Let’s say I want to write a program that interfaces with ni, the Inform 7 compiler. For example, a Python script that generates an Inform source then compiles it (another example could be Playfic, but I don’t really know if it uses ni directly).
So is there a place where I can download ni or am I forced to download the whole Inform application and take ni from it? The problem is that I fear it may mess with my current installation of Inform, and I may need ni for different systems.
Also, is there a place where the ni commands are documented? I could look for them in the “Results” tab of Inform, but I would prefer not to have to.
And finally, I’d like to know if redistributing ni is allowed, or if I should ask users of my program to download Inform to take ni from there.
You have to download the Inform IDE and take ni from it. If you download it from inform7.com/download/ , you can just uncompress it and not overwrite any existing installation. I have about a dozen versions of the Mac IDE lying around.
(At least, that’s true on Mac and Windows. I don’t know how .rpm and .deb files are packed, but I assume there’s a way to pry them open.)
The ni arguments and output format are not documented anywhere that I know of. And I’m not sure about the redistribution situation.
Almost a year later, I find the answer about redistributing ni. So in case someone needs the information…
If you open the Windows Inform IDE and go to Help > Licence, the following is written:
[i]The compilers Inform 6 and Natural Inform are copyright © 1993-2012 Graham Nelson.
The Inform software may be freely distributed provided that: (a) distributed copies are not substantially different from those archived by the author, (b) this and other copyright messages are always retained in full, and © no profit is involved. Exceptions to these conditions must be negotiated directly with the author.
A story file produced with the Inform system belongs to whoever wrote it and may be sold for profit if so desired, without the need for royalty payment, provided that it prints a game banner conforming to the standard library’s banner at an early stage in play: in particular, this banner must contain the information that the story file was compiled by Inform, and the version numbers of compiler and library used.
The author assumes no liability for damages or loss of revenue resulting from the use of any of the software herein. Inform software is supplied “as is” and carries no warranty, actual or implied.[/i]
So it seems that redistributing ni is allowed!