Alternative Library for TADS 3

The next version (0.2) of the public beta of adv3Lite, an alternative (and simpler) library for TADS 3 is now available for download from If you wish you can view the change log at, or find out more information at

Thanks for the great work, Eric. I’m not working on a game at the moment, so I may not explore this library for a while, but I’m sure it will be useful to a number of aspiring authors.

I like the work being done on this: but at this rate won’t it be just as “complicated” as some say that the regular adv3 library is? It feels like now I would have to learn two different aspects of TADS 3 rather than just figure out the existing library.

Is there really a benefit to this for people new to TADS? Has a call been made for those who have never given TADS 3 a shot because of fear of it being too complicated to try out adv3lite? That’s going to give you your best feedback, after all.

I’m not denying the work that’s gone into this and Eric has once again stepped up to the plate to provide lots of material. I’m just wondering what real benefit there is to this library. Put another way: what’s a concise way to explain to someone why ADV3lite should be used over just learning ADV3 (which really isn’t as complicated as some like to make it).

What’s the elevator speech for Adv3lite?

At this point I’m deliberately not marketing adv3Lite at all aggressively to its target audience (people who find the adv3 library a bit too overwhelming) because I don’t think it’s ready for them yet. Such people aren’t going to be helped or encouraged by grappling with a library that’s buggy and still has a lot of rough edges. The only way to make it less buggy and to smooth off the rough edges is to get the thing thoroughly beta tested. That’s why I’ve advertised it here as a public beta, in the hope that some people will be public-spirited enough, and others simply curious enough, to give it a go and give me some feedback on what they find so I can improve it to the extent that it can be pushed at its ultimate target audience (at least, that’s one reason for releasing the public beta; I’ll discuss the other in the other thread).

With the wisdom of hindsight I obviously should have made it clearer I was looking for kind volunteers to help test adv3Lite, since there’s a limit to how much testing I can usefully do on my own!

Well, right – but that’s why you get feedback from the target audience. That’s how you’ll know when it is ready for them. :slight_smile: Acceptance-based development is a fairly powerful technique, particularly when much of what you are doing you hope will find acceptance with a particular audience. I would rather know early on that I’m on the wrong path, or at least, an ineffective path rather than waiting until it’s all done. (That said, the Inform 7 development team also seems to lack an embracing of an agile methodology. Maybe that’s been found not be effective in text adventure engine development?)

Unless they are encouraged by being allowed input and encouraged to see something “simpler” is being developed that they feel they are actively learning as it forms, making it even less complicated to learn when it’s all done.

Just trying to give a different view here. I’m not saying your approach is “wrong” because I think each development group has to find the path they feel works best.

No-one’s being disallowed input. This a public beta and everyone’s welcome to give it a go and send me their feedback and suggestions, and that includes anyone new to TADS 3 or new to IF. That is, however, a different matter from actively encouraging newcomers to use adv3Lite rather than adv3 when adv3Lite is still so rough round the edges and in need of thorough beta-testing.