[I7] Relations to numbers

This is probably just a silly thing, but I’ve tried to relate people to numbers.

Age relates persons to numbers. The verb to be the age of means the age relation. John is a man. John is the age of 22. There is a room.

Now I can see the relation fine, but I’m damned how to go about retrieving the number. I assume from WwI that it’s stored, so it should be able to be queried.

It seems like it would be much easier to do this with a property.

[code]A person has a number called age.

John is a man. The age of John is 22. The description of John is “He looks about [age of John] years old.”[/code]

It does, and that’s how I implemented it. I’m just confused as to why it’s possible to set a relation to a specific number at all. The RELATIONS command does show it as a fixed value, so it’s not something Inform just pulls out of a hat (i.e. it’s not a garbage value, it’s stored somewhere).

Ah, sorry – I didn’t catch that this was a thought experiment.

Yeah, I wasn’t crystal clear about that. I guess I perceive an inconsistency that puzzles me.

Going by WwI 13.13, you’d say

the number to which John relates by the age relation

Unlovely! One thing I noticed, when I tried to set up a relation of numbers to persons and give the number a name (“age relates a number (called the age) to a person”), is that the error message said that you can’t do that because of the way Inform stores the relation. I guess there are too many numbers for Inform to store anything related to the number (that’s why you also can’t say “if John is the age of a number,” because that would implicitly repeat through numbers), so you have to look it up through the relation, and that’s what “to which John relates by the age” does, maybe?

But the inconsistency probably comes from the fact that Inform has to store the relations different ways.