Trying to work out what's built-in about built-in extensions

Hi. I’m trying to understand what it means for an extension to be ‘built-in’ to I7.

Built-in extensions appear grayed out in the Open Extensions menu, until you ask them to be installed. What is the significance of installing them? I get it for downloaded extensions, but not for built-in ones.

Do you get any functionality from built-ins unless you specifically tell your game to ‘include (such and such)’? Do you have to install them first? What are they actually built into?


“Built-in” means that the extension comes with the default Inform installation, as opposed to other extensions you have to download separately. There is no other difference.

That the IDE offers to install the built-in extensions is a bug, I think. There’s no need to install them separately. Being grayed out just means that they are built-in extensions, you can still use them out of the box by just including them into your project.

Thanks much, that cleared me up.

I don’t think it’s a bug, precisely–just the wrong terminology. When you “install” a built-in extension in that way, you create a new copy in the user extensions folder (as opposed to the built-in extensions folder). The copy in the user extensions folder will be used before the copy in the built-in folder. It’s a handy shortcut if you need to hack up your own version of one of the built-in extensions.