Inform 6.33 beta1

Inform 6.33 is not quite ready for official release because of Inform7 concerns. When it will be ready is anyone’s guess. I talked this over with David Kinder, Andrew Plotkin, and others involved with Inform maintenance. The consensus is that 6.33 can be released as a beta. So, here it is, at least for the Unix users; uploaded to the IF Archive. Would the custodians of the Inform6 packages for other platforms please use this as a basis for their wares? I await and appreciate your comments.

Can you elaborate on the “Inform 7 concerns”?

The development team doesn’t want to officially release a new Inform6 compiler until pending tickets for Inform7 are fixed.

To clarify things, the authoritative Inform6 compiler source is at There is no need to copy this tarball in order to produce Inform6 packages for other platforms. The rest of the tarball is composed of documentation, demos, and tutorials from elsewhere, but all conveniently packaged up.

I remember in Linux distributions such as Debian, Inform 6 was labelled “non-free” because of the license. Later some parts of the various licenses (compiler, libraries) where changed to a free one, but yet I don’t know if it was was sufficient to get a full working free software.

How about this new release?
It seems the compiler is free software (artistic license), but for the libs it’s not really clear (only “free use”)

The I6 library license is described in the DM4:

“A story file produced with the Inform system belongs to whoever wrote it and may be sold for profit if so desired, without the need for royalty payment, provided that it prints a game banner conforming to the standard library’s banner at an early stage in play: in particular, this banner must contain the information that the story file was compiled by Inform, and the version numbers of compiler and library used.”

This is a BSD-style license for use of the library code. If you want a more explicit statement covering the code itself, I guess you’d want David (G) to add the Artistic License statement to the inform6lib distribution too.

In practice everybody has been treating Inform 6 as free software since the beginning of time (long before the Artistic License was applied). Yes, I prefer explicit statements too.

The COPYING file from the inform6unix package, as I inherited it, mentions the Artistic License for the compiler, but does not say so for the library. I think Graham has to be the one to change the license for the library, not me.