Inform pages on IFWiki

I’m not sure what status you are looking for on the Inform page. There are other pages for Inform 6 and Inform 7.

1 Like

I’ve just marked it as Stable now. Maybe it doesn’t make sense for “Inform” to have its own page, or at least its own software infobox, or maybe it does. Anyway, it seems to make enough sense to leave it as it is for the time being.

I spent some time digging up those Inform 1-to-5 announcement posts!

I’d say it’s worth having an early-history-of-Inform page, but it doesn’t have to be the first thing you see if you search for “Inform” on the wiki. Most people who do that are looking for I7. Maybe the “Inform” page could redirect to “Inform 7”.


I think Graham wants Inform 7 to be known as Inform going forwards, so redirecting it makes sense.


So it sounds like there would be the following pages:

  • Inform 6
  • Inform 7
  • Inform (a redirect page that takes you to the Inform 7 page)
  • Early history of Inform page (What would the title be? Inform 1-5? Early Inform? Early history of Inform? Inform history?)

Where would the other text go? On the current “Inform” page, it looks like there’s a “Summary of Inform Variations” section, a link to “Informary” (a link which actually appears not to work), and a link to Wikipedia. I guess the links could be added to whichever of the other pages they apply to, but I’m not sure where to put the list of variations.

1 Like

Maybe we could rename “Inform” to “History of Inform”, and rename “Inform 7” to “Inform” (with a redirect from “Inform 7” to “Inform”).


I’ve made a start on this. Now the main pages are Inform 6 - IFWiki and Inform - IFWiki (to which Inform 7 - IFWiki redirects). I’ve made some minor amendments to the pages.

As @bg noted, what is now History of Inform - IFWiki has a “Summary of Inform Variations” section. It doesn’t fit well with the new page title. Maybe the section should go elsewhere or maybe we need a different page title (e.g. “Overview of Inform”).

If you want to see today’s edits at a glance:

Some possibilities:

  1. The Inform page, since it has the most general name of the various Inform pages, could double as the catch-all page for Inform-related things that aren’t specific to Inform 6 or Inform 7 or History of Inform. The Inform variations links could be put in a section on the Inform page, either as-is, or in a “See also” section, maybe.


  1. The Inform variations links could all go in an Inform navbox, which would appear on every Inform related page (the Inform page, the Inform 6 page, the PunyInform page, etc.)

Regardless of what else we do, I’m thinking we’ll need some sort of explanation at the top of the Inform page so that people looking for general Inform info (not just Inform 7), and people looking for Inform 6, can figure out which page they need.

there’s a major error in the history: dejavu.inf appeared already in Inform 2, and being the one whose actually unhearted I2, excavating into the content of 1990s archimedes CDs, I’m pretty sure of that.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

1 Like

It’s a wiki so feel free to edit it :slight_smile:

The sentence reads “Release 3 included source code for three demo games: dejavu.inf (toy game), hellow.inf (hello-world), and shell.inf (a minimal game template).”

One possibility (which could make the sentence correct) might be that the game had been released with Inform 2 but the source code with Inform 3.

I’ve just had a quick look at the Usenet links. The post that the wiki sentence probably is based on included release numbers for the games. So maybe, as you say, that game appeared with Inform 2 – but release 2 of the game appeared with Inform 3.

The directory if-archive/infocom/compilers/inform at the anonymous
FTP site FTP.GMD.DE now contains the binary files:

curses.z3 Release 9 of “Curses” - The Director’s Cut, bigger and better

dejavu.z3 Release 2 of a toy game which demonstrates Inform
hellow.z3 Hello Cruel World - a trivial Inform program
shell.z3 A shell of a game to build on

The point is that dejavu.z3 and the source in the inform 2 archive has

Release 1 / Serial number 930921  (Compiled by Inform v634)


Release 1;


what identify the archive as Inform 2 is that the very beginning in the manual clearly refer about it as Inform 2 in a unmistakeably Nelsonian style.

