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8/16/2007 7:40:00 PM
Hello! For those of you wondering where I’ve disappeared to... I’m still here, still paying the annual fees to keep the site up. Given that SO MUCH has been happening to the Inform language since my last post, I’m a bit ashamed that I have so little to update. I make no excuses. Life has simply gotten the better of and me and taken a toll on my free time. Here’s my feeble attempt to breathe a little life into this site and give a general update that encompasses answers to many of the questions posed to me in emails:

  • Yes, I’m still answering emails, although at a modest rate, and I’m still taking bug reports on the ORLibrary modules. The most recent of these is Howard Sherman’s fix to ORNPCVerb, although I confess that I have a few sitting in my email that I’ve yet to fix. Hopefully I can get to these soon.

  • Yes, I’ve put a little effort into ORLib or I7. Much of this was from early pre-release cycles of I7, of which Graham was kind enough to include me in a few, but I don’t really have anything worth releasing at the moment.

  • Yes, I still have plans to continue writing the Mage Wars trilogy; time, as I have indicated, is a commodity I have very little of at the moment.

  • Yes, I do still lurk around on the R*IF groups from time to time. I seldom feel the need to respond to general posts, but I try to stay on top of the changes.

  • No, I’m not using David Fisher as a pseudo name. Yes, I see he’s written a tense changing module for I7 similar to OREnglish, but we are not the same person. Great minds think alike, though.

  • No, I don’t see myself continuing with CodingMonk in quite the same way as I had originally anticipated. It is likely that I’ll reverse many of the site redirections that are currently pushing from OnyxRing to CodingMonk and translate that site into something else.

  • Thanks to everyone who has been sending me emails; I really do appreciate them and its great to hear that people are still using the ORLibrary. I hope to do updates with a bit more frequency, so feel free to share your thoughts, especially on potential extensions that you might like to see.

    11/6/2005 4:25:11 PM
    OMG! It’s been over a year since my last post! Huh. Time flies. Well, there’s been a couple of points worth mentioning, so here goes...

    First, there’s been a patch to the ORKnowledgeTopic module of the ORLibrary made in response to a bug report from Clinton Arbaugh. Thanks Clinton!

    Next, many of you may have noticed that some of the links to articles on this site redirect you to the same article at the Inform zone at CodingMonk.com. This isn’t an accident. I’ve mentioned before my thoughts on a site, similar in spirit to OnyxRing’s article pages, but not limited to Inform the language, or even IF as a general topic. CodingMonk is that site, and future work on articles will be housed there. It’s still at it’s beginning stages, but I expect it to mature with time.

    But let me be clear, OnyxRing is NOT going away. It will continue to be the home for the ORLibrary and its documentation. I have additional plans for the site, but it may take a while to achieve them.

    That’s all for now. I’ll try to do more updates in the next year.

    10/22/2004 4:15:14 PM
    Still here, still alive.

    The move to a new hosting company was not without a few hiccups, it seems. First, the navigation menu has been broken, so navigating to common pages could only be accomplished by direct URL. Those managing to get past this issue and return to the ORLibrary page for updates were greeted with an old, pre-release version (.9A) dated September 2002. Those trying to let me know of these problems were rewarded with a bounced e-mail since OnyxRing's webmaster email address was disabled.

    Whew. Hopefully, we're problem free again (crossing my fingers).

    8/18/2004 12:25:04 AM
    If you're reading this, then the DNS repopulation has successfully found its way to your ISPs server and updated OnyxRing's IP address. This means, of course, that we've changed hosting companies. There's been a lot of work put into moving the site and translating the articles and content from an Access file to a SQLServer DBMS.

    For those interested, additional work is being put into another site focusing on a wider spectrum of programming. It will not be IF specific, but will superset OnyxRing's content. OnyxRing isn't going away, though and you can continue to access its content from the standard link:

    www.OnyxRing.com

    as well as a new sub domain of the new parent site:

    OnyxRing.CodingMonk.com

    Other than that, there's been a couple of minor bug-fixes to the ORLibrary which you might download.

    6/8/2004 12:00:00 AM
    There's been update to the ORLibrary which now bears the label 1.3C. This is just a service release containing a few bug fixes. (Sorry, life's getting a little busy right now.)

