[I6] The list of Inform 6 documentation

Since there’s a great sticky post about sources for documentation on Inform 7, I thought that something similar for Inform 6 would be useful.

The standard introductory text is The Inform Designer’s Manual, fourth edition (colloquially known as “DM4”), which describes the language as it was circa the year 2000 (Inform 6.21 with Standard Library 6/9):

There is also a (partial) list of known DM4 errata (i.e. errors in the published document):

The current Inform 6 release notes briefly describe the changes to the language since publication of DM4:

The Inform 6 Reference Addendum clarifies (or supersedes) DM4 documentation based on changes and discoveries since DM4’s publication:

Roger Firth’s Inform 6 Frequently Asked Questions is a FAQ that is theoretically geared for beginners to I6 and/or programming, but it also contains many valuable clarifications, comparison charts and code examples concerning various subtleties of the language and features of the Standard Library that are treated lightly or elided in DM4:

Roger Firth and Sonja Kesserich together wrote The Inform Beginner’s Guide (possibly slightly outdated), which is designed as a gentler introduction to Inform 6, suitable for non-programmers:

Roger Firth also produced some handy and concise reference documents (also possibly slightly outdated) covering the range of I6 functionality:

Roger Firth also published a series of focused tutorials/overviews centered on various functional themes. All are online:

Jeff Nyman created some introductory material in a series called “The Well-Versed Informer”:

Andrew Plotkin has published some helpful tips, tricks and advice for avoiding common beginner errors:

Marnie Parker has also published some helpful tips, tricks and advice:

Adam Cadre set up a website with Glulx-specific coding advice concerning use of its multimedia capabilities, supplemented by downloadable sample programs:

The intrepid may want to check out The Inform Technical Manual, a more fundamental technical description of I6 provided by Graham Nelson:

The intrepid may also be interested in The Z-Machine Standards Document, the reverse-engineered documentation of the Z-machine:

Those compiling to Andrew Plotkin’s Glulx virtual machine may be interested in the comparable standards document for Glulx:


(I can’t edit the original post any more, but here are some additional items that might be of interest to the same audience.)

All of the library extensions listed in the references sections of the DM4 are available at the IF Archive Note that most of them were produced prior to the invention of Glulx, so they are targeted to the Z-machine (but can usually be adapted with a little work):

Those working in languages other than English (or who wish to include special Unicode characters in their game/story) may particularly appreciate Roger Firth’s primer on using the -C compiler switch and the Zcharacter directive, which has illustrative tables of the various character sets. While out-of-date with respect to Glulx, it covers the core concepts well:

Emily Short published a handy list of well-considered generic abbreviations for use in saving memory in a large game written in English. (I couldn’t find any current version of this page, but if you know of one, please pass the word.)

Some alternative libraries (i.e. replacements for the Standard Library) have been developed that offer interesting modifications to (and expansions of) the default functionality. These don’t strictly qualify as documentation, but they are of potentially significant educational value and may be well-suited to use in specific types of projects: