Hello, and forum etiquette question

Hi. I was going to introduce myself, but then I discovered that I already did that. 9 years ago. Ironically, I was going to post the exact same hello.

Longest hiatus ever? Actually, that describes exactly my relationship with Inform 7 and coding my epic IF work-in-progress: Looong breaks then bursts of (frustrated) activity (for over 20 years through delphi to Inform 6 to Inform 7. And I’m still working on just ONE room. But what a room it is… )

Inform 7 is giving me much less fits now and I finally “get it”. But I do have questions - and I’m almost experienced enough to start giving some decent answers too.

So I ask the community, which is preferred: To clutter up the message board by asking several questions serially? Or to clutter up one post with a bunch of unrelated questions?

BTW my questions are fairly similar, but much less esoteric than the one I asked 9 years ago. My OCD has relaxed somewhat.

I have a sample story file that illustrates all my current questions, though it is 235 lines long - including ample whitespace, and my questions are in comments. Is that ok to post that and y’all can just have at it, answering my questions as well as offering advice on improving syntax and and “style” ?

Or should I ask each question separately with a concise example code snippet?


I feel like folks have done both at different times, though if you’ve got one file with lots of questions probably it’s easier to do that as a single thread rather than dumping a bunch of different threads all at once? I am very much a junior varsity Inform 7 support-giver, though, so if folks who go deeper on this stuff have a different view I’d very much defer to them.

Hi David,

Welcome back to Intfict. I do much better with I6 and TADS than with Inform 7. I just can’t grok the real language syntax.

I do remember Delphi. I haven’t thought of it for years. I was using Borland C++ way back. The university was touting Pascal and Delphi. Good memories.

I just installed lazarus (Pascal) on my RPi to play with. :wink:

You and me both, brother. I just recently finally started to get it.

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Not all of us here uses Inform7. Nothing wrong with Inform 6 or TADS, or AdvSys!

I’m partial to ScottKit myself, and I’m thinking very hard that maybe I should move to Quill or PAW.

I’ve spent many years recasting algorithms into tabular structure for ease of understanding and implementation, and I’m not about to change without very good reason.

Welcome to Rip van Winkle club. Or is it Captain America? (The Times They Are a-Changin’ )

There’s advantages in both strategies.

If you ask serial questions and write your topic/subject lines really well, that makes for good searchin’ in the future if someone is trying to find information about the same issue.

If you’re asking a lot of interlocking questions that relate to each other in the same game or situation, usually that’s easier in an individual thread, especially if the help builds on what’s come before.

We’re probably not going to think poorly of you either way. And if we don’t like it, regulars here can update your topic to make it clearer, move your topic into a new category where it fits, and your friendly neighborhood Staff/Moderators :wave: can split and combine topics to arrange them more appropriately.

We usually won’t get too stressed about doing this unless someone is creating severe forum clutter and we’re having to sweep after them, asking the same question over and over, or starting threads to ask about something generic that’s clearly covered in the manual like “lol how do u create a room in i7?”


You might still like Allison Parrish’s Inform 7 Concepts and Strategies tutorial: I found it did a great job of laying out the basic game loop and how defining verbs/actions/etc. works and explaining some of the syntax…


I think I will post my entire story file, containing my questions, because I prefer not to flood the topic list. However, after a few weeks if some questions remain unanswered and I don’t figure it out, I will probably revisit those few in individual threads.

Great suggestions. I’ve read that one before, it’s pretty good. Believe me, I have read nearly everything there is to read about Inform 6 and 7. Even the few books that were ever printed, they are on my bookshelf. Remember, I’ve been at this almost 20 years LOL!

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Having spent a lot of time in recent months searching for stuff in the forums, I’ve learned to greatly appreciate single topic (or inter-related topics) questions for the sake of searchability.

And while obviously it’s more work for you, it’d be less work for question-answerers if instead of one 235-line story you separately cut it down to a minimum necessary to provide context to ask a given question (or questions).

