[TADS] ANNOUNCE TIMESYS 2.0

12 views
Skip to first unread message

Kevin Forchione

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
I have just uploaded timesys 2.0 to ftp.gmd.de/incoming/if-archive.

What is TimeSys?
-------------------------

TimeSys is an extension for HTML TADS' default parsing/adventuring system
contained within ADV.T. Games that use ADV.T can be modified to run with
TimeSys with minimal changes, and receive the immediate benefits of the
system.

TimeSys is a timekeeping system for HTMLTADS games. It provides a
time-oriented alternative to the classical "turns"-style game display. It is
particularly suited to mystery games, but can be used in any game that
requires that the passage of time play a significant role in the game
milieu.

TimeSys implements an advanced time-oriented game system. Games can display
date and time information on the status line, replacing the classic TADS
turn/score display.

Ever wanted to make a mystery game in the style of Infocom's The Witness? Or
an adventure that incorporated the passage of time into its milieu like
Infocom's Sherlock: The Secret Of The Crown Jewels? Wanted to make a game
that expanded the use of TADS standard waitVerb to handle extended periods
like minutes or hours or days?

TimeSys provides a simple 'plug-n-play' way of installing a sophisticated
game clock into your games that does this and more. Taking advantage of HTML
TADS powerful display capabilities and the sophisticated time-handling
functions of TimeSys you can revisit old favourites, giving them a new look
and feel in a matter of minutes, or create new games designed to take full
advantage of time-oriented game play.

Changes with Version 2.0
------------------------------------

With the release of TADS 2.4.0 the following updates have been made to the
timeSys system:

? The replacement of the parseWord() and parsePunct() functions with TADS
built-in parserTokenize. This meant some small modification to the timeSys
parseTime() function.

? Removal of the room.t file from the package. The modification of
room.statusLine was cleaned up and logic consolidated into the timeSys.t
source.

? Removal of the htmlBanner object. This object merely acted as a switch for
toggling the statusLine. This attribute was moved to global.

? General cleanup of the manual and sample source.

TimeSys has become even easier to install and somewhat smaller, thanks to
TADS 2.4.0!

-Kevin

dwm...@my-dejanews.com

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
In article <ed9Oq6uo#GA.364@cpmsnbbsa02>,

This does lead to an interesting question: just how close to the
cutting edge should a game writer stay? Do I immediately convert all
my game projects to TADS 2.4 just because it's available in the
incoming directory of the if archive, or do I wait until 2.4 is the
main version in the archive and I can be assured that most players
either have it or have easy access to it?

David.


--== Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ ==--
---Share what you know. Learn what you don't.---

TenthStone

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
On Thu, 20 May 1999 21:20:24 GMT, dwm...@my-dejanews.com wrote:
>This does lead to an interesting question: just how close to the
>cutting edge should a game writer stay? Do I immediately convert all
>my game projects to TADS 2.4 just because it's available in the
>incoming directory of the if archive, or do I wait until 2.4 is the
>main version in the archive and I can be assured that most players
>either have it or have easy access to it?

TADS 2.4 is going to be the main version on the archive in about two
weeks, unless Mike has to update it again. I figure two weeks is
about how long it will take for the major porters to do their work, so
that TADS 2.4 can be played on the Mac and in Unix.

As for keeping up with the times: 30 Helens agree that your work is
already TADS 2.4 compatible. Changing compiler versions will not
require any extra work. You can generally count on TADS being keep
consistent over the ages, and so you while you don't need to keep
up-to-date, it really won't hurt anything.


Kevin Forchione

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
<dwm...@my-dejanews.com> wrote in message
news:7i1ual$inq$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

> This does lead to an interesting question: just how close to the
> cutting edge should a game writer stay? Do I immediately convert all
> my game projects to TADS 2.4 just because it's available in the
> incoming directory of the if archive, or do I wait until 2.4 is the
> main version in the archive and I can be assured that most players
> either have it or have easy access to it?

This is a good question. I know that there are some who are still using TADS
2.2.6 because they believe that it has shown a measure of stability (for
that matter I know of some who are still using Inform 5.5 for the same
reason!) And there's always the problem of 'upgrading'. Programmers are a
strange breed. There are some who want the latest and hottest technological
gizmo, and there are those who abide by the "if it aint broke..."
scriptures.

