a dumb MESSAGE in the RIGHT place

here’s a dumb question.

Is there a way to align center or align right in the z-machine?

I’m gonna assume ‘no’ because the word “align” shows up a number of times in the documentation built into inform, and that number is zero.

“Basic Screen Effects by Emily Short” has some options for the Z-machine to display centred text, albeit only in a monospaced font. Not sure about right-aligned, but it does make available the width of the screen, so you might be able to use that to do what you want.

As mirality says, there are a handful of facilites to do that on the z-machine. The reason is that the z-machine was designed to be portable: it makes no assumptions about its running environment.

I suspect one of the reasons for the growing popularity of Glulx (other than the lack of size constraints) is that Glulx allows the programmer more leeway in these things. Frameworks like Glimmr and Vorple can do a lot more than the z-machine could.