An Inform Developer's Guide FAQ
About the site:
Q: So is this a replacement for Graham Nelson's Designer's Manual?
A: Certainly not! The Designer's Manual is the undisputed standard. This guide should be considered a supplement. As described in the Introduction, it is the philosophy of this guide that different people learn in different ways. There may be some duplication of content between this guide and the Inform DM, but a developer with a different personal take will write it. It is our belief that the same information conveyed in different words, from a different perspective, will often help to make the topic clearer.
Q. What is this "rating" stuff?
A. Since the articles stored here are both "by" and "for" Inform developers, it makes since that those same Inform developers rate whether or not they felt the article was helpful. Article lists, such as the Table of Contents, show a ratio of positive votes over total votes in parentheses. Additionally, the total number of times the article has been viewed (even if not voted on) is also listed following a colon. For example, "(4/5:23)" indicates that the article has been viewed 23 times and voted on five times. Four of those five votes were positive, one of those votes was not.
Q. How do I rate an article?
A: At the top of every article, there is a box that gives the reader that ability to vote (thumbs up or thumbs down). Just click the appropriate button and your vote will be sent. After you have voted, the box will show the voting results for this article.
Q: I don't get the ability to rate an article. Why not?
A: We put in a half-hearted attempt to discourage duplicate voting. Note that this is not foolproof, nor is it intended to be. In truth it is more of a convenience to remind the reader if they have already voted on an article. Still, the method used relies upon cookies, and there are a few cases (such as cookies being disabled on the client) where voting will not work. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Q: Hey! I developed a neat programming trick and I'd like to share it with others. How can I get it posted in your guide?
A: Just send it in. Currently the policy of article addition to the database is wide open. Provided there is nothing offensive, profane, or plagiaristic in the article, it will be posted to the database in a reasonably short amount of time (i.e.: a few minutes to a couple of days).
Q: So am I limited to just "Hints and Tips" types of work or can I do other, bigger things.
A: Knock yourself out. You could write a series of large articles if you chose. Do whatever you think will benefit the community.
Q: Okay, what format should I put my articles in?
A: All articles are stored in the database in HTML format. This is the preferred form, but you can send the article in plain text if you would like. Although we will not modify the content of the article, in some cases it is possible that we may choose to modify the HTML tags for cosmetic reasons. If you are opposed to this, just let us know.
Q: Okay I wrote an article and have a couple of charts that accompany it. How do you handle that?
A: All article pictures will be stored in an "images" sub-directory named after the author (without spaces). For example, suppose that John Smith wrote an article which contains a picture named "NPCDiagram.jpg." The article's HTML should reference the URL:
/images/JohnSmith/NPCDiagram.gifQ: Fine, in addition to pictures I also have sample code that is too long to put in the article. How can I include a sample file with my article?
A: Just like images, a directory will be created after the author's name under the "downloads" directory. Similar to the above example, links would look like this:
/downloads/JohnSmith/ExampleNPC.infQ: How do I send my stuff?
A: Just e-mail submissions to:
A: As the author, you retain all copyrights. Your name is always listed at the top of the article display page with a link to your e-mail address. At the bottom of the page is a courtesy copyright notice stating that you, as the author, retain all rights.
Q: Is there a problem with posting my article on other sites as well?
A: None, whatsoever. It's your article; do with it as you please.
Q. I've noticed the use of images for Drop Caps in some of the articles. Are these available for my articles as well?
A. Yes, although certainly not required, there is a set of drop cap images available for use in any article. The images are housed in the following directory:
images/dropdown1/Each image is a three-letter JPG that begins with "dd" and ends with the letter of your drop cap. To use one of the site drop caps, use a variations of the following examples:
<img align="left" src="images/dropdown1/ddt.jpg">his is a story...or
<img align="left" src="images/dropdown1/ddo.jpg">nce upon a time, there was a...or
<img align="left" src="images/dropdown1/ddi.jpg">t was the best of times, it was...
Q. I would like to distinctively format code and game transcript samples. How can I do this?
A. Different authors choose to do this in different ways. The <PRE> tag has been set up with a mono-spaced font for exactly this purpose and some authors choose to use only that. Others may choose to take advantage of colors. Two CSS classes have been implemented for your use: "source" and "game." Also, because browsers implement colors differently, some authors find it best to utilize these classes in a table, which wraps a <PRE>. The following HTML example will demonstrate:
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