Adventureland.inf example history

An Inform port of Scott Adams’ Adventureland has been one of the standard examples available alongside Inform 6 (and pre-6?) since (I guess) time immemorial.

The IF Archive (inf/z5), and current bundles like inform6-6.41-r11.tar.gz (Jan 2024), have source/binary versions identified as release 1 / serial number 961111.

I’ve been spelunking through ancient Acorn User cover-discs (I know I’m not the first to do this), and on their third CD (accompanying issue 188, Dec 1997) have found both a .z5 and .inf source for an apparently slightly newer version, release 4 / serial number 970702, accompanying an Acorn build of Inform 6.14.
(The IF material on this CD was prepared by Graham Nelson, at the time a frequent Acorn User contributor. I assume this Adventureland port is his, although it’s not stated explicitly.)

Despite the large version number bump, the changes seem small. The source code’s revision history says “Two tiny bugs fixed: 2.9.97”; from the source code differences, the bug fixes concern (a) the lamp and (b) bees.

I’m inclined to upload these to the IF Archive (to infocom/compilers/inform6/examples and games/zcode) to replace the current versions (which would of course also be preserved) – there doesn’t seem value in continuing to promote a known-buggy version.
However, I’ve never worked with Inform 6, so I’m not particularly familiar with its history or distribution. For all I know this or a newer version of Adventureland.inf is already available (perhaps included in some Inform 6 distribution package, I haven’t looked) even if it’s not in the obvious places; or perhaps changing this after 28 years would be a bad idea for some reason.
Do any Inform 6 people think I shouldn’t do this? (Particularly looking at @DavidK)

(I also wonder if these bug fixes would be sufficient to address the “WARNING! The Z-Code conversion of this game is certifiably buggy” comment on the Adventureland IFDB entry.)

Other standard example source files are also present on this CD, but don’t seem very interestingly different from / newer than current versions.

(I fell down this rabbit-hole researching the 1996 Acorn User IF Competition. I’ve already recovered a couple of works from that that didn’t seem to be in the online collections. But any discussion on that probably belongs in another thread.)


No objection from me, this seems like an entirely good idea.


Yeah. I love these games, but having no idea how trustworthy any of the i6 ports were, and no easy way to check bar extensive playing, has prevented me even bothering with the Inform ports.

The first port I tried against a known game was Strange Odyssey, and it was missing important effects only three rooms in. That particular game may have been a poor choice, since a lot of ports struggle with it, and for instance @Angstsmurf just recently fixed Spatterlight to deal with some of its, and other, Adams games quirks.

So I continue to play these on an Apple II emulator via the commercial versions released in the day. Which is fun for the Apple II veteran in me, but there’s no UNDO and save management is a pain. That’s where the Inform versions could’ve been of use.


If there’s a newer version, and it appears to be an “official” version, then I think it should be updated.

Congratulations on finding all those Acorn User comp winners, as well. I was missing a few and remember searching for them years ago without any success. It’s a pity that all the non-winning games were never published anywhere. They would have been interesting curiosities.

I’ve now done this.
The new r4 files (Adventureland.inf, Adventureland.z5) replace the r1 ones, which are now at old/Adventureland-r1-961111.inf, old/Adventureland-r1-961111.z5 in their respective directories.

(I’ve also uploaded a bunch of previously unarchived, mostly-older, versions of other games of the era from the CDs; these can currently be seen in the IF Archive’s files by date (last week) report.)