Can Style Preferences Collide with Performance

As I work through a few tutorials on Inform 7, I’ve started to adopt some conventions that make navigating and reading my source text easy.

For example:

  • I’ve started to write the first two hierarchical Heading types in all caps to make them stand out in the Contents view
  • I like to segregate topics very liberally using headings. I tend to break down my rooms into sections like this:

I like these conventions because they improve scannability and searching.



Castle Grounds is a region.

Part 1 - Entrance Hall 

Entrance Hall is a room in Castle Grounds.

Chapter 1 - Entrance Hall Description

The description of Entrance Hall is "a flowery but brief description here..."

Chapter 2 - Entrance Hall Props

A suit of armor is in the Entrance Hall.

Chapter 3 - Entrance Hall Scenery

A line of colored banners is scenery in Entrance Hall.

Early in story development, these choices don’t matter much. The automatic heading numbering is snappy, and navigation is a breeze. As I get to the end of a project, I notice that the formatting of headings requires minor tweaks every time I use a heading keyword. The heading keyword does not appear in bold text as expected unless I add and remove a space in front of the name.

These are minor annoyances, but they got me thinking… maybe there is a technical reason why I should be less liberal when using headings. Have you found that using fewer headings improves performance?


I haven’t experienced that yet; I have a very large project with a similar amount of headings. I don’t use automatic numbering; have you checked to see if you still need to use the space and delete it when not using automatic numbering?

For reference, I use the inform 7 ide on windows. My apologies if you’ve already tried this!

Well, for what it’s worth, it certainly can’t interfere with the performance of the final game. The headers are exclusively to help you while you’re writing it.

I also haven’t seen this issue, but it sounds like an IDE bug, which can hopefully be fixed soon—all the IDEs, to my knowledge, are currently under active development.

I’ll try unchecking the auto-numbering setting @mathbrush. If it matters, I’m on macOS. I have a Windows VM but have not installed Inform for Windows yet.

And @Draconis, I agree… it is a bug. I’m still confused about how bug reporting works for Inform 7. As a GitHub user, I’m used to filing GitHub Issues (and I see a number of them reported in the Inform 7 GitHub repositories). But I’ve seen that the “official” reporting tool is Jira. I wonder if the GitHub issues get reviewed or ignored. I can’t tell.

Thanks to both of you for weighing in on this!

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