    3/7/2004 12:00:00 AM
    The latest revision of the ORLibrary is 1.3B, announced today on RAIF.

    2/29/2004 12:00:00 AM
    There's lots of news! Months of anticipation have finally come to fruition and the Inform 6.3 final is out!

    This new release solves many of the issues that have historically plagued ORLibrary users, including that pesky nested #ifdef bug that only seemed to be patched on some of the current compilers and the unchangeable ceilings on the maximum number of source files and the maximum number of nested includes.

    Additionally, the new 6.11 standard library that comes with the compiler has prompted dozens of behind-the-scene changes to the ORLibrary and rendered seven modules obsolete:
    ORLibraryMessages.h
    ORObjectInitialise.h
    ORStartingTurn.h
    ORAskTellOrder.h
    ORHideDirectionWalls.h
    ORStyleItalics.h
    ORStyleRvrsMonospace.h
    The current ORLibrary (1.3A) has been revised extensively to take advantage of several new Inform features and will no longer support the 6.21 compiler or its associated 6.10 library. The 6.3 compiler (currently available for Windows and Linux, with more platforms forthcoming, I'm sure) and the 6.11 standard library are the current targets. For those of you that are hesitant about taking the plunge, the last version of the ORLibrary that targets 6.21 is the 1.0c release, still downloadable at the following URL:

    http://www.onyxring.com/downloads/orlib/orlib_complete_1.0c.zip

    Next, in addition to a few module-used-modules, a couple of additional extensions now join ORLibrary:

    ORNPC_GoalDriven – allows you to specify actions to an NPC and have the character perform these actions when they become possible.

    ORActionQueue provides the workings for multi-turn player actions. Using this module, the creation of commands that take several turns (such as WAIT 10 TURNS or GO TO THE LIBRARY) is now largely simplified.

    2/8/2004 12:00:00 AM
    I've bumped the ORLibrary's version stamp to 1.2D. In addition to a few bug fixes and a new module (ORReview), every module has been translated into a new format, which eases slightly the burden of using individual library entries without the framework. Additionally, the framework is now slightly more intelligent at catching errors and compile-time output is a bit more descriptive.

    On the down side, the article "Using the ORLibrary Entries Without the Framework" is now inaccurate and out-of-date.

    2/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
    Two more ORLibrary modules have been rendered obsolete by the new 6.3 compiler and 6/11 standard library: ORStyleItalics and ORStyleRvrsMonospace. These have been archived from the ORLibrary. In order to help offset some of this reduction, a new module has been introduced: ORActionMenu, which can be used to display actions in a menu. CYOA-type games are one possible use for this.

    In light of the recent module additions, revisions, and bug fixes, the version has been bumped and release 1.2C is now available.

    1/19/2004 12:00:00 AM
    After just two days, changes in the ORLibrary have become so numerous that a new release seems prudent (1.2B).

    1/17/2004 12:00:00 AM
    Exciting news! The second public beta for the new Inform 6.3 compiler has been announced. This release incorporates numerous changes to the standard library which necessarily affect the ORLibrary. In fact, with this 1.2 release of the ORLibrary, five modules have been eliminated entirely, because the new library already contains their functionality. Dozens of modules have also been modified, but I’ve taken care to minimize the impact on ORLibrary users.

    With that in mind, remember that the 6.3 compiler is still considered beta. It would be best to think of 1.2A in a similar fashion. Bug reports are always welcome.

    The ORLibrary documentation has also been revised. It continues to need expansion (as always) but is not "out of date" with this new release.

    12/15/2003 12:00:00 AM
    My free-time has been limited during the last several months making site updates infrequent. Hopefully I can put a little more work into the site in coming weeks.

    Some exciting news has been released to the IF world concerning a new 6.3 Inform compiler (http://www.inform-fiction.org/inform63/). Several features in this compiler revision will benefit the ORLibrary directly. To be ready for its official release, I've frozen the ORLibrary code, perhaps prematurely, at 1.0C. I expect this to be the last version to target the 6.2x compiler. The next version or the ORLibrary will begin at 1.2 and will target the 6.3 compiler exclusively.

