [adjective]" as comparatives and superlatives? Or perhaps it might be possible to allow hand-rolled comparatives and superlatives, thus: "A person is good (better, best) if its alignment is more than 3."

          6 votes
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            1 comment  ·  Admin →
          • The IDE interpreter should reject invalid Glk calls

            There are several common mistake patterns for erroneous Glk calls:

            - Calling a window function (e.g. glk_window_clear) with a window argument of zero, or a window argument that doesn't refer to a real window

            - Ditto for stream and sound-channel function.

            - Printing to a text window which is awaiting line input.

            These are fatal errors on some Glk libraries, but are ignored on others. (Or they're ignored by default, with a "strict mode" preference.) This leads authors into a trap, like the "vile zero" situation on the Z-machine a decade ago.

            To avoid this, the IDE interpreter's Glk library…

            6 votes
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            • Save per-project window position and size

              The IDE should remember the position and size of each project window across app restarts, so that the next time you open a project, its window appears in the same place on the desktop when you last quit (or crashed).

              6 votes
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                1 comment  ·  Admin →
              • Allow literal string parameters in say substitutions

                It is currently possible to define a say-phrase with a number parameter:

                To say numphrase (N - number): ...

                You can then invoke it:

                say "String containing [numphrase 7]."

                Object parameters and many other types also work. However, if you define a text parameter:

                To say textphrase (T - text):

                ...you can do:

                let V be "hello";
                say "String containing [textphrase V]."

                ...but you *cannot* do:

                say "String containing [textphrase 'hello']."

                (Nor do double quotes work there.)

                This form would be nice for creating text filters (rot13), and maybe future effects like named hyperlinks or named styles.

                6 votes
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                • Improve sound support and playback in the IDE

                  The three user interface applications differ with each other on the
                  extent to which they can play back sound effects in the Game panel:

                  (a) On Mac OS X, sounds are not played back; messages are printed instead.
                  While we would like to address this, issues with Apple's CoreAudio
                  and licensing problems with APIs present frustrating challenges.
                  (b) On Gnome for Linux, nothing happens; but it's expected that sound
                  playback will be easier to add.
                  (c) On Windows, sounds are played back normally, and there's no issue.

                  5 votes
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                    1 comment  ·  Admin →
                  • (Gnome/IDE) Optimise embedded testing interpreter performance, e.g. by allowing disabling the Skein entirely

                    The IDE's embedded testing interpreter is very sluggish on this otherwise reasonably fast i3 laptop, making the testing annoying if you want to skip fast through things.

                    The standalone glulxe for the very same game on the same computer is blazingly fast.

                    Please optimize the embedded testing interpreter performance and offer settings for performance tweaking, e.g. by allowing the IDE user to disable the Skein entirely to speed up things.

                    5 votes
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                    • 5 votes
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                        This is currently in progress as an extension, “Damusix”, by a Spanish
                        team. We continue to think that it is best for this kind of feature to
                        exist through extensions rather than as part of the core library, but we
                        are very pleased to see the work that has been done and wish the best to
                        Eliuk Blau and others working on the project.

                      • Have a "slow execution" option for the IDE interpreter

                        Since the I7 compiler itself is pretty CPU-heavy, authors tend to run it on powerful desktop machines. The IDE interpreters therefore give no indication of how the game will play on slower (especially mobile) interpreters.

                        Even an uncalibrated "slow me down" slider would be helpful. Calibrating it would be trickier, but nice.

                        5 votes
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                        • Thoroughly document topics, or make them far more intuitive

                          Topics have been giving me some difficulty, and they receive scant attention in the documentation other than for easy cases which can be explained whilst glossing over their true nature. They work very intuitively if you are simply attempting to place them as the column of a table and follow the excellent example code. They do not work at all intuitively otherwise, since they are fundamentally a function and this nature is not sufficiently hidden from, or explained to, the user.

                          Examples:

                          - It is gently implied that "the topic understood" is a topic, when it is in fact a…

                          5 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Admin →
                          • (Programming) Ability to make collective statements about regions

                            As in

                            The flooring object of a room in the outdoors is usually the ground.

                            5 votes
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                            • Permit extensions to insist on a specific build of Inform

                              We can already parenthetically note that a build requires a certain target. Since there are a number of breakpoints where having a certain *source* matters, it would be great to have an extension mark which text is for, say, 5Z and which is for 6E, and compile on both.

                              5 votes
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                                1 comment  ·  Admin →
                              • (IDE) Allow the (easy) extraction of the prose from the code.

                                It would be useful to have a simple command to extract all the prose (non-code text) from the source, to let proofreader have a list of sentences instead of having them rummage through code or play the game and hope to find all text. This is done with Perl, i.e., but an in IDE simple menu item would be better.

                                5 votes
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                                • Reduce unnecessary disambiguation requests

                                  Parsing should respect the semantics of the library actions.

                                  When only one item out of the candidates is valid (according to the semantics of the action) then it is unnecessary to request disambiguation. E.g opening a door when only one door is closed.

                                  In 6G60 here are some fixes I found, (desiderata: use the most unlikely likelihood so users can override)

                                  [why not "opening a closed thing: it is likely"?
                                  a closed thing can be unopenable so it isn't necessarily possible that the player can open it
                                  ]
                                  Does the player mean opening an open thing: it is very unlikely. …

                                  5 votes
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                                  • Understand "offstage" or "off stage"

                                    The compiler understands "off-stage" as meaning "removed from play," but it's easy to write "offstage" by mistake and then be confused - perhaps not even knowing that there is a correct phrasing. A compiler error suggesting the use of "off-stage" would probably be best, put perhaps synonyms would work better for some people (or be easier to implement).

                                    5 votes
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                                    • [testing] Let 'undo' work within 'test me'

                                      Having 'undo' available in the Skein is very useful for testing purposes, but there's no way to save that transcript in a 'test me' construct, or even to use 'undo' and 'test me' together, since the two don't play well with each other. This forces me to only use the Skein if I want to test multiple paths with undo. The Skein is awesome; don't get me wrong; but it would be nice if 'test me' had the same range of flexibility.

                                      5 votes
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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                      • (IDE) Recompile on changes to included extensions

                                        When the author presses ``Go!,'' the IDE checks for changes to the
                                        main story file and, if it finds none, saves time by not rebuilding
                                        the story file. For an extension developer, however, the main story
                                        oftens sits untouched, and the included code does the changing. It
                                        would be nice not to have to make trivial source text edits to force a
                                        recompile. ni already produces the necessary dependency information
                                        in the form of ``I've also read'' lines.

                                        4 votes
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                                        • (IDE) Add the ability to search the document pane currently visible

                                          A search function that would allow the user to search the document pane currently visible for a given keyword - for instance, the Actions pane of the Index.

                                          4 votes
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