This week it occurred to me that from time to time an I7 author might pause for a moment to muse about whether – or how difficult it would be – to switch to T3 as an authoring system.
Not to get into the reasons why that idea might occur to someone. I’m not trying to start a platform war here! If you’re happy with I7, more power to you.
Be that as it may, I figured I’d put together a brief tutorial that specifically addresses questions Inform 7 authors might have about TADS 3. It’s not an in-depth examination of how T3 works – the documentation already covers that. The code style and features of T3 are introduced briefly, starting with the notion that the reader is already familiar with I7 and would like to know a bit more about the similarities and differences in the two systems. A few other issues, such as how to set up T3 on a Mac and how to make your way through the documentation, are also discussed.
Even if you read this and decide to stick with I7, there’s a benefit: You’ll have a better idea about why you’ve made the choice that’s right for you. And maybe it will take the sting out of T3 (which can, let’s admit, be rather intimidating) for two or three authors who are curious about it.
I’ve always been interested in learning both. Seems like a clear case of “too much is always better than not enough.”
Back when I made my first pokes into learning IF authoring, I gave both (I think) TADS2 and Inform6 a try, and both drove me out screaming in confused terror. Later I came back and tried (I think) TADS3 and Inform7, and Inform7 had me up and running with a completed game in 4 hours, and TADS3 didn’t, and that was pretty much that.
But I’ve always wanted to know both. So I’ll give this a whirl; thankee
Very detailed and well worth considering. Although I don’t personally plan to switch over, my girlfriend (a software architect) has been dismayed by her I7 experiences, and I’ll send this over to see whether T3 will be a better engine for her. Thank you for sharing this information!
This was an excellent read. I’m not planning on switching over, but I’m certainly not averse to branching out, and for people who have been stymied in trying to approach TADS 3 fresh, I can see this being sufficiently different from other tutorials to be effective.
I want to look into other languages too. If we have another language crossover comp, I know this doc could be a big help. From what I’ve seen, TADS deserves support and interest.
I’m such a newbie I didn’t know about Eric Eve’s tutorials. I’ve only gotten to glance at the docs, but yeah, I agree about some of the nuisances of Inform. I figure they’re worth dealing with, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that you can ask for more even with something that’s very good as is.
While your document did inspire me to give TADS 3 a go, actual programming languages really make my head hurt. The fact is I want skip past programming tables and chairs and go right to crazy stuff I can do in I7. Still, those nice features of TADS 3 (i.e. vocabWords, mix-in classes, faster compilation, better disambiguation, splitting up source code etc) always lure me towards it. One day, perhaps. One day.