    8/6/2003 12:00:00 AM
    There've been a few minor enhancements to the site, mostly in the form of Cascading Styling Sheets. A couple of ORLibrary modules have also had small fixes. The exciting news is a new module which was submitted by Mikael Segercrantz called ORScore which replaces the standard library's scoring system with something... well, better and more flexible.

    Thanks Mikael!

    7/8/2003 12:00:00 AM
    The ORLibrary rev. 1.0B is out. Note the absence of the ORBox.h file. It was retired several months ago and can be found in the archive zip file. Scott Hardwick also noted some additional files were previously in the ORLibrary, were retired or renamed, but never added to the archive. These inclued ORGlulxItalics, ORGrahamNelsonMenu, ORParseNoun, and ORParseName.

    6/18/2003 12:00:00 AM
    Just a little has been happening here in the last few months (work has kept me busy). There's been a few updates to the ORLibrary since 1.0 was released, mostly bug fixes. The ORLibrary manual has also been updated since the release to the archive. Most of the major modules now have some documentation, but I'll try to wrap up the remaining modules over the next few months when I get the time. The current state of the ORLibrary and documentation can be found at its usual home on the ORLibrary page.

    The hit counter has also been reset; not for any particular reason, just because I felt like it.

    Also, the pocket pages are now gone. I'm uncertain how many people were using them, but the normal web-pages now attempt to auto-detect clients on palm or pocket PCs and shift to a scaled down "Mobile mode". I don't have access to many client boxes (just my iPac) so if you try to view the OnyxRing pages on your PDA and they don't display correctly, drop me a line and let me know.

    3/16/2003 12:00:00 AM
    It's been in development for over two years now, but I've finally packaged the ORLibrary as a 1.0 release. In light of a recent update to library files which contained "debugging code" I'm going to wait a few days for any more bug reports, but if nothing major surfaces, then I'm going to send this 1.0 release on to the IF-Archive.

    Also, the ORLibrary documentation is progressing, albeit slowly. The latest PDF has been generated and can be found from the "Downloads" page.

    3/3/2003 12:00:00 AM
    The ORLibrary revision .9G has been released. It was really thought that the library would be passed off to the if-archive as a 1.0 revision by now, but bug fixes keep coming in... darn beta testers! :) Still, it's getting close and it is hoped that the 1.0 release will be done this summer.

    The documentation, however, is another story. A lot of progress has been made, but a lot more needs to be done. I had hoped to have at least the first draft of the documentation completed at the same time as the 1.0 release. I'm not sure if it will happen though.

    2/3/2003 12:00:00 AM
    The ORLibrary has been updated to rev 0.9F. This includes a few additional packages, such as ORExits and ORHideDirectionWalls. Additionally, based upon a post from Andrew Plotkin, the realization has been made that the library does not handle linefeeds in the traditional fashion. Major effort has been put into the library to locate and correct linefeed mishandlings.

    Finally, for those of you that are waiting for an updated version of the ORLibrary Documentation… well, please bear with me. It is definitely something that I need to work on, I've just not had the time. The decision has been made to abandon the one-big-tutorial concept, however, and supply code snippets instead. I believe that this will allow me to produce documentation faster.

    Anyway, thanks for all of the excellent feedback!

    1/12/2003 12:00:00 AM
    The latest version of the ORLibrary has been released (.9D). This revision corrects a few bugs and adds a couple of new packages.

    Also, the online documentation of the ORLibrary has been updated to reflect the ordering of the PDF files. <sigh> The documentation has really been a monkey on my back. Hopefully I'll get some real time to work on it soon, but if anyone feels the urge to express themselves with an article on how to do something with the ORLibrary (or just IF programming in general) I'd be happy to post it.

    Happy 2003 everyone!

    12/27/2002 12:00:00 AM
    ORLib 0.9C has been packaged. It contains a few bug fixes, nothing more. Perhaps I’ll have more time to work on it after the holiday season. (Ho Ho Ho.)

    10/18/2002 12:00:00 AM
    The ORLibrary has been updated to version 9B. Note that a couple of new modules have been added (ORPrefixSuffix, and ORSupporterContainer) and one has been retired and moved to the archive (ORBox.)

