It was a pain, but I built gnome-inform7 for 6M62 on current Debian stable. What I couldn’t do at all was run any past Inform 7 versions (which I wanted to do to play with some old source). Even when I tried dockerizing them based on old Debians contemporaneous with them, ni would segfault. A full-blown virtual machine worked, but that seemed somewhat cumbersome for multiple versions.
So it occurred to me to try the Windows version with Wine. And lucky for me, I tried first with my GalliumOS 3.1 box whose supplied version of Wine is old, 3.0. (I couldn’t get it to work with Wine 4.0 on my Debian stable box.) Turns out these How to/Notes for installing Inform 7 3Z95 on Wine still work!
I installed the riched20 dll with winetricks, ran the old Inform 7 for Windows installer, and with a binary-capable editor changed RICHEDIT50 to richedit20 in Program Files/Inform 7/Inform 7.exe. And then running Inform 7.exe with wine worked for every version from 6E72 through 6M62 (all the ones I tried).
It’s that easy!
And with enough visits to the old Inform 7 Public Library and the Internet Archive for old extensions, I was even able to build Sand-dancer, the development example from Aaron Reed’s Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 with its original target version, 6E72, something I expected to be even harder.