I can’t say if v634 refers to Inform 2 or 3 (a binary search of the pair of binaries don’t have given results for the number 634, and yes, I know that the ARM1 and 2 are 32-bit little-endian…)

what is interesting the very end of the manual, where Nelson gives the output of the compilation of Dejavu (and hellow):

*inform -s dejavu
Archimedes Inform 0.6 (v613)
43 objects (maximum 255) 253 dictionary entries (maximum 800)
28 attributes (maximum 32) 24 properties (maximum 30)
16 adjectives (maximum 240) 71 verbs (maximum 250)
78 actions (maximum 110) 21K long (maximum 128K)
43 globals (maximum 240) 1044 variable space (maximum 2048)
1116 symbols (maximum 3000) 127 routines
16363 characters of text (compressed to 11982)

Offsets in story file:
0042 Synonyms 0102 Defaults 0140 Objects 02c3 Properties
0636 Variables 0a4a Parse table 0ef7 Actions 0f93 Preactions
1031 Adjectives 1071 Dictionary 1764 Code 4c5a Strings

Completed in 36 seconds.

the interesting detail is 0.6 (v613), but on this version number we need the witness evidence of Lord Nelson of Inform, because as historian I can’t exclude that the output was from an intermediate internal version (the vxxx numbering descends from the Rxxx Infocom usage, and curses.r9 has v784, curses.r8 has v634 and the oldest surviving one, curses.r7, has v549, the lowest inform version number I actually know, so I suspect that GN increases the version number after every editing session.

that is all I can say on the point.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

I think the changes are misleading. I think the Inform page should be a history of Inform, together with a summary of the various versions, alternate libraries and other resources with links to other pages for those, as appropriate. You can’t change history. Inform 6 exists and Inform 7 exists and you can’t magically make them go away by pretending that Inform is only Inform 7.

On the subject of history, Graham Nelson started writing a short-lived adventure column in Acorn User, issue 145, August 1994, pp. 76-77. The cover disk included Adventure, Curses and the Zip interpreter for the Acorn Archimedes. Inform and Curses were developed on this computer.

The Inform compiler, library files, documentation and Adventure source code were included on the cover disks over the next two issues. I reckon that would have been Inform 5.


The confusing thing underlying this is that the current version of Inform 7 seems to be Inform 10. I don’t know what the answer is.

It would be good to know where he said this (and in what context, how adamant he was, etc!). He described the open-source version as “Inform 7 v10.1.0” at Inform 7 v10.1.0 is now open-source. The first two headings are “Inform 7” and “About Inform 7” at GitHub - ganelson/inform: The core software distribution for the Inform 7 programming language. (in the text “Inform” and “Inform 7” are both used). Maybe @Warrigal is right and we were too hasty to rename the old “Inform 7” page as “Inform”…

1 Like

I based what I said mainly from this statement:

I had been thinking you’d redirect Inform to Inform 7 though, not the other way round.

1 Like

In a sense, the IFWiki page title comes within his exception – we are making clear that we don’t mean I6, which has a separate page :slight_smile:

I’ve swapped them round now. Inform 7 - IFWiki is a page again.

I like the idea of an Inform navbox at the bottom of each relevant page, like the software navboxes.

I think we are agreed that having an Inform 7 page makes sense.

It seems like the question now is, what should the “Inform” page be? A redirect page, sending you to “Inform 7”? Or a summary/disambiguation page that directs you to the Inform 1-5 page, the Inform 6 page, or the Inform 7 page, and maybe also includes information about Inform that applies to more than one version?

Or, I guess, the Inform page could include the Inform 1-5 info, if we thought that didn’t need its own page, but just add short blurbs about Inform 6 and Inform 7 to the page as well. We could also divide it up into sections, so that there was a short section for Inform 1, a short section for Inform 2, etc., all the way up to Inform 7. And the Inform 6 and Inform 7 sections would be very brief and would link to the Inform 6 and Inform 7 pages.


That’s what I was thinking. It makes sense. Essentailly just the overall history with sub-headings for each version to summarise the changes. You don’t need a separate page for Inform 1 to 5, as these are just earlier versions of Inform 6, whereas Inform 7 is a different language.


There is an excellent post on this forum (a wiki post as it happens…), primarily curated by @ZedInform 7 documentation and resources. It could provide some inspiration and should at least get a mention on IFWiki.

1 Like

Ok, I tried changing the Inform page to be an overview page. You can see how it currently looks here: Inform - IFWiki

Somehow the Inform talk page is redirecting to the Inform 7 talk page, though–I’m not sure how to fix that. (Edit–I think I may have fixed that now…)

1 Like