    ORPrefixSuffix is an implementation of a topic discussed in a thread on RAIF. It compensates for periods when used in conjunction with prefixes or suffixes (e.g. "Dr. Malcolm").

    The ORSupporterContainer implements changes to the standard library that allow both the supporter and the container attributes to coexist. With this module, all objects can be supporters and/or containers without having to be derived from any specific classes, as was the case with the ORBox module (which is why it has now been discontinued.)

    10/11/2002 12:00:00 AM
    We've translated the ORLibrary Manual into PDF format. Take this with a grain of salt. The ORLibrary Manual is only partially complete and what does exist is in a rough draft state. Changes to the ORLibrary have made parts of the documentation inaccurate. It needs a LOT of work and contains numerous typographical errors. Given enough time (hopefully by the time the ORLibrary reaches a 1.0 release version), it will be more complete, but until then, consider it a work in progress.

    Like "An Inform Developer's Guide" in PDF, this is produced in an automated fashion so will likely be updated in a fairly regular fashion. When time allows, there will be some updates to the site to put the downloads page back into place (It's been down since we retooled the site under .Net) and make it easier to determine when the file has been updated. For now, it can be found here.

    9/18/2002 12:00:00 AM
    ORLibrary release .9A has been released! A word of warning before you upgrade: This release breaks compatibility with previous versions! We've been listening to your suggestions, and the murmuring on RAIF about the evils of attributes, and have finally broken down and done it. Nearly all attributes previously defined in the ORLibrary have been converted into properties (with a few exceptions). In particular the NPC classes and the Knowledge Topic classes will need to have special attention paid to them.

    Also, a new article entitled "Inform Extensions Voodoo" has been released for general consumption describing several techniques that are used in the ORLibrary modules.

    8/31/2002 12:00:00 AM
    We've done some clean up on the ORLibrary. A new module OREntryPoints.h replaces several previous modules (such as ORChooseObject and ORParseNoun). Since we've had a couple of other modules that have been phased out over the last year, we have now removed these from the library proper and created a new zip file (ORLib_archive.zip) to store these outdated modules. The latest revision is .8F.

    In addition, we've added back in the copyright code that seems to have been overlooked during our backend upgrade back in March and cleaned up some display issues on various data-driven pages

    8/21/2002 12:00:00 AM
    Very little has happened on the OnyxRing front recently. There have been a few minor bug fixes, but little else. We've added some new pages that display the Inform Guide articles in a format that is more beneficial to Palm-Pocket computers. Tests have been successful on the iPac using AvantGo. Drop us a line if you try this out and experience problems. The URL is:

    www.OnyxRing.com/pocket

    7/31/2002 12:00:00 AM
    We've added a couple of extra modules to the ORLibrary. In particular, Irene Callaci was kind enough to give permission to wrap her AskTellOrder library contribution. Irene's module especially compliments the ORNPC componant modules. There have been a couple of modifications to the original; it has been modified to work with Glulx and support for the ORRecogName module has been added. Thanks Irene!

    Also it is worth mentioning that we've broken the 10,000 unique hits on the site. For those that are interested, that counter is only updated when a connection is first initiated. Subsequent page views are not counted again until the viewer has closed down his browser and reconnected to the site. Brinkster shows the actual number of page views to be in excess of 31,000!

    Also, we've been toying with some ideas for documentation. Specifically in utilizing some of the more complex modules. Keep an eye out!

    7/21/2002 12:00:00 AM
    The ORLibrary has been repackaged again (.8E) and includes several updates. In particular there are two new packages: ORMagic, a package that provides the base behavior for adding magic spells to a game, and ORConverseMenu, an expanded version of the conversation menu system used in the recent "Medusa" conversation example. Several updates have also been made to better support conversations with groups of NPCs.

    Also, in pursuit of my desire to increase my number of half-finished projects, I've started a new series or short hint articles named "NPC Conversation with the ORLibrary." It can be found from the ORLibrary's documentation page
    here and attempts to shed light upon the increasingly complex classes used to create conversations with NPCs.

