Problem with The other four senses (listen in a room)

I have been trying to get one of the snippets of code in the manual to work.

In 7.7 The other four sense, it has the line
Instead of listening in the Seashore, say “The song of gulls.”

However when I try this, i get an error message saying

This is the report produced by Inform 7 (build 6G60) on its most recent run through:

Problem. You wrote ‘Instead of listening in the Seashore’ , which seems to introduce a rule taking effect only if the action is ‘listening in the Seashore’. But that did not make sense as a description of an action. I am unable to place this rule into any rulebook.

Am I missing something?

I can get
Instead of listening:
if the player is in the Seashore, say “The song of gulls.”

but I prefer the first approach if I can get it to work.

That must be an untested bit of code (or perhaps it used to work, but it doesn’t any more.) You can fix it like this:

Instead of listening when in the Seashore, say “The song of gulls.”

You definitely don’t want to use the second method, because you’ll end up with this:

Worked like a charm, thanks.

This should be reported on the bug tracker as a mistake in the manual.


There seems to be another problem besides documentation:

Instead of smelling in the seashore, say "The smell of gulls."

compiles and runs, whereas the syntactically identical example from WI 7.7.

Instead of listening in the Seashore, say "The song of gulls."


The full name of the listening action is “listening to”.

Instead of listening to in the Seashore, say "The song of gulls."

compiles and works as intended. So there’s a misprint (a missing “to”) in the manual.

I agree that there’s more to it.
The Standard Rules sometimes use “listening to” sometimes just “listening”. I can’t remember reading any explanation as to when prepositions at the end of the name of an action can be omitted and when they can’t.
Besides, if you try defining a new action – say, bouncing on something --, in as close analogy to the action of listening to as possible, I don’t think Inform will let you omit the “on” in “bouncing on“ even where the “to” in “listening to” is omitted in the Standard Rules.