request screen width

Is there a way to see if a screen is 80 characters or smaller/ or wider?

I thought I saw something in the documentation in I7 that was set to give an error if the width was smaller than X when printing a map thing.

I don’t know whether it can be done in native I7, but Emily Short’s “Basic Screen Effects” extension certainly provides that functionality. Here’s a quote from its documentation:

damn i messed up my phrasing.

I mean… is there a way to …

don’t know how to put it

i don’t want it to be blocked, when it’s too narrow… but i want it to behave specially when it’s exactly X characters - or over.

Also, any chance of figuring out the height of the screen? I guess not.

Screen Size Detect, for Z-Machine. That’s what I need.

Or better yet, control over the size of the screen of the player.

Like “set background” i’d go for “set screen width” and “set screen height”.

so with “request” i mean “please put your screen to 80 characters” or give the player an option to let the game adjust it.
that’s probably a colossal order.

but i figure it can’t hurt to ask, right?

force a font, force all the settings, that sort of thing. like color and background and what’s “default”.

But now i’m getting ahead of myself.


The basic philosophy of IF is that the game is text-based. Fancy graphical criteria are sort of alien to that philosophy.

Having said that, I should also note that you get more control over the appearance of the game with TADS 3 than with Inform 7. I don’t know if that includes automated resizing of the main window, but T3 definitely has multimedia tools that I7 doesn’t have.

That’s not the tightest way to understand it.

The basic philosophy of IF interface design is that you have a high-level abstraction for entering and receiving text. It’s not that “graphical criteria” are the enemy, it’s avoiding ties to a particular display API.

(Infocom made this mistake with the Trinity quote-box. They assumed that computer screens were rectangles of directly-addressable character glyphs, with a scroll feature. Turned out not to be universally true.)

People play these games on phones with small screens. They play them in ClubFloyd where there is no real screen width. They play them by screen reader and Braille reader. IF gets stuffed into hidden corners of DNS servers and transmitted across Twitter and SMS.

When you say “Force the screen to be 80 characters wide,” you’re really saying “Refuse to run on any interpreter that can’t be described that way.”