[I7, bug?] Tying after disambiguation causes parser to dump list of objects

I’m a first-time author working on an Inform 7 game, and one of my beta-testers discovered some strange behavior – when attempting to tie an object to another object after a disambiguation prompt, the parser barfs out a list of all objects in the game. I’m an Inform newbie so I’m used to messing things up, and it’s fairly easy to prevent the issue with various Does the Player Mean instructions. but this seems like very strange behavior and since I haven’t seen it mentioned in previous topics I thought I’d post about it.

Here’s a simplified version of my code that reproduces the behavior (the rope logic is a simplified, and probably bollixed-up, version of the rope example from the Recipe Book):

Attachment relates things to each other in groups.  The verb to be stuck to means the attachment relation.

A rope is a kind of thing. 

Understand "tie [a rope] to [something]" as tying it to.
	
Instead of tying something to a rope:
	Try tying the second noun to the noun.

Instead of tying a rope to something: 
	If the player is not carrying the noun, say "It's hard to tie something when you don't have the rope at hand!" instead;
	if the second noun is not the grappling hook, say "You fiddle with the rope and the [second noun], and after a good bit of looping and tucking, you give one final pull to bring the knot together -- but instead of tightening, the rope falls slack around the [second noun].  Somehow you must have made a slip-knot?" instead;
	if the noun is stuck to the grappling hook, say "It's already as knotted as it's going to get!" instead;
	now the noun is stuck to the second noun;
	say "After a lot of looping and a bit of pulling, you think you've knotted the [noun] to the [second noun]."

The test area is a room.  

The grappling hook is an object in the test area.  The frayed rope is a rope in the test area.

The tree is in the test area.  The description is "This tree has one particular branch that seems low enough to break off."

The branch is an object.  It is undescribed.  It is part of the tree.

Before taking the branch:
	If the branch is undescribed:
		Say "You snap off the branch.";
		Move the branch to the player;
		Now the branch is described;
		Stop the action;
	Otherwise:
		Continue the action.

Once this compiles, I can get this super fun output:

test area
You can see a grappling hook, a frayed rope and a tree here.

>tie rope to hook
It's hard to tie something when you don't have the rope at hand!

>take rope
Taken.

>tie rope to tree
You fiddle with the rope and the tree, and after a good bit of looping and tucking, you give one final pull to bring the knot together -- but instead of tightening, the rope falls slack around the tree.  Somehow you must have made a slip-knot?

>tie rope to hook
After a lot of looping and a bit of pulling, you think you've knotted the frayed rope to the grappling hook.

>take branch
You snap off the branch.

>tie branch
What do you want to tie the branch to?

>tree
compass (581671) 
  the north
  the northeast
  the northwest
  the south
  the southeast
  the southwest
  the east
  the west
  the up
  the down
  the inside
  the outside
(darkness object) (581703) 
(Inform Parser) (581735) 
(Inform Library) (581767) 
(property_numberspace_forcer) (581799) 
(ValuePropertyHolder_43) (581863) 
(ValuePropertyHolder_47) (581895) 
test area (582887) 
  yourself
    a branch
    a grappling hook
    a frayed rope
  a tree

>tie rope
What do you want to tie the frayed rope to?

>tree
compass (581671) 
  the north
  the northeast
  the northwest
  the south
  the southeast
  the southwest
  the east
  the west
  the up
  the down
  the inside
  the outside
(darkness object) (581703) 
(Inform Parser) (581735) 
(Inform Library) (581767) 
(property_numberspace_forcer) (581799) 
(ValuePropertyHolder_43) (581863) 
(ValuePropertyHolder_47) (581895) 
test area (582887) 
  yourself
    a branch
    a grappling hook
    a frayed rope
  a tree

>tie rope to tree
You fiddle with the rope and the tree, and after a good bit of looping and tucking, you give one final pull to bring the knot together -- but instead of tightening, the rope falls slack around the tree.  Somehow you must have made a slip-knot?

Apologies if this is a well-known error, but as I said, I wanted to post it in case it’s of interest to bigger brains than mine.

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You haven’t messed anything up. TREE is a debug command (see chapter 24.4). Typing a verb as the first word on the line is usually interpreted as that verb, even if the word is also a noun.

When you release the game in non-debug mode, the TREE command will be omitted, so this won’t be a problem.

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Oh, that makes sense – thanks!

1 Like