Actually, the choice is largely up to the author. An .exe file (or the MAC
equivalent) will shield a player from having to concern themselves with
which version the game is written in ... and it is fairly easy to put a game
out in both .gam and .exe formats.

But...

There are some cases where an 'effect' cannot be achieved accept with a new
release. TimeSys doesn't *require* the use of any of TADS 2.4.0 features,
but it benefits from them. However, my latest project ... the enterable
class ... would be crippled without it.

Now, from a programmer's perspective TADS 2.4.0 is very stable as it mainly
implements parser hooks and new built-in functions that access pre-existing
TADS parser routines. ADV.T has undergone some bug fixes and added new
constants, but the behaviour of the library and of the classes in general
has not changed.

Actually, the most radical departure for TADS came, I believe, with the
2.3.0 introduction to regular expressions. The potentials for this have only
begun to be explored. It is my hope that I can employ the use of regular
expressions with the next release of timeSys, as it would benefit greatly
from this tool.

It will be interesting to see the switch from T2 technologies to T3 also. T3
promises to be the most flexible and convenient game development system
ever.

As for myself... I think an author should feel free to indulge both the
conservative and the cutting-edge approaches when the mood suits him/her.
After all ... we have the tools to accomodate both.

--Kevin

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <37448273...@news.erols.com>,

TenthStone <mcc...@erols.com> wrote:
>TADS 2.4 is going to be the main version on the archive in about two
>weeks, unless Mike has to update it again. I figure two weeks is
>about how long it will take for the major porters to do their work, so
>that TADS 2.4 can be played on the Mac and in Unix.

Linux Tads, GlkTads, and XGlkTads all take about ten minutes to patch and
build, actually.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

Neil K.

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
dwm...@my-dejanews.com wrote:

> This does lead to an interesting question: just how close to the
> cutting edge should a game writer stay? Do I immediately convert all
> my game projects to TADS 2.4 just because it's available in the
> incoming directory of the if archive, or do I wait until 2.4 is the
> main version in the archive and I can be assured that most players
> either have it or have easy access to it?

Well it's fairly easy to get a copy of the latest TADS for most people -
you just download it. If you're concerned about naive users or users
without ready net access, you can distribute your game with a built-in
runtime for many OSs.

I think it comes down to whether there's a significant feature or bug fix
you want to take advantage of. TADS 2.4 has a number of very handy new
features and important parser bugs fixed. It's not that difficult to
upgrade your code, assuming you're using the basic adv.t and std.t files.
Mike's very careful with backwards compatibility, so if you rely on
standard adv.t your game is likely to work fine on the new system.

Even if you're not it's just a matter of throwing a little time at the
problem; it's not particularly difficult. My game does not use adv.t and
std.t, and I found the most time-consuming part of upgrading my source to
understand HTML was getting my customized status line to work. Once I'd
got that done most of the rest of the work involved just HTMLizing all the
formatting - adding smart quotes and the like. Going from
2.2.whateveritwas to 2.3 was a bit of work, primarily because Mike tidied
up the adv.t formatting for improved consistency, and some of these
changes got flagged by my diff program. Going from 2.3 to 2.4 took about 5
minutes.

- Neil K.

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Iain Merrick

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
dwm...@my-dejanews.com wrote:
[...]

> This does lead to an interesting question: just how close to the
> cutting edge should a game writer stay? Do I immediately convert all
> my game projects to TADS 2.4 just because it's available in the
> incoming directory of the if archive, or do I wait until 2.4 is the
> main version in the archive and I can be assured that most players
> either have it or have easy access to it?

If you have a game which is near completion, I would stick with the
version of TADS you're already using. In this case, you will have solved
the major programming problems already, so you probably don't need the
fancy new features of TADS 2.4 anyway.

If your game is still in the early stages, get TADS 2.4 and use it. The
new features (and the new manual) will make it easier to write your
game, and by the time you release it pretty much everybody will have a
2.4 interpreter.

If you're somewhere in the middle of your game -- well, it's up to you.
Your main concern should be whether switching to a new compiler will
help you or hinder you. The availability of interpreters will not be a
problem.

--
Iain Merrick

Irene Callaci

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
On Fri, 21 May 1999 02:22:28 -0700, fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil
K.) wrote:

[snip]

>Going from
>2.2.whateveritwas to 2.3 was a bit of work, primarily because Mike tidied
>up the adv.t formatting for improved consistency, and some of these
>changes got flagged by my diff program.

