seeking Leather Goddesses of Phobos map

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David Keller

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Mar 3, 2002, 2:19:56 AM3/3/02
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If anyone knows where a map for Leather Goddesses of Phobos can be
found I'd like that information. Not the map of the catacombs but a map for
the whole game or map(s) for parts of the whole game that people may have
made. I've no talent for mapping and poor visualization ability so a map
would help me a great deal but I've not been able to find one. LGOP doesn't
have a map feature in the game itself or the documention that came with it.
A Zork Zero style map feature which have been great.

I just subbed to this group yesterday and don't know if this is a topic
that's already been overly discussed. Apologies if that is the case.


Glenn Hutchings

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Mar 4, 2002, 3:51:07 PM3/4/02
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David Keller wrote:

The Interactive Fiction archive (www.ifarchive.org) has a number of
programs available for making maps of IF games -- they're designed to take
the tedium (and waste paper) out of it all. Look in the 'mapping-tools'
directory.

If you want a ready-made map of LGOP, point your browser at
www.sentex.net/~dchapes/ifm. There's a PostScript version of it (any many
other maps) there.

Glenn

David Keller

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Mar 7, 2002, 11:50:03 PM3/7/02
to

"Glenn Hutchings" <zo...@pillock.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:a60mp6$2tu$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
<snip>

> The Interactive Fiction archive (www.ifarchive.org) has a number of
> programs available for making maps of IF games -- they're designed to take
> the tedium (and waste paper) out of it all. Look in the 'mapping-tools'
> directory.
>
> If you want a ready-made map of LGOP, point your browser at
> www.sentex.net/~dchapes/ifm. There's a PostScript version of it (any many
> other maps) there.
>
> Glenn
>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks for the information, Glenn.

Would this news group be appropriate to ask for people's non-technical
comments about the different mapping tools in regard to preferences, ease of
installation, ease of use, compatibility matters and potential problems
concerning both the mapping tools and any additional software they may
require to operate (e.g. GhostScript and GSview)?

I don't think the news group for interactive fiction programmers would be
the place to go for answers that will tell me what I want to know in
language I'll understand. Especially for someone open to the possibility
that bad paper and pencil mapping or going by whatever I can manage to
remember may be better options for now. My current interest in IF is just
to play it and lately my feeling about installing new programs, making
changes in computer software or changes in configurations is that Murphy's
Law and the Law of Unintended Consequences are considerably more reliable
than anything else relating to such matters.

David K


Fredrik Ramsberg

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:50:14 AM3/8/02
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"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:<%pXh8.2276$Vx1.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net>...

>
> Would this news group be appropriate to ask for people's non-technical
> comments about the different mapping tools in regard to preferences, ease of
> installation, ease of use, compatibility matters and potential problems
> concerning both the mapping tools and any additional software they may
> require to operate (e.g. GhostScript and GSview)?

I think the question of what mapping tools to use is a player's question
and thus fitting perfectly well in rec.games.int-fiction.

> I don't think the news group for interactive fiction programmers would be
> the place to go for answers that will tell me what I want to know in
> language I'll understand. Especially for someone open to the possibility
> that bad paper and pencil mapping or going by whatever I can manage to
> remember may be better options for now.

If you would have a question about making IF games or related tools, I
think you'll find most people over at rec.arts.int-fiction to be very
friendly, helpful and able to avoid technical mumble-jumble, especially
if you point out that you're not too much into the technical side of
things yourself.

Also note that a lot of people over at r.a.i-f are true friends of pen
and paper. Quite a few of the well-known IF authors also write
non-interactive fiction, and many recommend doing as much of the work
with a game as possible on paper.

> My current interest in IF is just
> to play it and lately my feeling about installing new programs, making
> changes in computer software or changes in configurations is that Murphy's
> Law and the Law of Unintended Consequences are considerably more reliable
> than anything else relating to such matters.

I personally think it's an enjoyable task to draw the map on paper. Also,
it relieves the eyes from some stress, since it means you won't be staring
at the screen quite as much. The eyes need a little break every now and then.
However, there are occasions when I only have a computer and no place to
do my mapping. The most striking example is when sitting on a commuter
train with my Palm. I think it'd be quite natural and very convenient if
interpreters had built-in mapping tools. Particulary on Palm, where it's
rather difficult to switch tasks. A generic map file format would also be
nice, so I could move maps between my Palm and my PC. Preferrably ASCII
based, to make the map information as useful as possible even to people
who haven't got the software to support it.

