Relearn Inform 7

I was fairly proficient in it and had a fairly medium size hobby project in Inform 7 a long time ago back when Inform 7 was new. I stopped working in Inform because I lost faith it was ever going to be floss. For lengthy background on the history of Inform and it’s licensing dillemas see

Graham Nelson has however announced that he is in the final stages of cleaning up his code for release under the Artistic 2.0 license. In fact it looks like it might be coming this fall. See: A New Hope | Inform 7

I adore interactive fiction and really admired the hell out of Inform 7. Ive kinda been waiting on this for a long time. For many years if you searched the net for Inform 7’s floss status several of my own screennames would be the first results.

I wanna relearn it and hit the ground running when the floss release lands.

Read enough of the creative commons “Inform 7 Handbook” to get started.

Get the IDE running in Mageia. This has challenges see:

Create something
Share that something

woah! early enthusiast ^^

can’t wait to play through what you make!

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Getting the Inform7 IDE to build from source can be kinda of tricky on a modern distribution. Largely because it still has gtk2 dependencies. Those wouldn’t be so bad but the very ancient webkit/gtk bindings are very headachy and no distribution packages them, which means one would have to backtrack and build ancient webkit. Bad news indeed.

ASSIDE: Webkit is mostly used for documentation here. Full blown webkit for documentation markup is overkill. Im trying not to repeat my dreams of a lighter weight markup language for such use casses ad nauseum, but MAN it would be great right here. Maybe though everyone made a mistake in dumping simple stable html rendering engines like gtkhtml.

There has been some initial work done to port the whole thing over to gtk3 as well as a newer webkit, started last year. But its nowhere near ready. See:

While im not the biggest fan of them, this makes the flatpak the best option for running it.

Though by default this particular flatpak’s permissions are surprisingly restrictive for an IDE. See this thread about loosening them.

I had some initial headaches getting the Flatpak to theme correctly, but those issues dissapeared; don’t know what I did. I had thought theming GTK2 apps still wasn’t entirely supported in Flatpak, but can no longer find the bug that lead me to believe that.

Mageia 7 stabilized in the middle of these experiments and I had a few package updates. Maybe something therein helped me out.

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I’m through the bulk of the introduction of the Inform 7 Handbook by the way, it’s very much geared at beginners so their is a lot of “What is this Interactive Fiction” stuff anyway and lots of discussion of file formats and so forth. It’s pretty valuable though in terms of learning what has changed in the IDE in the intervening decade or so since I last touched it. Finally getting into code.

Ive read enough of the Inform 7 book I think to start building the skeleton of something. But im kind of in a holding pattern till the FLOSS release happens. Should be 2-6 weeks away.

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THIS is tempting: National MUD Building Month is unleashed! : interactivefiction

NaMuBuMo, despite the word MUD being in the title, is just about building a world; not a sandbox world multiple people log in to for interaction but the world and the stories and lore that the world is comprised of. To participate you need to know absolutely nothing about MUDs or building a multiplayer, online system.

This is a no-coding event. That isn’t to say you can’t do any coding but you can build your world with any technology or any existing system such as typical Interactive Fiction tools like Inform7 or head to Written Realms and build out a world there using their intuitive web interface. As long as other people can either access it or download it to experience your world you’re good to go.

Inform 7 should be free software pretty much ANY DAY now. So maybe…

I’ve been continuing to monitor Inform7 and it’s liberation is on the verge of running late. Though the self imposed deadline of Autumn still has a week or two left; and id be quite amused still if it dropped near solstice/christmas. Not unlike how Debian Lenny had some accidental synergy with Valentines day and their own release schedule.