    5/29/2002 12:00:00 AM
    Several bugs, both minor and major have been updated in the ORLibrary in the last two weeks. these have been repackaged in to release .8D. Now for a question: As we approach the 1.0 release of the ORLibrary (which will also be submitted to the IF-Archive), what sorts of modules would you like to see there? Drop us a line and let us know.

    5/12/2002 12:00:00 AM
    Several new bug reports have been sent in (we are up to twenty now) and several bugs have been fixed in the ORLibrary. Also, the library has been repackaged and upgraded to version .8C.

    4/22/2002 12:00:00 AM
    Just a quick note. The conversation article and the Medusa sample have been announced on RAIF. The ORLibrary revision has also been updated (.8B).

    4/19/2002 12:00:00 AM
    There's been a couple of updates added to the ORLibrary, but most of the recent work has been in the Medusa example. It's still not ready to be released, but it most definately demonstrates the use of the appropriate ORLibraries. A new conversation map has been designed to help shed some light on the source code for the developers that are trying to glean understanding out of it. The knowledge map can be found here. The source code and game have also been updated and can be found at the same URL discussed previously.

    Comments are always welcome!

    4/14/2002 12:00:00 AM
    There's a new release of the ORLibrary, labeled .8A. This version implements some broad scoped changes that make ORLibrary programs compile quicker and avoid an error message with the complier concerning the maximum number of included files. Additionally better cross-platform compiler support has been included and support for interpreters other than Frotz & GLULXE has been increased.

    This release also includes classes which expose a better mechanism for NPC conversation and also marks the beginning of a push for better module documentation and code examples. A new game, written in the spirit of Emily Short's well-known conversation games, has been created to give an example of using the ORLibrary for NPC conversations. An article on NPC conversation theory accompanies it. Although not ready to be announced publicly on RAIF just yet, I'm posting it now for consumption by regulars of this site. The compiled .Z5 version of the game can be found here, the source code and be found here, and the article can be found here. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

    3/25/2002 12:00:00 AM
    Okay, false alarm on the last release. There's really nothing wrong with the code it contains, but the primary include file (OR_Library_Include.h) does try to reference a file that is no longer part of the library (I seem to keep struggling with this and its getting the better of me). In an effort to keep the initial install of the library easier for the new users, I've decided to upgrade the revision to .7D with the only difference that it will successfully compile on a new install (I know, seems like a lot to ask for).

    3/24/2002 12:00:00 AM
    We've repackaged the ORLibrary again. Version .7C is available for download. There's been a significant amount of feedback about the library. Keep it up! It's good to hear from you!

    3/3/2002 12:00:00 AM
    We've made several changes on the backside of the site. A lot of new code and a lot of new pages to do exactly what we've been doing all along (now how smart is that?) There will probably be several links that don't work for a while, mostly in articles that link to other articles. If you find one don't hesitate to drop us a line by clicking on the email button to the left.

    2/26/2002 12:00:00 AM
    Version .7B of the ORLibrary has been released. This version completes our transition into GLULX support and implements a new template framework for modules (slightly modified but less complex, easier to follow, and compatible with the other existing framework components.)

    It is probable that no one will notice, but this new version does not contain two modules that existed previously. The first, "ORGrahamNelsonMenu, " was more or less an exercise in the framework usability and really served no purpose. The second, ORKnowledge was an extremely old module (predating the ORLibrary altogether) which had become mostly useless in light of the ORKnowledgeTopic class. If these modules are missed in anyway, just drop me a line and I’ll put them back.

    We've also had several users report back bugs so we've launched the ORBug Memorial page to give credit to the appropriate finders.

    Also, the first ORLibrary-specific code post made to RAIF by a user occurred and can be found here.

    Just a heads up: Over the next few weeks the OnyxRing web site will be undergoing a transition to the .Net platform (yeah, I know) and the links will have extension changes from .aspx to .aspx.

    2/12/2002 12:00:00 AM
    We've been adding support to the ORLibrary for GLULX. It's Inform too and interest in that platform just can't be ignored. We've been making steady progress at adding the support. Several of the modules have already been translated, a couple of new GLULX-only modules have been created, and permission has been given from Roger Firth and John (Katre) Cater to wrap their work ("Just Enough Glulx" and "InfGlk") into the Library.

