I’m new to interactive fiction, but I am an established writer. Not very good at the tech stuff, but I thought I’d try my hand at Inform.
It seems like a number of Inform extensions use Flexible Windows by Jon Ingold but the extenion says it is tested and compatible with Inform version 6F95. Now in checking the history for this version - 6F95 came out in 2010. That was 7 years ago. So large number of important extentions to the Inform langauge on the website are based on something really that old?
Maybe I’m missing something because I’m a still new, but as an outsider trying to make sense of the tool - that seems very insane.
The Inform tool appears quite sophisticated to create stories, but to someone who isn’t very technical and DOESN’T want to be, why can’t someone update these extensions to be compatible with a version that isn’t 7 years out of date? Am I crazy to expect more or is this tool fallen in disrepair?
Your confusion is understandable! The state of the extension ecosystem is somewhat confusing.
There are three main ways to get extensions: the Inform website, the Public Library, and the Github repo.
The Inform website mostly hosts old extensions for previous versions of Inform, for building old projects and the like. It’s not usually the place you want to go.
The Public Library is accessible within the Inform IDE (see the Extensions pane), and really should be advertised better on the website. You’re not the first newcomer to get confused by this. This is where well-tested and well-maintained extensions for the current Inform version are kept.
Finally, the Github is where people post new extensions they’re working on. These aren’t held to as high a standard as the Public Library, and aren’t rigorously tested or necessarily still maintained. Basically, anything that’s still in development will be here.
I don’t think Flexible Windows has ever yet made it into the Public Library; the most up-to-date version will be on Github.
You will need a bunch of other extensions for it to work. (That’s the main reason for it not being in the PL.) Sorry everyone!