T3.1: Text formatting

This is either something TADS 3 introduces and it’s odd for me because I’ve played only TADS 2 games before, or something that absolutely everyone overrides and I’m too stupid to realize how.

I have a couple of bones to pick with the way the text is displayed:

First, it’s the presence of /u2002 (double spaces) after periods. To be honest, this is only really clearly visible in Plain Text mode, but I still hate this. The double space after periods looks silly. No games I’ve played look like this, although, again, I’ve mostly played TADS 2 games. Is there any way to globally force the formatting to display a common one-space after periods or do I have to paste \u2005 after every bloody period in the game’s text?

Second is line spacing: The way the formatting spaces certain lines irk me. For instance, take this image (Look at the text ater the “look” command). From a graphical organization standpoint, I think it would be better if there were only a regular single space between the Desc and specialDesc lines. I’m okay with everything else, such as atmospheric messages or NPC actions, being spaced down more, but the text displayed by Desc and specialDesc feels better when it’s clumped together, not in the same paragraph, but at least in the same “block” of text. Here’s a sample of what I mean.

Finally, I wonder if there’s some way to automatically add a simple \t indentation in front of every Desc and specialDesc. I could, of course, start every single one of these lines with \t (This is how I did it in the sample images above), but I was wondering if there was a way to do this for every Desc and specialDesc at once. There is simply no case where I WOULDN’T want this to be so.

I don’t know the answer about double spaces, but I can tell you that Inform 7 games don’t use double-spaces, and the result is that quite often there isn’t enough space after a period.

That said, you can do anything in TADS 3, so I’m sure you can do what you prefer. I would start by looking in the article “Some Common Input/Output Issues” in the Technical Manual

The business of paragraph spacing and paragraph indentation … there are two conventions in this area. One is the older convention used in books (at least prior to the advent of how-to books on computer programming), which was that there was no extra line space between paragraphs, and the first line of each paragraph was indented. The newer convention, which will be seen on most HTML-based web pages, is that paragraphs are separated by an extra line of white space, and the first lines are not indented.

TADS 3 uses the newer convention.

If you prefer the older convention, I would suggest that you will need to be careful to do it consistently. Again, that article would be the place to start digging. Customizing the output may not be as easy as you’d wish, because TADS does quite a bit of housekeeping behind the scenes, such as deciding exactly when to start a new paragraph and when to run material together.

Power users may have more detailed suggestions.

What I would earnestly recommend is that you not try to mix the two styles. I’ve seen badly coded Inform games, for example, in which the paragraphs are not indented, and there are empty line spaces between some paragraphs, but not between others. This inevitably looks very amateurish, because you simply don’t see nicely published material with non-indented paragraphs that are not separated from one another vertically by extra white space.

Just modify typographicalOutputFilter (located in en_us.t on line 3669) to not include first two rexReplaces. About English spacing:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sentence_spacing#French_and_English_spacing