Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation
Inform 7 is dedicated to Emily Short and Andrew Plotkin, whose shrewd and sceptical suggestions made a contribution which can hardly be overstated. A long email correspondence with Andrew entirely subverted my original thoughts about natural-language IF, as he convinced me that the "new model" of rule-based IF was a truer foundation; while Emily's wry, witty analysis and how-about-this? cheered me at low moments, besides providing the impetus and often the specifics for a lot of the best ideas.
From the outset, I have thought of Inform 7 as no longer being a command-line compiler, but a compiler in combination with a humanising user interface. All credit for the reference implementation under Mac OS X belongs to Andrew Hunter. How simple the metaphor of an interactive book with facing pages may seem, but the coding was an enormous challenge. In 2014 Toby Nelson, the author's brother, put months of time into the project by rewriting and modernising the Mac OS X application: sandboxing it for the Mac App Store, giving it a more contemporary design, and much more.
Though David Kinder's Windows application does indeed visually follow the OS X original, the two programs were coded independently, and the programming task taken up by David was formidable indeed. Philip Chimento's Gnome-based user interface for Linux became officially part of the project in November 2007, when the first easy-to-install packages for Ubuntu and Fedora were offered. Philip's efforts were particularly generous since the early stages of Inform-for-Linux were so tentative: for many months, we weren't sure how to go about the project, and during that time Philip quietly wrote us a solution. Adam Thornton continues to support Inform at the command line on Unix-like systems.
Inform in its widest sense incorporates work by so many people that it's simply impossible to thank all of them, but Erik Temple, Dannii Willis, Ron Newcomb, Eric Eve and Juhana Leinonen all deserve special mention. More than 250 users have filed patient and careful bug reports, keeping us on the straight and narrow. They're contributors, too.
It's perhaps surprising that the Inform application gained its first online component only in 2014, but the Public Library of Extensions, and its discussion forum, make a brave step into the modern age. Mark Musante, our Extensions librarian, Dannii Willis and Justin de Vesine have been a great help in setting this up.
The original development of Inform 7 was a long haul, and I would particularly like to thank Sonja Kesserich, David Cornelson and other volunteers for their early testing of a then-fragile system. The final months before the Public Beta release of Inform 7 were made more enjoyable, as well as more productive, by fruitful discussions leading to a cross-platform standard for bibliographic data and cover art. L. Ross Raszewski, who wrote frighteningly efficient reference software in frighteningly little time; the librarians of the IF-Archive, Andrew Plotkin, David Kinder and Paul Mazaitis; and my fellow authors of IF design systems - Mike Roberts (of the Text Adventure Development System); Kent Tessman (of Hugo); and Campbell Wild (of ADRIFT).