"Instead of doing something other than" won't compile

I’m having trouble getting a line like this to compile. I’ve tried the variations below, among others.

[code]Instead of doing something other than examining, listening to or searching with the creatures: say “asrgbvaswregewa”.

Instead of doing something other than examining, listening to, or searching with the creatures: say “asrgbvaswregewa”.

Instead of doing something other than examining, listening to, or searching the creatures: say “asrgbvaswregewa”.

Instead of doing something other than examining, listening to or searching the creatures: say “asrgbvaswregewa”.[/code]

Here is a sample error message:
Problem. You wrote ‘Instead of doing something other than examining, listening to, or searching the creatures’ , which seems to introduce a rule taking effect only if the action is ‘doing something other than examining, listening to, or searching the creatures’. But that did not make sense as a description of an action. This looks like a list of actions to avoid: ‘doing something other than examining’ was okay; ‘listening to’ was okay; ‘searching the creatures’ was okay; so I am unable to place this rule into any rulebook.

But if you use “taking” instead of “listening to,” it compiles:

Instead of doing something other than examining, taking or searching the creatures: say "asrgbvaswregewa".

Is the “to” throwing it off somehow?

The actual verbs I need to refer to are listening to, talking to (which I’ve added), and examining. At first I thought there was a problem with the new verb, but the error message is basically the same as the non-compiling examples above.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

The following should work:

Instead of doing anything other than examining, listening, or searching the creatures: say "asrgbvaswregewa".

Thank you. That does compile. However, it does something strange when you run it in its own little game with just a room and “creatures.” Instead of a room name and a room description, “asrgbvaswregewa” appears above the prompt.

Also, deleting “to” from “talking to” doesn’t seem to solve the problem for the “talking” action, for some reason. I tried replacing “listening” with “talking” (in a new project without the new “talking to” action) and that didn’t work, either.

These are the lines I added for the “talking to” action:

[code]Understand the commands “ask” and “tell” and “say” and “answer” as something new.
Understand “ask [text]” or “tell [text]” or “answer [text]” or “say [text]” as a mistake ("[talk to instead].").
Instead of asking someone to try doing something:
say “[talk to instead].[paragraph break]”.
Instead of answering someone that something:
say “[talk to instead].[paragraph break]”.

To say talk to instead:
say “To communicate in this game, TALK TO someone”.

Understand “talk to [someone]” as talking to. Understand “talk to [something]” as talking to. Understand “talk [someone]” as talking to. Understand “talk [something]” as talking to. Talking to is an action applying to one visible thing.
Instead of talking to, say “There is no response.”.[/code]

Is there something in there I need to change to make it work with the “talking to” action?

This comes from a looking action which is getting preempted by your Instead line. It must be interpreting this so that no actions other than examining the creatures, searching the creatures, or listening to the creatures are allowed – rather than what we want, that no actions other than these are allowed with the creatures.

This seems to work:

Instead of doing anything other than searching, examining, or listening to the creatures: say "boom."

Unfortunately I can’t get it to work right now with both listening to and talking to; when there’s a preposition that isn’t in the last place it seems to go haywire.

There is definitely a bug in here somewhere, in the error message if nowhere else, because one of your error messages describes all three actions as “okay.” [Compare bug 1066 from the previous build.] So it’s worth reporting.

It compiles for me. Then again, I’m still using build 6G60, so it may be a bug in the new build?

[code]“Creatures”

The Cavern is a room. The creatures are animals. They are plural-named. They are in the cavern.

Understand the commands “ask” and “Tell” and “say” and “answer” as something new.
Understand “ask [text]” or “tell [text]” or “answer [text]” or “say [text]” as a mistake ("[talk to instead].").
Instead of asking someone to try doing something:
say “[talk to instead].[paragraph break]”.
Instead of answering someone that something:
say “[talk to instead].[paragraph break]”.

To say talk to instead:
say “To communicate in this game, TALK TO someone”.

Understand “talk to [someone]” as talking to. Understand “talk to [something]” as talking to. Understand “talk [someone]” as talking to. Understand “talk [something]” as talking to. Talking to is an action applying to one visible thing.

Instead of talking to, say “There is no response.”.

Instead of doing something other than examining, listening to, or talking to the creatures: say “You are too scared.”.

test me with “ask creatures for directions / talk to creatures / attack creatures”.[/code]

There is definitely a change in how ‘something other than’ works in the new build. I’m not sure if this is a bug, or if the syntax has just been tightened up somehow; if the latter, it’s not obviously documented.

Thank you, everyone, for your help. I’ve reported this as bug 1323.

Well, now “Instead of doing something other than examining the creatures” and “Instead of doing something other than examining with the creatures” are distinguished – the second one applies only when the creatures are the noun, the first one applies to everything. So the first one fires for looking, jumping, examining yourself, etc.

I’m not sure where that’s documented; it came up in this bug report… and ooh, that suggests that maybe Inform is trying to interpret the “to” as meaning “this stuff only applies to the creatures” rather than as the preposition that goes with “talking.” Anyway, it seems as though prepositions are making this choke.

EDIT: Ah, I see from your bug report that it’s documented in WwI 7.9. And as you say in the bug report, it’s confusing that it says “with” is optional. Actually that whole section is confusing me.

Thanks for reporting the bug, ata! Hopefully we’ll get a clarification of how this is supposed to work (eventually; the Inform team is pretty busy, I suspect).

In fact, that’s a straight-up bug in WwI 7.9, since it says that the “with” is optional and it isn’t. I’ve reported that as bug 1324.

Heh. I think I understand where I went wrong here:

Deleting “to” from “talking to” in the “doing something other than” line doesn’t work because “talking” is not the name of the action. “Talking to” is. (Although if this is the case, why does “listening” work as a substitute for “listening to”? Maybe I’m still confused about this, after all…)

Using “talking” in a new project (without the new “talking to” action) doesn’t work because talking is not a built-in action.

However, I am able to get the line to do what I want it to do if I (1) make the original name of the action “talking” instead of “talking to,” (2) use “listening” instead of “listening to”, and (3) include “with”:

[code]The Cave is a room. A creature is an animal in the Cave. A llama is an animal in the Cave.

Talking is an action applying to one visible thing. Understand “talk to [someone]” as talking. Understand “talk to [something]” as talking.
Instead of talking something, say “There is no response.”.

Instead of doing something other than listening, talking, or examining with the creature: say “Sorry, you can only listen to, talk to, or examine the creature.”.

Test me with “x creature / talk to creature / listen to creature / take creature / x llama / talk to llama / listen to llama / take llama”.[/code]