Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation
The language used in the source reads as if it were English aimed at a human reader (and this is intentional: the designer, after all, is a human reader and needs to be able to understand his or her own source), but in reality Inform can only understand a very modest range of sentences and will complain if its limits are passed. Subtler problems arise if the source contains contradictions. For instance, the following "Problem" might be produced:
Problem. You wrote 'A starting pistol is in the cup' , but in another sentence 'A Panama hat is on the cup' : the trophy cup cannot both contain things and support things, which is what you're implying here. If you need both, the easiest way is to make it either a supporter with a container attached or vice versa. For instance: 'A desk is here. On the desk is a newspaper. An openable container called the drawer is part of the desk. In the drawer is a stapler.'
This is a rather discursive error message, and if a similar problem were to occur in the same run through, it would be curtailed to:
Problem. You wrote 'A firing pistol is in the box' , but in another sentence 'A fedora hat is on the box' : again, the croquet box cannot both contain things and support things.