It could be very much alive. Bob Bates’ new release of Thaumistry shows TADS3 is still a viable, capable language. And there have been a number of posts recently over playing TADS UI game over the web. This is all great progress, but…
Most every TADS game published online still looks and feels like the tired, old-school standard TADS interface. In a new IF gaming world full of Twine, Vorple, and modern web interfaces, TADS is being left behind by most authors. One look into the IFComp entries and we can see that.
Yet when I read the TADS 3 Web UI documentation, it offers the following: Adventurous authors who wish to go beyond the compatibility features in the Adv3web library will discover a whole new frontier in the Web UI. The key to the Web UI’s expanded power is that the user interface runs in a true Web browser, not in a TADS interpreter. Modern Web browsers are extremely sophisticated UI application platforms, far beyond what the TADS interpreter can offer.
So I’ve searched for ONE game, ONE library contribution, ONE source recipe example, or ONE public source from a game. Anything that can offer help for an author to include some of these powerful web HTML capabilities and transform a TADS game way beyond its traditional interface. In my search, I still haven’t found ANYTHING, ANYWHERE. I don’t think most game authors want to spend 3 months trying to dissect the UI library into workable TADS code, but surely somebody in the IF universe has gone before and tried to unlock this hidden power of TADS web UI and provide compilation ready TADS code and (js.html, css) modification examples? Or am I the very first person to wonder why this? Is TADS that dead?
I know I’m ranting, but I still see gem buried in the dirt. You can talk all you want about making TADS more playable online, but if we can’t unearth this UI capabilities gem to the average author, then we should start including TADS in the way of sad abdandonware like HUGO and ALAN.