ALAN (2 and 3)
This was my first low tier programming language, it actually help me understand ZIL if not ZILF better (thanks Thomas for making this!). It is a great language to learn a somewhat list-like way of coding. It’s not LISP, or ZIL let alone ZILF… But it does do what it can for the beginner to make the old skool IF like back in the good ole days!
Developers can create libraries on a fly.
Parser is preprogrammed into the compiler, so even defining original verbs and commands like SAVE, QUIT can be redefined as other terms, basically using a flag switch and using synonyms for the term in SYNTAX.
List-like Programming, very much a primer for programming into ZIL.
The compiled storyfile (ACode) is two files, and doesn’t matter who large the file is in the end (at least if I remember Thomas explaining that to me).
ALAN 2 has binaries compatible with LIN, WIN, AMIGA, DOS and many other legacy platforms.
ALAN 3 is compatible with WIN, LIN and MAC concurrent platforms.
ALAN 3 allows graphics and sound (Winglk and Garglk only).
Because the parser is built into the compiler, just like ADRIFT, don’t expect an ALAN 3 abuse unless you get your hands on the source code of the compiler it’s and the interpreter… Which I highly doubt since ALAN 3 is not even open source yet (at least I do not remember).
Because the compiled source code has no cap, unlike zcode and zmachine, ALAN could eat up memory if you are too ambitious… But I highly doubt it would happen.
ALAN does not have anyway to change the status line unless modifying from the interpreter source code and recompiling it.
Bear with me… I know some of you are saying “Jerr, this is not as easy as it sounds…” Well yes, I do agree, I would put this on the top of ALAN had it not been for how you can use the rules in a different way. The only thing that is complicated it is the rules programming like any other programming language, there are “rules” in rules programming syntax… It uses an order of operation of how to define the rules. But other then that, it being a very high level program, it is very sophisticated even to it’s older brother Inform 6 and it’s baby sister, ZILF. But sophistication has it’s costs, usually making it too sophisticated even for me to use as to be simple.
Natural Inform using Rules Programming giving it truly a sophisticated high level experience in programming.
A wealth of extensions and libraries already included out of the box.
Can compile to zcode or glulx with a tick of a mouse.
Sophistication of high level programming has new learning curves that can be a challenge.
I found ZILF about version 0.4, but actually downloaded it and studied it for seriousness of all tense and purposes since last month with version 0.7. Due that it is based off of ZIL, and is very much a carbon copy, I would definitely prefer this over the last two. But that is just more choice of three languages, so it’s comparing apples and oranges, and also due to anecdotal nostalgia… But it is by far advanced then even ALAN could ever be.
ZIL-clone, so great for nostalgic reasons.
compiles upwards to version 8 of the zcode storyfile.
List programming that is simple to learn.
Mono release (but works natively with Mono for all your unix-likes, so not really that much a big deal)
Poorly documented, but the accompanied sample files is enough to get you started with something.
And the ZIL primer is a great way to learn the nuts and bolts of the list programming.
Still at zero-point development, but from the intel I gathered, vaporwares long awaited version 0.8 is around the corner, and as early as next week.