Minor, but serious documentation issue

there’s a minor documentation issue, but considering that I7 is a literate language, whose should (and indeed is successfully used) by people not versed in coding, can be serious:

the last example in WI 7.8:

Instead of examining, looking under or searching the desk: say "There's no use poking around in that old desk." 

can suggest to non-coder people, unaware of the concept of recursion and infinite loops, that multiple-action rules can be used as redirection, for example, examine (the idea being that looking around or searching the desk print the description of the item), thus doing this wrong coding:

[BEWARE: example of *wrong* coding, throwing 'terps hopelessly into infinite loop]
a desk is  a fixture in the lab. The description of the desk is "an old desk"
Instead of examining, looking under or searching the desk: try examining the desk

whose obviously led to an infinite loop, in a recursive call to the instead of examining.

My suggestion is adding to WI 7.8, after said example, a friendly warning to novices in programming about this pitfall.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


I made a very similar error in my first game, it was a single line of code for a very unimportant scenery item. I and my playtesters did not ever notice it during testing because it was such a minor backdrop. I entered the game into IFComp2018, and at least a few players hit that recursive loop. It did not help my game.

The newly re-available I7 bug tracker can be used to report bugs and request improvements in the docs as well as code (I’ve reported a couple of doc things.) One has to make an account with Atlassian, though.

Zed, I have classified atlassian as “too nosy” (among other serious issues…), hence I prefer discussing here.

Sooner or later Graham will tackle this contradiction (using a nosy commercial site for bug reporting of an OS software), so no haste…

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Obviously, I’m not Graham, but I doubt the Inform team will go through the trouble of migrating bug trackers again unless Jira breaks in a catastrophic manner.