Standards Compliance

Inform generates story files which follow existing standards, and contain no proprietory secrets.

Most IF design systems have their own private story-file formats - for instance, TADS 3 produces story files for a virtual machine called T3. There are advantages to that approach, but Inform doesn't take it. Inform's two virtual machines are formally independent of the Inform project. They have public specifications, they are not only used by Inform 7 but by other systems too, and there are multiple open-source and liberally licenced interpreters for them.

So if you want to use Inform-produced story files on a new platform, or embed them in some other technology, you don't need any permission from anyone to go ahead, and everything you need to know is public.

Inform adheres to the following standards:

The Z-Machine Standards Document. Codified at the end of the 1990s as the culmination of a decade of reverse-engineering by many people. There are many, many different Z-machine interpreters for a huge range of platforms, and this document specifies pretty well exactly what they should do.

The Glulx Specification. Andrew Plotkin's formal description of the Glulx virtual machine, which continues to evolve.

Blorb: An IF Resource Collection Format Standard. Andrew Plotkin's formal description of the Blorb wrapper format.

The Treaty of Babel. This is a 2006 agreement between all of the various IF communities on a common format for cover art, bibliographic data, and so on. The project includes reference code for identifying and handling story files of many different formats. The "Release" button on the Inform application produces a blorb file which fully complies with the Treaty.