Thank you for posting this, hadn’t seen it and it provides some clarity. Let me say I understand the idea of ‘hints’ being in the name and allowing interprter apps the freedom to ignore colors if they so wish. That isn’t actually the problem! The problem is buggy implementations and inconsistencies. The most glaring inconsistency is that on Ubuntu Linux (Gnome) you have two major apps that run both Glulx and Z-code/Z-machine that do it very differently: Inform 7 6M62 Gnome IDE itself has severely broken implementation of zcolor… it does in fact attempt zcolor, but it does not do them like Linux Fizmo and Frotz does them on the same system - nor like the inform7.com website documentation example itself implies ( say " [item] ([front side of the item]/[back side of the item]): [if the item is locked][green letters]LOCKED[default letters][otherwise][red letters]UNLOCKED[default letters][end if]"; does not work correctly in the IDE interpreter)!
What struck me most is how motivated authors are to stick with Z-machine only apps. I understand the desire to play legendary Zork and other games, but in a way there has been a breakdown of motivation to tackle Glulx. And when I dug through all the code it was pretty clear to me the lacking colors support in Glulx over the years and the limitation of only User1/User2 was leading to wasted time by both software coders and story authors. This comes to me from a lot of reading of posts via search engines. And, of course, Android app source code commits/etc (as I mentioned several times, Android had a working Glulx interpreter with the most flexible of legal licensing - Incant github.com/qpliu/incant - that the community practically ignored since 2014).
My Glk “bring it into the fold” wishlist is that: Out of high regard to it’s legacy, the 11 or 13 Z-code/Z-machine colors be brought into the fold and examples given of how to implement them and a ‘reference Glk implementation’ be cited. Second, I think bold, italic, and underline all need to be distinguished from each other in Glk if an application so chooses. Yes, on a Frotz or Fizmo VT100-type ncurses approach they can choose to make [ bold == underline, underline == underline ] but on a modern complex system like Android it should be allowed that Glk is more clear that the story author requested one or the other and to distinguish them. Can we sneak in strikethrough? Third, the option on desired behavior of mixing these same attributes. If a platform has the capability of doing color, bold + italic, bold + underlined, bold + underlined + italic, color + bold + italic + underlined + strikethrough, how would Glk indicate to mix them and how should they appear (reference implementation, even if only a mock-up screen shot image or HTML page). If you listen careful, I’m not putting emphasis on a “nice to have wishlist” like font family or other things. And, implied fourth, bring the zcolor option into the fold for any other interpreter to use (Glulx, etc) beyond style_User1/style_User2. I’m really talking about basic consistency here between well-established interpreter apps multiplexing one Glk to multiple interpreters - and the Inform 7 build 6M62 Gnome IDE vs. Gargoyle on Gnome illustrates this inconsistency.
I understand that there is a desire for a CSS Glk-styles The Next Generation. But Android doesn’t know how to process CSS, and neither does ncurses. In many ways, Android’s native (first class) text output is actually very much in the spirit of the VT100 (ncurses) in that it allows you to take a string (words or prose) and apply bold + italic + foreground color + background color all on a character by-character basis! The world wrapping and justification take it all into account automatically (on hundreds of different sizes of screens with tricky issues like right to left Arabic السلام عليكم right in the same bold/italic schemes). Maybe people didn’t realize that a very modern text output system (Android) was built like that (reference: SpannableString github.com/BroadcastGames/Infor … Styles0.ni ). Thank you, and Happy New Year. May we all have a Glk integrated होली Holī-Day
P.S. This was an actual news headline of 2016: androidauthority.com/whatsap … ng-680598/ - let that sink in for someone who has worked with VT100/VT102/etc type terminals since 1978! You are looking at a system there that’s nearly identical to what Z-machine was doing! I understand the desire to go with CSS3 and HTML5 separation of concerns, but is that what you see people really doing there in that screen shot? They are encoding inline transitions - just like zcolor does. What is old has become new again