Removing the noun

I have an action applying to a number that works perfectly when commands are in the form “[verb] [number]”. However, I would also like to allow commands lacking that number by using a default parameter. I have tried both rules supplying a missing noun and check rules, and in both cases am able to set the number understood to what I want. However, the noun (I presume) remains the null object “nothing” and I get an error telling me that “[I] can not name an object” when preforming that action. Is there any way to get rid of nothing so it can continue? I’d rather not use the workaround of creating yet another action (applying to the defaults) just so I can send my actual action a number.

As a side note, is there any way of rearranging the index? There are a few rulebooks and phrases in a section to themselves that could be better placed in other categories.

That is, however, the easiest solution.

Re: the index - it’s always a direct reflection of your source code. So if you want to see some parts elsewhere in the index, you should just move them in the source code. Maybe you can set them off in their own Parts/Chapters/Sections etc. under a new heading with similar bits of code. Or perhaps they’ll be happiest just as one-offs where they are.

I find it’s easy (and kinda fun) to obsess over where things should go in the source code, but in the end, they have to go somewhere, once. You may find it’s easier to make such placement decisions once your project is further along. The longer you work on it, the more you’ll have developed your own Inform style, and you’ll find you want to put bits of code in places that reflect your thought processes. At least that’s what happened for me.

The one thing to be careful of is that in Inform, the order that code is listed in can be significant. For instance, the order that people and objects are defined in the code will control their print-out order in the game, and that remains the best way to control such ordering at an elementary level. Also, some actions may need to be defined before later references to them in the code will make sense. So that’s the only thing to be careful of when moving routines around.

Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, but these last few days have been rather busy for me. I did eventually decide to go the create a second action route—mainly because it allows me to implement a “wait for character to finish” action. One thing that I did find interesting was that I cannot stop the action in a “supplying a missing noun” rule; both “instead” and “stop the action” fail to do anything. I do have a truth state toggle that works, but if I can get something working directly it would save a variable and two rules.

And about rearranging the index, I was mainly talking about inserting my rulebooks/phrases/whatever into built-in categories. For example, I have added two stages to specific action processing, yet the rulebooks for those stages are located at the bottom in the section of new rulebooks and activities from my extension rather than with the rules governing actions. Actual rules from the custom stages are also not listed on the page for the action. Does anyone know how to tell inform that stages “are tied to specific actions, and there are too many to index [in the Rules tab],” and should instead be with those specific actions they are tied to?