Unix Frotz 2.51 released

Frotz 2.51 is now ready. This is a minor release focusing on bugfixes and minor enhancements.

Summary of changes between Frotz 2.50 and Frotz 2.51:


  • Added an -f option for Dumb Frotz to mark up the output with color and
    formatting codes. Currently “irc”, “ansi”, and “normal” modes are


  • Cleanly account for some installations of ncurses which have the
    library split into ncurses (high level) and tinfo (low level).

  • Added an idiosyncrasy fix for Cutthroats, which assumes a
    quick-and-dirty conversion of 24-hour notation to am/pm notation.

  • Fixed where the Makefile used spaces instead of a tab in a rarely-used

  • Fixed a memory allocation problem with restoring a game at the command
    line using the -L option.

  • Fixed an oversight in which curses wasn’t being shut down properly
    when fatal zcode errors were encountered.

I’m currently finishing up folding in the old X11 interface. For that I’m waiting to hear back from Daniel Shepler, the person who wrote that interface code. I’m also trying to get Dumb Frotz compiled and running on TOPS20 on an emulated PDP-10. I’m not sure if I’ll add xfrotz to the 2.52 release or wait until 2.60. Full PDP-10 support with full screen control and disk paging will be in 2.60.

Source code and a precompiled executable for 16-bit MS-DOS have been uploaded to the IF Archive and will be in their usual places in a few days.


Oh, excellent! Is there a reference for how the IRC and “normal” modes work for the colors and formatting somewhere? Or should I search through the source?

Basically it’s just this from the manpage:

   -f [irc | ansi | normal]
          Select  type of format codes.  Dumb Frotz can optionally mark up
          its output with codes for color, bold,  underline,  and  so  on.
          Currently  formatting  codes  for irc clients and ansi terminals
          are supported.  Specifying normal or not using this flag at  all
          will  result  in  Dumb  Frotz's normal behavior of not using any
          sort of markup.

In retrospect, I think I can add some discussion on just how things are marked up for IRC and add references to webpages on IRC markup. For ansi, it’s pretty self-explanatory, though I suppose I should add something like “You should see something resembling the output from Frotz using curses or a GUI”.