> APPLY MATCHSTICK TO KEROSENE
This has been an interesting discussion, more for what it shows about how people conflate fact and opinion and how they engage on the same. My own discipline, testing and quality assurance, is (for better and worse) filled with notoriously fractious personalities, often bordering on manic defensiveness. And that’s on both sides of whatever issue they have decided to plant their respective flags on. They then engage in battles over hills that no one is really trying to take anyway.
This is certainly something I’ve observed in the interactive fiction community going back well over two decades now. And I don’t say that to cast aspersions or somehow hold myself above it. I’ve certainly had pointed opinions on how various things have developed. (Adv3Lite in TADS being one of those, as some may recall.)
> FIND ROOT CAUSE OF DISCUSSION
The storm that started all this may be this notion that Graham and Mike are “uninvolved” in their respective systems. If I’m reading any sort of consensus correctly, people seem to agree on that with Mike and TADS, disagree on that with Inform and Graham. I’ll take that state of affairs as a given. I think what some are worrying about is that TADS atrophied when its creator (at least seemingly) stopped having a visible say in anything; when decisions were delegated down to others, and those decisions may have lacked a coherent design strategy and thus fragmentation of (and quality issues with) the ecosystem became more possible. People may be worrying about that same state of affairs eventually happening with Inform 7.
> APPLY HEALTHY DOSE OF PERSPECTIVE
Whether that’s true or not, I can’t say. But I’m also not sure how much it matters because all of this, by which I mean, text-based interactive fiction, is a hobbyist endeavor. It’s a hill no one is really trying to take in any substantive way. I say that not to denigrate it but just to put it in perspective.
So all this verbal fighting (I think I saw “angst” mentioned once or twice) is probably unnecessary. Given that this is a hobbyist sort of thing, if you enjoy it, do it. If you don’t, don’t do it. If the system you prefer happens to be “dead” or “abandoned” or whatever other semantic nitpick people want to froth at the mouth over, pick another one. And if none of what’s left appeals to you, then realize you are probably pursuing the wrong hobby. But also realize even “dead” systems can have a certain life to them for a long time, as long as they basically work.
Having different opinions is a good thing. Having healthy (rather than reactionary) debate about those opinions is an even better thing.
> RECOGNIZE INTERESTING POINT
Taking one of Jesse’s points:
Indeed! This is what I’m experimenting with now, essentially going back to I6 for a lot of reasons. Somewhere in the above fracas was mentioned the notion of more experimentation with Inform 6 than Inform 7. While I think the same level of experimentation is possible with both, having been with the IF community for multiple decades now, I do agree that Inform 6 has tended to see more diverse experimentation. But I also think a large part of that is the “different philosophy” Jesse mentions and how that philosophy manifests in the interface of both systems. By “interface”, I don’t just mean an “IDE” here, but rather the interface of the code itself. The intersection of human readable and machine expressive does matter when it comes to how people experiment.
> DISENGAGE FROM CONVERSATION
(Maybe?) along the subject of this thread, the reason I experimented with I6, then I7, then back to I6 (and ultimately not TADS) is simply that the ecosystem is wider for the Ix variety. For me, that’s currently the case whether Graham is “involved” or not.
Now, whether the converse is true for TADS is not something I can say, but I do think that question is interesting and I also do think that TADS can serve as a cautionary aspect, at least in some respects, for Inform. That opinion can be held and maintained without denigrating Inform, TADS, or their creators.