    Wow! I'm amazed at the rate the ORLibrary is growing! (Maybe I need to go on vacation or something...)

    2/7/2002 12:00:00 AM
    A lot has happened on the ORlibrary front.

    We upgraded the version number of the ORLibrary to 0.5B, synced the prepackaged ORLib_complete.zip file, and officially announced the ORLibrary on RAIF on the 5th. The prepackaged file matched the individual entries for less than eight hours before Joel Finkle reported the first bug. Thanks Joel, for helping to make the ORLibrary entries more stable than ever!

    We've added a page to give credit to those users that find bugs and expanded the documentation section. Additionally there's a whole new article system in place for "quick and easy answers" to common questions from RAIF. The proper "ORLibrary Documentation" provides more thorough detail about the ORLibrary entries, but comes across as too detailed to many new users. This system is a good place to store easy solutions.

    1/21/2002 12:00:00 AM
    In addition to returning to the normal logo, the ORLibrary has had extensive updates. A profound low-level bug has been found and corrected in the ORRecogName module and many more smaller bugs have been addressed in other modules as well.

    The "rough draft" of the ORLibrary documentation has become a monster and at this rate, I project that it will be nearly 100 pages (a small book) by the time it is complete. It has been my attempt to pack as much information together into the rough draft as is humanly possible, working on the presumption that it is easier to revise existing documentation than to write it from scratch. I’d like to ask for input from any readers that have been reviewing the library and its documentation. Typos (which are too numerous to count) and suggestions on ways to make the wording, clearer would be extremely helpful.

    1/7/2002 12:00:00 AM
    The documentation to the ORLibrary has come a long way. The previous two sections have been updated and the tutorial is now in four files representing the four stages completed so far. Two new sections (or rather, two parts to one section) have been added leaving only a few of the modules undocumented. In particular the ORKnowledge and ORNPC variety of library entries.

    A Table of Contents has also been introduced to help unify the sections so far. It can be found here.

    That's it for now, more to come.

    1/3/2002 12:00:00 AM
    There have been extensive changes to the ORLibrary, especially to the ORNPC classes. In fact, more library modules have been updated than not. The documentation continues to grow, but the more that gets written, the more it seems needs to be written. The next section will probably be posted in the next day or two. Happy New Year, IFers!

    12/4/2001 12:00:00 AM
    We're still alive and kicking. We’ve updated a few articles to reflect Roger Firth’s new website www.firthworks.com/roger but on the whole we haven’t done much work. Nevertheless, we’re always open for new articles, so feel free to submit them!

    10/16/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Still here, and still alive. Work has been poured into the ORLibrary and the rough draft for an ORLib manual. The vast majority of new development has been in the NPC entries (which have not been documented at all) but the two sections that are begining to take shape can be previewed here and here. Comments are welcome.

    9/16/2001 12:00:00 AM
    We've changed our logo in the wake of the U.S. Trade Center/Pentagon disaster to demonstrate our support for the United States (of which we are a part) and those who join in the battle against terrorism of any form.

    May God be with us.

    9/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
    There've been some connectivity problems in the last week or two. This has been due to a mix up with the domain name renewal. Thankfully, I believe we're past that now.

    We've also had a great article sent in by Sonja Kesserich found here. Check it out!

    Other than that work has been progressing on the ORLibrary and a guide for using it. The first glimpse will be available soon.

    8/16/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Our site has been successfully updated. We've been up and down and our e-mail server dumped nearly a weeks worth of email into nothingness, but we've reached the light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully). The ORLibrary is progressing as well as AID Guide.

    7/16/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Completed testing of the Article Entry & Maintenance system (AEMSys). Touch up modifications have been made to several articles using it and this news entry was made using it as well. Considering plans to allow authors limited access to it as well.

    The ORLibrary was updated today and now includes several alpha entries that are implementations of various articles showcased previously in the guide. Plans are in the works for an ORLibrary tutorial which will provide a walk-through for implementing the ORLibrary in new games. This will be kept a part from the Inform section.

    E-mail me and let me know your thoughts on this stuff.

