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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:19 pm
by Dejaduo
ralphmerridew wrote:Dejaduo: What exactly do you mean by "in the absence of documentation"? Considering that one of the big draws of I7 is that the documentation is extensive and well-integrated into the IDE (400 plus examples which can be run at the press of a button), I consider evaluating I7 without its documentation to be equivalent to evaluating a sprinter without his right leg.


Inform 7 is well documented both internally and by third parties. My post where I wrote that, I was specifically talking about making an extremely simple one room, few object game. A tutorial. Inform 7's documentation doesn't have a beginner's tutorial. There are Inform 7 tutorials in existence, but you have to seek them out.

It could be argued that such instructions are in the documentation, but there's not a step by step paste this etc type of construct. The instructions they have in there are for unrelated games and it's to the user to interpret this to their own game.

So I would have to say with the included documentation, making an extremely simple game, ADRIFT probably has the edge on Inform.

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:16 pm
by ralphmerridew
Recipe Book -> Section 1.3 (Disenchantment Bay)
Go through the various steps. Usually it's "click paste button on each step", but there are a few times when you get the entire source code (including right at the end).

Where is the tutorial in the ADRIFT documentation?

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:28 pm
by David Whyld
For ADRIFT 4, I wouldn't say a tutorial is needed (I certainly never needed one and I'm hardly the Einstein of the programming world).

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:03 pm
by Dejaduo
ralphmerridew wrote:Recipe Book -> Section 1.3 (Disenchantment Bay)
Go through the various steps. Usually it's "click paste button on each step", but there are a few times when you get the entire source code (including right at the end).

Where is the tutorial in the ADRIFT documentation?


Oh yeah, that's not bad. Wow that's a little hard to find. Sometimes I do think the documentation of Inform could be better, especially in the cases where seemingly identical code doesn't compile, or simply looking for a tutorial like this.

As for the documentation of ADRIFT, I agree, creating a simple few room few object game doesn't need a lot of documentation in ADRIFT.

What really gets me in the form-based systems like ADRIFT or Quest is when you're getting into complex task logic (they call them scripts in Quest). It's not all that easy to figure out.

The other thing I prefer in Inform is I can copy & paste large chunks of code from anywhere to anywhere. And while I can duplicate objects in ADRIFT, all this opening windows and so on gets annoying. I prefer a text editor.

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:46 pm
by ralphmerridew
"Cases where seemingly identical code doesn't compile" are like "cases where seemingly matching ALRs aren't triggering". There isn't much that documentation can say other than "No, it's not identical; keep looking or ask for help".

(When you ran into your problems, were you following the procedure of "Clear out the source pane (if necessary); click on the paste button for that example; click on the go button", or were you trying to retype it?)

Okay: How about "Open up 'Writing with Inform'. Skim through chapters 1 and 2. In chapter 3.1, click on the square button a little left of 'Cave Entrance'. Click 'Go'. You've now created a small adventure with a few rooms and objects. Go through the examples similarly. Usually, you should clear the source panel before pasting a new example, except that some of the Disenchantment Bay examples should be pasted into the source to the previous version. The Disenchantment Bay examples are all grouped together in the Recipe Book, section 1.3."

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:28 pm
by Dejaduo
Inform's spacing requirements bug me to no end. Being a web developer, in HTML, more than one space is essentially ignored. So HTML essentially doesn't care what you do. Inform, on the other hand, gets very picky when it comes to structures and spaces.

Take the following example. This code compiles in Inform 7:
Code: Select all
Instead of entering the car:
   if the driver's door is open:
      if the player in Highway55a:
         say "You sit on the driver's seat.";
         now the player is in the car-room;
      otherwise:
         say "You're already sitting in the car." instead;
   otherwise:
      say "The car door is closed." instead.


But this code does not:
Code: Select all
Instead of entering the car:
   if the driver's door is open:
      if the player in Highway55a:
         say "You sit on the driver's seat.";
         now the player is in the car-room;

      otherwise:
         say "You're already sitting in the car." instead;
   otherwise:
      say "The car door is closed." instead.

and all I did was introduce a blank line. This sort of thing is really hard to track down in Inform, because the error message the compiler gives is really vague. Here's Inform's response to that change:

Code: Select all
This is the report produced by Inform 7 (build 6G60) on its most recent run through:

In Chapter 5 - Starting room - Your car, Section 1 - The Car:

Problem. The phrase or rule definition 'otherwise'   is written using the 'colon and indentation' syntax for its 'if's, 'repeat's and 'while's, where blocks of phrases grouped together are indented one tab step inward from the 'if ...:' or similar phrase to which they belong. But the tabs here seem to be misaligned, and I can't determine the structure. The first phrase going awry in the definition seems to be 'say "You're already sitting in the car." instead'  , in case that helps.

 This sometimes happens even when the code looks about right, to the eye, if rows of spaces have been used to indent phrases instead of tabs.


Huh? Yeah that really helped.

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:50 pm
by ralphmerridew
I can understand that being annoying.

Two separate issues: blank lines and mismatching indentation.

1) I7 takes the position that blank lines end blocks of code. This problem is pretty easy to detect, though; clicking on the first arrow image will take you to a space right below a blank line.

2) Don't use spaces to indent. If you tend to get tripped up by indentation, consider using begin / end type blocks instead.

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:25 pm
by Dejaduo
I used spaces in the example because tabs dont represent in the forum.

Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:33 pm
by rotter
ralphmerridew wrote:(Also, part of it may be that you need to unlearn habits from ADRIFT; Target for one seemed to be something that was much more complex than it would be in Inform or TADS.)


This is a very good point, Target would have been dead easy in Inform. In fact I may have actually been able to write a game around the idea if I done it in Inform.