But the longer story would make it easier to comment on style issues and one long multi-question post isn’t going to kill us. :grinning:

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well, seems that we share the same long-cycle stop-and-go coding pattern :smiley:

On your issue, personally I rarely ask more than one or two questions, because (cit. /Curses/ ) it’s a matter of pride to never give up :wink:
Specifically, on batch-posting (lacking better terms…) coding problem, so I’m agnostic on your question, but one should beware of a collateral of the well-know phenomena of thread drifting, if people find one of your question more interesting/enticing than the rest, you can find yourself getting only one question answered, albeit rather detailed and with many alternative solutions (an issue not related specifically to this forum and r.a.i.f, but on programming/coding NG/forums in general…)

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If a thread develops into something interesting that warrants its own thread, that’s when we can step in and split it out into a separate topic.

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The problem with a long thread with unrelated questions is that you’re asking forum readers to read that long thread and hope that maybe they’ll provide an answer. But is that supposed to only be an answer for the current question? What if someone comes in late for an answer to the previous question? This is a message board and people don’t reply for days sometimes. Should they keep it to themselves, or start a second conversation within a thread?

And if I’m being completely honest, I’m not even going to click a thread that’s like “Help me with Inform!” because I’m not really knowledgeable about Inform, but if you had a separate thread with a specific topic question about Inform, it might venture into territory where I do have an answer, or can at least help find one.

Everyone on this forum has knowledge in different areas coming from whatever we tinkered with or studied in our free time. It didn’t come out of the same class room or study materials, so it’s best not to have a catch-all thread because ironically you’ll catch less.

Or at least that’s what I think.


A “story” size code listing would be cumbersome. Few people are going to want to read that much code and respond to individual questions embedded in the code.

It is better to break out individual questions.

Just my 2 cents.

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Yes. Rarely do you want to post the code of your entire story on the forum. Relevant excerpts are preferred.

You can also fold a larger amount of text (or an extended spoiler) behind a “details” fold like this:

Click here...

This text is hidden until the reader clicks.

This is how it looks in the message…

[details="Click here..."]
This text is hidden until the reader clicks.

You can also highlight the text you want hidden, click the gear icon in the message and select “Hide Details” to accomplish this. As opposed to the spoiler blur which is visible but illegible until the reader clicks. This is also in the gear menu, or you can tag it inline like [spoiler]Spoiler Text Here...[/spoiler]

Inline spoilers will end at a paragraph break like the code backticks will, so you can use the tags on separate lines if the text has breaks in it so you don’t have to keep tagging every paragraph:

Multi-paragraph spoiler text.

Lots and lots of details hidden here.

Multi-paragraph spoiler text.

Lots and lots of details hidden here.
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That’s a great tip. I appreciate that!

Ok, I changed my mind based on all the advice. You guys rock!

Plus, I immersed myself in Inform 7 for like 14 hours over the last 3 days and I resolved almost all my syntax issues (why . and not ; , why can’t I use ‘anything except’ with check… etc… why doesn’t the parser like my colon-and-tab format (can’t have empty lines inside) ) and along the way I evolved a style I am satisfied with.

So I am left with a few questions that I’ll ask individually.

One more for this thread though, assuming anyone is still following… I would like to post my “test” game for public ridic- I mean constructive feedback, suggestions on more elegant form, anything really.

How do I best do that?


I would suggest one thread for each question in the Inform 7 Section.

Under the “Playing” category there’s a “Beta Testing Requests and Discussion” subcategory: if you post there with a pitch for your game and a request for testers you’ll probably get several people to try it out.

I’m guessing you know this, but it bears repeating since it trips some people up: the IF competitions/festivals often require games to be “previously unreleased” meaning that you haven’t posted it publicly but have privately sent it to testers so you know who they all are. Just in case you were planning to take part in IFComp or Spring Thing or whatever, and missed that bit of the rules…


Josh brings up a great point. It’s best to beta test actual games and their code privately - especially if your tester knows I7 or whatever system you’re testing, they can be a big help.

One of the strategies some people use on the forum here is they will post generic “pseudocode” that illustrates the issue they need help with without being actual code from a WIP. It’s sort of like how there are short examples at the bottom of each I7 chapter in the documentation that implements just enough for demonstration. That’s probably the better strategy for asking questions and working out how to code a general concept publicly.

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