"Bookmarks" in the code (asked and answered)

To anyone’s knowledge, is there a proper channel for submitting a feature request for Inform 8? (saw Graham’s NarraScope seminar and it seems like he’s wrestling with philosophies larger than my basic request below).

And just to be sure it’s not an existing feature in Inform 7 and I’ve missed it entirely:

I would greatly enjoy a bookmarking system in the editor where I could add “jump-to” points. My game has gotten rather big (and is only getting bigger) and being able to quickly move to blocks in the middle of my code when I need to would be lovely. Perhaps piggybacking the headings system.

And… I totally missed this in the documentation: Secondly, headings are used in the Contents page of the Index, and they allow rapid navigation through the source, by jumping to any heading or subheading with a single click.

Turns out that I really do need to follow up on my Narrascope-inspired, note-to-self of “explore the Index section in I7”. Going to leave this post here to highlight my shame.

(P.S. In my defense, “Contents” doesn’t populate until you actually execute the game so I hadn’t noticed.)

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I don’t know that there is right now. There used to be a Uservoice forum for suggestions, but it became pretty moribund partly due to limitations on free Uservoice accounts, and when the website crashed and got rebuilt the Uservoice forum was one of the things that went away.

The post announcing the new website says that they are beginning to build a new one, so hopefully that will include a way to request features again! Or I suppose that when Inform goes open source, that in itself will provide a way to request features.

The next release is going to be called Inform 7 version 7.10, as far as I know.

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Something I dislike about the contents-based navigation is that when you use it to jump to a section it hides all the sections outside of the one you clicked, and seemingly the only way to get back to the full view is to go back to the contents and select the full story, which also jumps you back to the top. (And yes, you can still navigate to previous/next sections, but this is not entirely consistent if you have different levels of section, like parts and chapters and sections.)

So mostly I navigate using Find instead. Occasionally I’ll set the right-hand pane to also be a Source tab so that I can have two locations open simultaneously.

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As handy as this mode is, I do wish you could have the two panes focused on different sections of code. Occasionally, you want to be able to look at definitions in one section of the source while working in another, and then you’re back to scrolling. (At least on MacOS. I don’t know if the Windows or Linux versions are better.)

You can, though. That’s exactly what I said I do…

In the MacOS version, if you have both panes viewing code and use Contents to go to a heading, then both panes go to that heading. Same for arrows.

So you can look at two parts of the code, but you can’t use use the headings to get to the part you want quickly.

Huh, interesting. The Windows version doesn’t do that, the two panes stay independent.

Ok, I’m necro-replying on my own post just because I’ve now spent a few months more in I7 and want to more-confidently reassert a desire for a code bookmarking system. Index>>Contents with headings does accomplish this, but only if you’ve successfully run the game. Often I’m mid-stream working on code and can’t successfully run the game, but need to jump to another section for reference. In that case, Index>>Contents doesn’t work if you’ve loaded a new session of I7. Ideally headings are recognized regardless of the code successfully executing, or they’re at least retained from the last time the game was successfully launched, new session or not.

Putting that out into the I7 ether.

There should be an option in the preferences (Advanced section) to “Clean build files from the project before closing”, and a sub-option to “Also clean out index files”. If you turn that one off, the index will still be there next time it starts.

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You and your intimate knowledge of Inform has poked a hole in my complaint.

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