no longer working?

The link to Roger Firth’s site ( has been giving me “403 Forbidden” for over a week now. It says it’s “Server unable to read htaccess file, denying access to be safe”.

I’ve googled, but the explanations on stackoverflow etc., don’t tell me if it’s something I need to fix, or if the problem is at the other end, at firthworks.

On a tangent, seeing the other thread about preserving non-code Infocom resources, I wonder if there is somewhere we usually preserve Inform resources such as tutorials and reference websites? The IF-Archive would seem like the logical place, perhaps I’ve missed it? (Took me long enough to find the inform compiler, so that’s entirely possible!) I don’t like relying on the wayback machine.

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That error is on the firthworks side.

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Hm, email to is bouncing with a “mailbox inactive” error. That’s more serious.

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Oh dear. I hope he’s okay. That was at the back of my mind with the “preserving the resources” business too. Some of the long term stalwarts of the IF scene could well start being a bit fragile (your good self hopefully excepted, of course!) Thanks to Roger, Sonja and the IBG I’ve spent many happy hours shouting at the compiler, and I’d hate for it all to succumb to web-rot.

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It would take some doing to see just how comprehensive it is, but I haven’t found anything missing at the Wayback machine archive of the Firthworks IF pages.

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Does anyone here have an alternative means of contacting Roger Firth?

There’s a note on the website that says if you didn’t get the reply you were expecting, to try Worth a go?

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from Jan 26

We have owned this – very obviously personal – domain name since 2001, conflicting with no other site on the entire web. Until 2017, that is, when some lowlife in China decided to steal the name “firthworks” for whatever purpose (despite being advised against it by their own domain registrar). We are sorry for any confusion this may cause; other sites with derivative names have absolutely nothing to do with us.

Christine and Roger Firth


I assume we could do a wget on:

and rebuild it somewhere. Just the IF stuff and only if he can’t be reached.


Possibly relevant:

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I’ve updated the links on the sticky post to include the Internet Archive versions of the pages. All content appears to be available from that source. I’ve also uploaded the ZIP files that were available from the site (for his PDF versions of the Inform 6 FAQ, Inform 6 quick reference and Standard Library quick reference, plus the source code files for the examples in the Inform Beginner’s Guide) to IF Archive.

In addition, I’ve put together PDF files containing the InFancy, InfLight and InfAct tutorial content and uploaded those to IF Archive. EDIT: Links for the PDF versions of these tutorials have been added to the sticky post. These are currently in the IF Archive’s unprocessed folder, so the links will be updated when the are moved to their final location.

Is he the same Roger Firth once associated with the Oxford Department of Education? If so, they have a contact page (Contact us —) that may be of use.


Wow, thanks to everyone who’s pitched in, and sorry to hear about the problems with his website. Still, it’s a good feeling that the IF community has arranged to keep this really good material available for future students.

So I hope Roger Firth’s okay, and…

Death to Pyrates, Arrrr!

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There is a similar problem with Nathaniel Culvert’s comprehensive list of various versions of Adventure and associated notes: The site is no longer accessible and I had no reply to the email I sent to Nathaniel.


It looks like the Wayback Machine has at least a partial capture at*/ (And welcome to the forum!)

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Thanks. :slight_smile: I’ve just pulled Nathaniel’s complete page from WayBack. Ditto for Roger Firth’s Cloak of Darkness page. I could publish both (correctly attributed, of course) on my until/unless proper owners object or resurrect their own pages. Should I? What’s the general feeling?


I would maintain the download. Consider adding links to WayBack initially and see how the contact efforts turn out. JMHO

Welcome to Intfiction.

Thank you!

That “Adventure” page is too important to be lost.

Perhaps the IFTF should consider drawing up an IF Heritage Website List, of historically and academically important IF websites, resource pages & blogs, that they could proactively approach while the sites are still active to reach an advance agreement that if anything happens to the website/website author the resource could be officially hosted and preserved elsewhere.

(Or perhaps there could be a scheme that IF website owners could subscribe/register their interest to grant future archival permission, should the worst happen.)


This is what I was thinking of in my Infocom thread last week. I think an institution can provide continuity that individuals cannot. It’s worth considering.


OK… Given the obvious concern of important IF history going down the drain, copies of Nathaniel Culver’s Adventure versions page and or Roger Firth’s Cloak of Darkness page are now available via Interactive Fiction Rescue on my


I suppose it’s a bit like writing a will. It’s not a nice thought that, quite apart from the Grim Reaper moving us all steadily to the top of his list, there may be Something Unforeseen out there for any one of us.

So I wonder if it would help to thrash out some sort of standard “Happy To Be Archived” statement that could just be hosted on a website? That way if the worst - or just the unexplained - happens, then those willing to lend a hand would at least be reassured they’re welcome to do so.

Working towards some sort of community habit for handing on the torch? Our Hall of Fame?


Edit: Don’t know how I missed @8bitAG 's suggestion – yeah, good idea! A much more coherent suggestion than my rambling. Should we scoot this thread out to a non-platform-specific part of the forum?