Speaking of "diff" -- does anyone know of a diff program
for Windows 98?

irene


Neil Cerutti

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
On Fri, 21 May 1999, Irene Callaci wrote:
> Speaking of "diff" -- does anyone know of a diff program
> for Windows 98?

It is one of the GNU tools which has been ported to win32. I compiled mine
using source code and DJGPP, but there are probably binaries availlable.

Neil Cerutti
ne...@norwich.edu


Irene Callaci

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
On Fri, 21 May 1999 12:03:26 -0400, Neil Cerutti
<cer...@together.net> wrote:

>On Fri, 21 May 1999, Irene Callaci wrote:
>> Speaking of "diff" -- does anyone know of a diff program
>> for Windows 98?
>
>It is one of the GNU tools which has been ported to win32. I compiled mine
>using source code and DJGPP, but there are probably binaries availlable.

Ah, thank you! I've downloaded and installed the GNU user tools
(user.exe), and it's exactly what I was looking for, plus lots
of extra goodies. Thanks!

irene

L. Ross Raszewski

unread,
May 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/22/99
to
On Fri, 21 May 1999 14:57:55 GMT, Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> wrote:
>On Fri, 21 May 1999 02:22:28 -0700, fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil
>K.) wrote:
>
>[snip]
>
>>Going from
>>2.2.whateveritwas to 2.3 was a bit of work, primarily because Mike tidied
>>up the adv.t formatting for improved consistency, and some of these
>>changes got flagged by my diff program.
>
>Speaking of "diff" -- does anyone know of a diff program
>for Windows 98?
There's probably a port to djgpp -- look at any simtelnet mirror.

I just found out that there's also a program called "windiff" that comes
with the windows98 CD -- it's not installed automatically; it's in one of
those "spare stuff" folders

Irene Callaci

unread,
May 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/22/99
to
On 22 May 1999 01:26:55 GMT, lrasz...@loyola.edu (L. Ross Raszewski)
wrote:

>On Fri, 21 May 1999 14:57:55 GMT, Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> wrote:

>>Speaking of "diff" -- does anyone know of a diff program
>>for Windows 98?
>
>There's probably a port to djgpp -- look at any simtelnet mirror.
>
>I just found out that there's also a program called "windiff" that comes
>with the windows98 CD -- it's not installed automatically; it's in one of
>those "spare stuff" folders

I just downloaded the GNU toolset, which includes diff and a bunch
of other stuff. I have the Win98 CD too, so I'll take a look at its
version of diff and see which one I prefer. Thanks for the info.

irene

TenthStone

unread,
May 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/23/99
to
On 21 May 1999 03:30:58 GMT, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton)
wrote:

>In article <37448273...@news.erols.com>,
>TenthStone <mcc...@erols.com> wrote:
>>TADS 2.4 is going to be the main version on the archive in about two
>>weeks, unless Mike has to update it again. I figure two weeks is
>>about how long it will take for the major porters to do their work, so
>>that TADS 2.4 can be played on the Mac and in Unix.
>
>Linux Tads, GlkTads, and XGlkTads all take about ten minutes to patch and
>build, actually.

I believe in large safety margins.

Yeah, these are easy enough jobs, but so's mowing the lawn. The
major delay is getting around to doing it.


Iain Merrick

unread,
May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
TenthStone wrote:

The delay is in the compilers, not the interpreters. We don't need 2.4
interpreters until people have had a chance to write games that require
them.

Which, uh, is my excuse for not having gotten round to updating
HyperTADS yet... :)

--
Iain Merrick

TenthStone

unread,
May 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/30/99
to
On Mon, 24 May 1999 14:12:25 +0100, Iain Merrick <i...@cs.york.ac.uk>
wrote:

>TenthStone wrote:
>> Yeah, these are easy enough jobs, but so's mowing the lawn. The
>> major delay is getting around to doing it.
>
>The delay is in the compilers, not the interpreters. We don't need 2.4
>interpreters until people have had a chance to write games that require
>them.

Well, circles are considered the perfect shape by many people.

>Which, uh, is my excuse for not having gotten round to updating
>HyperTADS yet... :)

Heh.

----------------
The Imperturbable TenthStone
mcc...@erols.com tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages