Informal is an in-development development system for authoring Inform7 projects. At the moment, little is implemented other than the welcome screen and opening a bare-bones editor window after selecting an existing project or the last opened project.
I am planning to implement as much as possible in pure Java to reduce possible technical issues that come from polyglot development (this may prevent the adoption of extensibility, or delay it’s implementation until a stable product is released). I have identified various libraries which will enable me to implement all of the same behavior present in the GNOME Inform7 IDE (the only one I have ever used).
Feature-parity is an important aspect to releasing an alternative, especially if I want to attract users from the other current IDEs. Comfortability and familiarity are important to users, so I don’t expect everyone to use my IDE over the one they already have working, but there is still a metaphorical “market” here.
- True operating system portability (if it can run a modern Java JRE you should have no problem running the application [a shortcoming of the GNOME IDE])
- All features present in GNOME Inform7 IDE
- As much accessibility as possible using the JavaFX accessibility features
I have plans to continue development on this project and I have several requests for comments from the community of authors and other development system programmers. Particularly, I want to know the community’s preference for text editing and extensibility. The first poll offers your chance to determine the possible development direction for the text editing experience, though because it is JavaFX it is not difficult to provide user preferences to select one editing instance or another (you could freely change between a plain text area or a VIM editor). The second poll asks about extensibility, and the third poll about the application UX.
- Is an embedded Neovim instance preferred over JediTerm (which would allow any terminal application to be run, rather than just Neovim) for launching a more feature-full text editor?
Is extensibility a point of concern for your development environment itself? While the project is open source and therefore any conceivable edition could be made, would Inform7 authors routinely make use of extensibility in their IDE if it was offered? What are you missing? In particular, if you’re a user of Vimform7 and you’ve made customizations to the distribution I’d love to hear about them and what you’d like, and what you’re missing.
2.1. Assuming extensibility is implemented, what extension language would you prefer?
- Common Lisp
- Retain the visual metaphor of the facing pages of an open book? Would you like to be able to hide one page?
- Hide/show a “page” at will
All comments are welcome. Thanks for reading.