Mac IDE Questions

I’ve started revising the Handbook. In Chapter 1 I have some computer-OS-specific information. I have Windows 10, no Macintosh. If you’re a Mac user, could you answer a couple of questions for me?

First, if someone could detail the exact process of downloading and installing Inform, with no steps left out because they’re so obvious, that would be very helpful.

Are the tabs on the left and right side panels in the IDE arranged vertically in the right margin of the panel?

Does the main Index page look nice, or is the type kind of crunched up the way it is in the Windows IDE? If it looks nice, could you possibly send me a screen shot?

In the original version of the Handbook I alleged that the Mac IDE was not very good about adding little orange arrows in the Errors panel to direct you to the line in the source text where the compiler detected the error. Are the orange arrows pretty reliable now, or are they still not too likely to show up?

I may have more questions later. (Or you could just send me a nice new Mac, that would solve the problem. :grin: )

  1. Download v10 from Releases · ganelson/inform · GitHub. It’ll have a name similar to inform_10_1_2_macOS_1_82_3.dmg. The important thing is that it contain “macOS”.
  2. Click on the downloaded file.
  3. A Finder window will pop up. It says to “Drag the Inform icon above to your Applications folder to install”. Unfortunately it does not open the Applications folder for you.
  4. So, instead, press Command-Shift-A. This will open the Applications folder.
  5. Now drag the Inform icon to the newly-opened Applications folder.

Alternatively, Command-Shift-A will open Applications directly.

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…on the file whose name includes “macOS”. (Currently that’s inform_10_1_2_macOS_1_82_3.dmg but the version number will change over time.)

Here’s the layout. You’re going to have to decide whether it looks nice. :)

I was actually attempting to refer to the “downloaded” file, which I’ve since fixed above. But you’re right, I should have included the macOS description. I’ll fix it.


They are entirely reliable as far as I know.

I phrased it badly. I didn’t mean “are they reliable” when they show up, I meant, “Do they generally show up whenever possible, or are they often missing?” Some years ago they were often missing, IIRC.

It looks fine. The Windows version is a mess, however. I believe I reported this to David Kinder months ago; I have a vague memory of doing so. The screen shot below shows how it looks in Windows.

The Extensions pane is also defective in Windows. The text that describes the Extension is inevitably crammed into a very narrow column to the right, apparently because the left column, which contains the name of the Extension, defaults to the width of the longest name. There are other issues here. When you go “up” from the text of an Extension, it takes you back to the very top of the Extensions list (which in my case is very long) rather than simply moving you to where you were before in the list. I can deal with that; hey, it’s free software! But it’s not elegant, that’s for sure.


Do you mean click or double-click?

Good question. Depends on where you’re clicking it. I single click on the downloads bar in my browser. Other people’s experience may be different.

That’s the kind of detail I need. If there are two ways to select the .dmg, I need to know both of them.

FWIW, that screenshot of the Windows IDE Index doesn’t look like what I see:

This is with a pretty small window since I was trying to cram the screen real estate as tightly as I could – any smaller and it just starts scrolling rather than shrinking. From futzing around, seems like the issue is that if you set the application font size to bigger than 12 points, you start to get the issues you see here – maybe worth flagging that bumping it back to the default 9 is a good thing to do?

Very strange. I tried setting the font size (in Edit > Preferences) to 9. I then quit and restarted the IDE, just to be sure. Mine still looks the way it did before. No change. I’ll investigate further, if I can think of any way to do so.

Huh, that’s very odd! I was seeing the text get bigger and bigger as I changed the font size in the preferences menu, no need for a restart. Could be there’s some conflicting Windows setting somewhere? Anyway, certainly annoying either way.

Turns out there are TWO places to set font size. One is in the General tab, and that applies to the editor panel. The other is in the Text tab. When I use the latter, I get the results you get. Problem solved.

Now all I have to deal with is the fact that when I set my screen to 1600 x 900, which I need to do to make it easily readable, the entire Preferences box is so big the OK button is halfway cut off at the bottom. It doesn’t seem the Preferences box can be resized…

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That’s going to depend on the web browser they’re using, though, isn’t it?

What are you referring to? I’m not following you. The download of the .dmg file should be identical, no matter what browser you’re using.

While we’re asking, does anyone know how to change either the text or the background color of the “contents” tab?

Inform is taking some cues from my desktop being set in dark mode, but I can’t read the outline.

This is a known issue, see Contents View Displays White Text on Light Background (Text Unreadable) · Issue #32 · TobyLobster/Inform · GitHub

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