[Announce] Babble

Hi, there !

I’ve created a tiny tool being able to create iFiction files with their corresponding ifID.


I had been thinking about how to organize bibliographical information within a game file when you’re not using an authoring system that keeps track of the information for you (Inform 7 and TADS 3). This look useful. I’ll definitely have to look into it if I ever manage to get my IF project ready to release.


But remember that babble does only generate the .ifiction file with the data you fill in, and the corresponding, valid ifID. You need a blorb packager to complete the task.

You will get the most benefits of Babble if you combine it with bresc:


Bresc is compatible with the typical resource file from blc/bres. If you add a simple line such as this one:

bib adventure.ifiction

…to your res file (being adventure.ifiction the ifiction file you just generated with Babble), and repackage with bresc, then you’ll be done. Your zblorb or gblorb file will be ready to use.

I’ve been wondering for a long time how to manually accommodate the bibliographical metadata with a system that doesn’t store that information automatically or support blorb. I wrote my other post in this thread quickly; I wasn’t very clear. I meant that, as far as I can tell, only Inform 7 and TADS 3 really accommodate Babel information. Isn’t Inform the only one that uses blorb at all? I believe ALAN 3 also generates a random IFID for each project, but I don’t know if it stores the other information.

An author using ADRIFT or Hugo could of course print the IFID in the game banner, and at least could store the other bibliographical information as constants (or something similar), to be displayed by a game command. Is there anything else that could or should be done?

For the record, I’m trying to use Hugo. :wink:

Hi !

Mmm… that sounds difficult. Anyway, I have to say that I don’t know very well any other system than I6 (and well, other spanish ones that are not very famous here).

I think that the ifiction file should be included in the blorb file. You could borbalize the hugo if piece and the ifiction file, and that would work for the metadata, but would probably render your game unusable (unless it is manually unblorbed before).

What I am trying to tell you is that the authoring system should follow the treaty of Babel, if it does not, I think there is little to do.


Yes, but it must generate an ifiction file, containing at least the sections ifentification (ifID) and bibliographic (author and title). This is mandatory.

They can display that information as you say, but I’m afraid that does not mean they are following the standard. That means that the interpreter won’t be able to display the metadata when you select that game.

Again, AFAIK, authoring systems must me modified before using Babel. I think that the easiest way would be to just modify the interpreters, so they are able to extract the game from the blorb file and then play it.

Another way would be to modify a multi-platform interpreter, such as Gargoyle, and make it unblorb the game before playing it with the appropriate interpreter, provided they are one of that systems that apparently do not support Babel (Hugo, in this case). The main advantage is that would left the authoring system untouched. The main disadvantage is that it puts the complexity over the shoulders of the Gargoyle programmer.

Anyway, I again say that I have no deep knowledge about all of these authoring systems, so take it with a grain of salt.


Thanks, Baltasar. That’s very helpful. :slight_smile:

From what I make of the Hugo documentation, the only meta information the Hugo Engine (interpreter) can be made aware of is the title of the work. Inform and TADS interpreters are good at making use of the meta information generated by the systems. The ADRIFT Runner appears to only know the title, author, and date that the game file was last modified.

This may be somewhat unfortunate, but I don’t think it’s a terribly big deal. If the meta data is displayed prominently enough by the game and is accurately recorded on websites such as the IFID and IF Wiki, the bibliographical information will be able to serve its purpose.

I just glanced at the Treaty of Babel text. I didn’t read the whole thing; I didn’t even skim through much of it, but I noticed this:

The only level that requires an authoring system and interpreter that fully support Babel is the second of the three, the “local” level. The author of a given work can manually supply meta information internally within the game and externally on archival websites.

For my part, I’ll do my best to accommodate the treaty on my own, and I won’t worry that my project won’t fully or officially follow the standard. I’ll store my own metadata within the source code with constants, display at least some of it in the banner, display all of it with a game command, and include it in any documentation. I’ll simply display my cover art above the opening text of the game, and the interpreter will be none the wiser. Of course, I’ll make sure the IFID has the correct data. I’ll be following the spirit of the treaty, if not the letter. :wink:

And I’ll be extraordinarily happy if I ever get to the point in development that I’m actually ready to do something about bibliographic matters.

Hi !

Well, I wasnt’ aware of that. It’s fantastic that you can still add metadata that way. The only unfortunate thing is that won’t be displayed by Zoom, for example, when the game is selected. Or maybe yes, provided the metadata file is named after the game file. I simply don’t know.

I wish you make it!