§19.6. Sorting and indexing of rules

The Rules page of the index for a project offers a view of the rulebooks and their contents, with two major exceptions: built-in rules for specific actions are left to the Actions page, and any rules for scene endings or beginnings are left to the Scenes page.

As we have seen, we need to know the name of a rule before we can change its rulebook listing or alter its applicability. The Rules and Actions index pages show the names of the built-in rules, which are not worth memorising. (Typing can be saved by selecting a rule's name, using Copy and then using Paste to insert the name into the source text.)

In the Rules index, each rulebook is named (in italic type) and then followed by a list of the rules within it, one on each line: if nothing follows, then the rulebook is currently empty. The rules are given in order, and icons are used which indicate which rules are more specific than which others: for instance, a green-tipped arrow running downwards indicates that the rule below is more specific than the rule above. Hovering the mouse over such an icon should bring up a "tooltip" which explains Inform's reasoning:


As this suggests, Inform performs its automatic sorting using a precise collection of Laws (the term "rules" would be ambiguous here, so we call these guidelines Laws instead), and the tooltip shows which Law was applied. It is bad style to write source text which absolutely depends on detailed points of these Laws, but they are documented at the end of this chapter for those who do wish to see the full details.

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