The Headings and Subheadings of the Extensions Public Library

I have been exploring Inform 7 extensions the last few days and had a question on the organization of the Extensions Public Library.

I understand that the list of extensions at Friends of Inform 7 GitHub Repo is different than the Extensions Public Library Archive.

What I am wishing that I had for the Friends of Inform 7 archive is the Headings and Subheadings metadata for the different extensions that the Public Library provides:

Alphabetic sorting and Author Name sorting isn’t nearly as useful as having the extensions organized by purpose.

So, my question is, are the organizational categories something that was provided as part of the Public Library site or is there a way that extension authors can provide category metadata about their extensions so they are easier to locate by others who have specific purposes and/or problems they need to solve?


Yes, the organizational categories are part of the Public Library site. If you go to that page and view source, you’ll see that all of that metadata is hardcoded on that page.

Short answer: no.

Long answer: there’s nothing stopping us from developing some sort of folksonomy and marking extension metadata in comments internally, which could then appear on something like the Friends Extensions repo docs page. Or even from making an equivalent to the Public Library directory page and recompiling the IDE to point to it. Or a couple of other imaginable things. But it would require a lot of coordinated effort.


I had been working on a guide to extensions (and will get back to it someday). In pursuit of this, I collected the metadata of yesteryear, which I’ll share to save anyone else the screen-scraping and data-munging:

the tags from i7el (YAML) (5.9 KB)
the categories from the extensions that used to be on the I7 website (YAML) (10.9 KB)

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How is the Friends Extensions repo docs page created? I know the basics of GitHub but I have never created a GitHub website. Is it something I could contribute to? Maybe help make some sorting code for the page?

With the Informant script I wrote (in Ruby). There’s no automation; intermittently, I run it and commit the new index.html. In slow development is a successor candidate that separates what compiles from what doesn’t: extensions sorted by compilable or not. Neither has a mechanism to consider tags or categories.

Having been considering it thanks to this thread, I’m feeling inclined toward having one big metadata YAML file someplace rather than any kind of internally-tagged-in-comments folksonomy scheme. That seems a lot more flexible and less error-prone than a scheme involving touching dozens of files. Plus, I expect during the implementing there will be more than one round of A Better Idea inspiring massive revision.

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Separating out the extensions that do and do not compile is a very useful feature, so I appreciate that you are doing work on that.

So, for the newer extensions that are coming in, does the extension author make a recommendation for the appropriate heading and subheading, or does someone in the Friends of Inform 7 review the extension and decide? How does that part work right now?

I am assuming that the Friends of Inform 7 maintain the Extensions Public Library Archive? Or maybe not? But, somehow, the category metadata is still being assigned in the Extensions Public Library Archive.

The Friends of I7 is an unofficial informal thing without any kind of governance/maintenance/administrative relationship to the Public Library.

So far as I know, subsequent to 2018 only one extension has been added to the Public Library (Clues and Conversation by Brian Rushton in July 2020) so there isn’t much in the way of newer extensions coming in.

Good questions regarding who came up with the categories and who chose what extensions went where.

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I’d meant to follow up on this. I exchanged some messages with @markm, the Inform 7 Extension Librarian. He says he’s the one who put submitted extensions in categories, but that he did not come up with the categories.

He also indicated that the Public Library hasn’t been updated only because people haven’t been submitting things. (I’m going to go out on a limb and posit that this might have something to do with any reference to submitting to the Public Library having been removed from the Inform 7 website over 2 years ago…)

(These are the old Extension Guidelines for extensions’ consideration for inclusion on the Inform 7 website from when it was still hosting extensions; these are Mark’s old guidelines for submission to the Public Library.)