T3: Mac Interpreters (rant)

I have a new T3 game that is now ready for testing and that I plan to enter in the Spring Thing. What concerns me is the current state of the Macintosh interpreter(s).

Item: CocoaTads and Zoom can’t load 3.1 version game files at all.

Item: FrobTads runs 3.1 games in the Terminal, which is about as ugly an interface as exists in the world. It doesn’t play sounds (and my game includes some original music). Nor does it do any form of typographic effects, which means that the medium-gray text I’m floating at the start of the game, before the first room description, appears in FrobTads as ugly black blocks.

I understand that FrobTads is not really a Macintosh device – it’s a Unix device. Multimedia features were never intended to be included. Nonetheless, it appears to be misinterpreting the font tag that is used to produce my gray text, and this is not good.

I also understand that all of these programs are being maintained by unpaid volunteers, and that it would be ungrateful in the extreme for me to whine about these issues.

Even so, I can’t help feeling that the state of the interpreters is at least as significant as the recent thread about making TADS friendlier. I mean, the friendliness of the language and library will be of interest to a relatively small number of people. The friendliness (or basic usability) of the interpreters will be of interest to a lot more people, or so one would hope.

Charles tells me he plans to upgrade CocoaTads – but whether that will happen in time for the Spring Thing is anybody’s guess.

I guess the next thing I need to do is figure out how to deploy my game for testing (not for release) on the Web. That might be an end-run around the problem. Let’s hope so.

This one should work: qtads.sourceforge.net

You have made me very happy! Not only does it look good, the music soundtrack plays.

I’m still mystified by the whole web deployment thing, and more than mystified about how one would test a game for web deployment prior to releasing it … but as long as there are interpreters that can run the game locally on the major computer platforms, 3.1 is viable.

…and today it doesn’t work. I’m getting “file operation prohibited by user-specified file safety level” errors on both the Mac and Windows. Sometimes.

I did a fresh compile of the game, and now it runs in Qtads on Windows, but Qtads Mac, which worked yesterday, doesn’t work today. I have no idea what the relevant variables are for which I should be testing.

In the preferences dialog, in the “File Safety” tab, try setting the “Read Access” option to “Read from anywhere.”

If your game really doesn’t try to read files from somewhere else then its own directory, you might have found a bug. You could send me your game file in that case so I can take a look at what’s wrong. (My email in the “About QTads” dialog. Or you can send me a PM here.)

This is the first version of the interpreter with split read/write permission support, so having found a bug in there is not unlikely.

It seems to be a file permissions thing. Today I’m running from the desktop, but once I set the permissions, it loads the game. I only noticed the problem because my tester encountered it. I’ll let him know and keep you posted if there are further problems.