    7/6/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Extensive behind-the-scenes work has been done to integrate the database used for AIDG with other pages (such as "Whats New" and an ORLib how-to page). This framework opens the door for more possiblities for the site. It would now be possible now to launch additonal guides on subjects other than Inform (such as design theory, or even TADS). Additionally, the site will soon become easier to maintain.

    7/5/2001 12:00:00 AM
    A few new implementations: Drop caps and a couple of added classes to the CSS (game and source) for use by article authors.

    6/26/2001 12:00:00 AM
    More articles! Additionally, we've updated the ORLib page and hope to have it refreshing at a more frequent interval.

    5/26/2001 12:00:00 AM
    A new FAQ, and several new articles have been placed on the site. Additionally, a few minor changes to the site have also been implemented.

    Behind the scenes, work is progressing on the next update of the ORLibrary, especially a replacement Language Definition File which enables a developer to write games in first person (as well as the normal second person) and past tense (as well as the normal present tense) and to switch between the modes dynamically.

    5/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Several new additions to the site have been made in the past couple of weeks. These include a couple of new "Informed Tips" articles by Roger Firth, a new Author's page and a Search page added to AIDGuide, a copyright-by-author notification with author's hyperlink on all articles, and a new ORLibrary page.

    4/18/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Additional modifications have been implemented to further browser independance. Additionally, a simple article rating (SAR) has been put into place to provide visitors feedback with what other readers thought.

    4/14/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Modifications to support Netscape are complete. The translation was a learning experience, but it went smoothly and the site is now better because of it. Despite previous browser-dependencies, there was also a fair amount of positive feedback as well. The proposed "Tricks and Tips" section has now been implemented under the title "Informed Tips." There is one fairly technical article currently in place ("Randomizing Random") and hopefully more to follow.
    RandComp - a game whose premise is to incorporate random functionality as much as possible. (Which is what promptedthe afore mentioned "Tips" article.)

    WhodunnitComp - a murder mystery themed competition. We're waiting to gage a response before going down this road, but not unwilling to do cashprizes. Since this site is pretty much dedicated to learning to code, accompanying source-code would probably need to be a requirement for entries to be eligible for the prizes. Let us know what you think.


    4/13/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Ah yes. Browser compatibility. This is something that you really can't appreciate until you see the problems with your own eyes. We were able to do just that by following a link to a somewhat painful screenshot that was posted today on R.A.I.F (Thanks Beej!). There is obvious work to do. It'll take a little time, but the work will start by aiming for compatibility with the latest Netscape browser (4.08). There are a lot of other browsers out there too, but you have to start somewhere.

    Additionally, there were some suggestions on the structure of the Inform Guide sectioning. Coming from this is a new "Tricks and Tips" section now in the works.

    4/11/2001 12:00:00 AM
    After a jumping through a lot of hoops, we were finally able to get an announcement posted to r.a.i.f yesterday. The response has been gratifying and some of the feedback and suggestions have already been implemented for testing. (modifications to fonts).

    4/8/2001 12:00:00 AM
    Site announced today on RAIF. Also added an Introduction article describing the purpose of the Inform Manual. A couple of bug fixes were applied and a counter was added.

    4/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
    In celebration of April Fool's Day, we decided to cut our losses, and drop our previous domain-host six months early. We are now housed completely at Brinkster for a nominal monthly fee (not free but still worth it) and running ASP. The INFORM developer's guide section is up and running (although a little dry of articles right now) and we are definitely taking submissions. All you RAIFers that specialize in INFORM, send in your stuff!

    3/20/2001 12:00:00 AM
    The site informally launched. The old "look and feels" that we displayed during development have been discarded. Although they fit the "onyx" theme pretty well, they were just too dark and drab to be anything more than depressing.

    Also, the site has physically moved to Brinkster (you may have noticed the redirect). What are the reasons for this? Brinkster is free. Their web pages allow server-side scripting (for free). They allow for database usage (again, free). They simply give out thirty or so meg of web space (cost: zero). Sadly, we were unable to get the people previously hosting this site to even turn on server-side includes. Oh yes! Did I mention that Brinkster is free?

    There is a lot of work left to do, but this is step one.

    Drop us a line and let us know what you think.