Re: Historical Source: ZIL files for all of Infocom's games.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon

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Apr 17, 2019, 3:36:33 AM4/17/19
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Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
> ZIL is the Zork Implementation Language that Infocom created to write
> their games. It compiles down to Z-code for a virtual machine (that
> pre-dates Java by decades). Then interpreters were written for various
> platforms which all run the same Z-code. People are still writing Z-code
> interpreters and writing new text adventures that are compiled into
> Z-code, but mostly they are using Inform, a new and different language.
>
> Infocom's original source has apparently been circulating quietly for a
> while, but now it has been released to the world by the guy behind
> textfiles.org.
>
> https://github.com/historicalsource
>
> https://twitter.com/textfiles/status/1118005126457888768
>
> So, Infocom source code is now uploaded to Github. Most people don't
> speak or want to speak the language it's written in, ZIL (Zork
> Implementation Language). You can browse through it and kind of suss
> out what's being done when and the choices made over the course of
> time.
>
> In cases where the source code had multiple revisions, and I don't
> know the story of what revisions came when and came why, I did a
> reasonable job of layering them out (this came before that, that came
> after that) and doing multiple "check-ins" of the code so you can see
> diffs.
>
> Often, there are cases that some games were built up from a previous
> game, allowing modification of the macros and structures and then
> making them work in the new game. For example, an NPC partygoer in
> one game was a thief in a previous one. Dungeons become stores, etc.
>
> There are infinite things to learn here and I hope people learn from
> it. I think if a reasonably informed person comes through and gives
> it a real documentary treatment we will really understand just how
> brilliant those Infocom implementors were. And how space-age
> Z-Machine is.
>
> The compiler, as far as absolutely anybody can tell, is lost. It is
> not possible to turn this source code into a functioning game
> anymore, and certainly not by using any tools that exist in any
> chain, anywhere. This is therefore less "code" and more "text
> artifact".
>
> [A note on this point: the original compiler is lost, but a clone has
> been created. More below.]
>
> If this is taken away or lost, then really, are you to trust that any
> company, ANY of them, will take care of their history, and not just
> slam down any attempt to look at the historical work done and
> understand, educate, and promote research? Can you really trust that?
>
> What got me thinking about this was losing Stu Galley last year,
> creator of so many great games and who thought Infocom was the dream
> job of a lifetime. We got along so well during GET LAMP; I loved that
> guy. He was a gem.
>
> Whatever happens next, it makes me happy to know people got to see
> his craft, and the craft and thinking of so many other of these
> artists in interactive fiction, and understand on a new level what
> they were doing and how they went about it. I dedicate this to them.
>
> Happy reading.
>
> As for compiling:
>
> https://twitter.com/HappyMacXL/status/1118189168029503490
> [...] In the ZIL group we have actually managed to compile using
> ZILF...
>
> https://bitbucket.org/jmcgrew/zilf/wiki/Home
>
> Play the compiled program with an interpreter like "frotz".
>
> Elijah
> ------
> the "feelies" that came with the games remain rare collector's items
>

This probably should be reposted to rec.arts.int-fiction and
rec.games.int-fiction.

Eli the Bearded

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Apr 17, 2019, 2:44:34 PM4/17/19
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In rec.arts.int-fiction, Pabst Blue Ribbon <pa...@blue.ribbon> wrote:

.ribbon isn't a real TLD, but .blue is, if you wanted to register that.

> Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
>> ZIL is the Zork Implementation Language that Infocom created to write
...
> This probably should be reposted to rec.arts.int-fiction and
> rec.games.int-fiction.

I think all the users of those groups have wholesale moved their
discussion off of Usenet. https://intfiction.org/ and the like.

The crosspost omission was deliberate.
Followups directed back to comp.misc.

Elijah
------
doesn't have any .blue domains but has a .red one

Pabst Blue Ribbon

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Apr 18, 2019, 6:12:40 AM4/18/19
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Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:

> I think all the users of those groups have wholesale moved their
> discussion off of Usenet. https://intfiction.org/ and the like.

Mostly. There are still some people showing up now and then.


Adam Thornton

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Apr 19, 2019, 2:48:16 PM4/19/19
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In article <q4YtE.104841$lO2....@fx30.iad>,
Pabst Blue Ribbon <pa...@blue.ribbon> wrote:
Agreed. Not sure what harm you think the crosspost does. I don't read
comp.misc, and do read raif and rgif.

Adam

Happy MAC XL

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May 20, 2019, 10:19:19 AM5/20/19
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I don't know what any of the above means i.e comp.misc etc but i'm happy enough to cross-post into here (time and memory allowing) from our Facebook group!

DarseZ Szabo

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Nov 5, 2020, 2:00:05 PM11/5/20
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On 2019-05-20 10:19 a.m., Happy MAC XL wrote:
>
> I don't know what any of the above means i.e comp.misc etc but i'm happy enough to cross-post into here (time and memory allowing) from our Facebook group!
>

Always happy to see non-FB group postings...many of us don't use FB and
long for more community discussion not owned/hosted by a commercial
entity ; )

Kerr-Mudd,John

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Nov 5, 2020, 3:23:09 PM11/5/20
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On Thu, 05 Nov 2020 19:00:04 GMT, DarseZ Szabo <wiser...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
Nobody's posted here for 18 mths.


--
Bah, and indeed, Humbug.

R. Mutt

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Nov 14, 2020, 5:24:29 AM11/14/20
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I don’t post because I don’t really play anymore but I’m monitoring the
group. Maybe I’ll have something to say if there will be a discussion.

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