GLK for iOS

Hi all,

The company for which I work is exploring commercial IF of a specialized nature, with some very specific and unique features of its own, which I’m not at liberty to detail here.

However, we believe that GLK, along with Glulx, will be a good foundation upon which to develop our future titles for iOS.

The advancement of IF in general, though, is a good thing for the medium, so we are toying with the notion of developing a GLK implementation for iOS, which we would offer as open source, and which we will then create proprietary additions to for our commercial titles.

However, we do not want to reinvent the wheel, if there is already a project to which we could contribute and benefit from. Our extensive searching for any projects along this line, however, have turned up only Andrew (Zarf) Plotkin’s proposed commercial IF title on KickStarter, and iPhoneFrotz which has a sort of GLK hack included in it, which is not suitable for our purposes.

Being a visually impaired software developer, the idea of implementing GLK for iOS, particularly where regards the very visual medium of window layout and formatting, is a daunting one.

We do have specificimplementation plans in mind, and have mostly resigned ourselves to the fact that we will likely need to do this from scratch, but I wanted to ask here in a final attempt to be certain that we just haven’t missed an open project somewhere.

Thanks for reading.


My upcoming iOS project is not done, and the Glk library it will use isn’t done either, but the library is open-source. You can look at the current state of the project:

It’s functional now – I’ve compiled Glulxe and gotten Advent.ulx to run. However, many features are missing (sound, graphics, any serious style customization). I also intend to rewrite quite a bit of the display code. The way it handles text display is non-ideal, in a memory-hogging way.

Aha! I thought this must be out there somewhere. Thanks for the link.

Text display is the most likely area where we will do heavy customization, as we need to ensure accessibility with VoiceOver. Most of our customers are visually impaired, and therefore use screen readers like iOS’s VoiceOver.

Planning is still in the early stages, though we’ve been batting around the idea of using UIWebView for basic text output (i.e. in a GLK text buffer window). The more we can stick with iOS’s native controls, the better accessibility is likely to be.

I’m going to start sifting through what you have here.

Thanks again.