Problem with system date

My Glulx game checks the system date using Real Date and Time and prints an error if it can’t. It works fine for me (Windows 7/Glulx), but a play tester is reporting that he gets the error. Any ideas why? Does it work on your system?

[code]Include Real Date and Time by Ron Newcomb.

When play begins:
unless the player’s time is available:
say “[italic type]This interpreter lacks a necessary feature.”[/code]

The obvious answer would be that the tester’s interpreter doesn’t support that feature. Which interpreter are they using?

The system date calls were only added to the Glk specification in version 0.7.2, which was earlier this year. Your tester’s interpreter doesn’t support the system date calls, most likely because it pre-dates this. Your tester will have to update their interpreter to whatever the latest one is, or switch to a more recent interpreter.

Tester is using Linux. Does Real Date and Time not work for all operating systems? It doesn’t mention any such restriction in the documentation, that I saw.

It’s not an OS limitation; it comes down to what the tester’s Glk implementation supports.

The date/time functions were added to Glk in February; any Glk library that has not released an update since then will not support the API functions needed for Ron’s Real Date and Time extension.

I added these functions to Gargoyle back in February but haven’t done a proper release since last October. A new version should be out very soon. If your tester is using that Glk library then this will resolve the issue.

Bear in mind that there are many other Glk implementations in the wild and not all of these are actively maintained (for certain values of “active”). Tying your game to very recent Glk features is a perfectly valid design choice, but you may nevertheless leave some players out in the cold, if they have not, cannot, or will not upgrade their interpreter.