Dialog Kudos

When I first looked at Dialog, I was dismayed by the idea that the author was responsible for describing pristine items as part of their room descriptions. In fact, I started on an extension to do it the same way as Inform does.

But I abandoned that, and have found that the Dialog way is superior; it gives you the ability to perfectly craft item descriptions into room descriptions in a way that you can’t really do in Inform. Conditional logic in Dialog is so superior to Inform that it’s possible to create really seamless descriptions with or without those pristine objects … without having to add layers of “rules to order pristine items” and “rules to group pristine items” and etc. from Inform.

And, of course, Dialog text is so much less fiddly because of how it deals with whitespace. Inform strings with conditionals are always pretty hairy (do I need a space before that period or not?).

My day job is coding Clojure (Lisp on the JVM) and there is a big parallel there; Clojure is about your data, and making it easy to manipulate that data, then it gets out of your way. Dialog does the same: your data, your prose, your rules, and otherwise, it gets out of the way.

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