In fact, I may post a Mapping thread to rec.arts.int-fiction, regarding how
new mapping tools might be produced.

/Fredrik

atholbrose

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Mar 8, 2002, 8:43:44 AM3/8/02
to
"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:%pXh8.2276$Vx1.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

>
> "Glenn Hutchings" <zo...@pillock.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:a60mp6$2tu$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
> <snip>
>> The Interactive Fiction archive (www.ifarchive.org) has a number of
>> programs available for making maps of IF games -- they're designed to
>> take the tedium (and waste paper) out of it all. Look in the
>> 'mapping-tools' directory.
>>
>> If you want a ready-made map of LGOP, point your browser at
>> www.sentex.net/~dchapes/ifm. There's a PostScript version of it (any
>> many other maps) there.
>>
>> Glenn
>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> Thanks for the information, Glenn.
>
> Would this news group be appropriate to ask for people's non-technical
> comments about the different mapping tools in regard to preferences,
> ease of installation, ease of use, compatibility matters and potential
> problems concerning both the mapping tools and any additional software
> they may require to operate (e.g. GhostScript and GSview)?

Sure. I mean, why not?

The IFM maps that Glenn pointed you to don't necessarily require
GhostScript... that is, if you have or don't mind installing a Tcl/Tk
runtime. There's a program included that lets you load a map and see the
different sections of it on-screen without GhostScript. (I downloaded
ActiveState's ActiveTCL, and haven't had any problems.) In fact, if you're
creating the map -- and the language isn't that hard to learn -- you can
see your updates as you save your map file. Kind of cool, really. I
translated my paper Anchorhead map into an IFM map in about 30 minutes this
way, mostly learning the system.

IFM will also allow you to embed items and tasks that need to be completed
in your maps, a kind of neat feature.

The only other mapping tool I can think of is GUEMap, which is a nice
Windows program. The problem with it is that it is shareware, and it hasn't
been updated in quite some time; the author was promising to add resizable
maps, but hasn't. The area you have for a map is rather small with no way
to enlarge it or link maps, and you cannot save a map with more than 10
rooms before registration.

> Especially for someone open to the
> possibility that bad paper and pencil mapping or going by whatever I
> can manage to remember may be better options for now.

I have been playing with IFM, but haven't yet decided if it's worth it to
switch over to mapping with that, or whether the pencil-and-paper method is
better. There are drawbacks to both, but nothing overwhelming. I think when
I play a new game all the way through with IFM, I'll be in a better spot to
make a decision.

David Keller

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Mar 9, 2002, 4:48:23 PM3/9/02
to

"Fredrik Ramsberg" <f...@mail.com> wrote in message
news:ab01df60.02030...@posting.google.com...

> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:<%pXh8.2276$Vx1.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net>...
> >
> > Would this news group be appropriate to ask for people's non-technical
> > comments about the different mapping tools in regard to preferences,
ease of
> > installation, ease of use, compatibility matters and potential problems
> > concerning both the mapping tools and any additional software they may
> > require to operate (e.g. GhostScript and GSview)? [D--------- sigs
inserted for clarity]

>
> I think the question of what mapping tools to use is a player's question
> and thus fitting perfectly well in rec.games.int-fiction.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I'll pursue the question then. D -------------------

>
> > My current interest in IF is just
> > to play it and lately my feeling about installing new programs, making
> > changes in computer software or changes in configurations is that
Murphy's
> > Law and the Law of Unintended Consequences are considerably more
reliable
> > than anything else relating to such matters. [D-------------]

>
> I personally think it's an enjoyable task to draw the map on paper. Also,
> it relieves the eyes from some stress, since it means you won't be staring
> at the screen quite as much. The eyes need a little break every now and
then.
> However, there are occasions when I only have a computer and no place to
> do my mapping. The most striking example is when sitting on a commuter
> train with my Palm. I think it'd be quite natural and very convenient if
> interpreters had built-in mapping tools. Particulary on Palm, where it's
> rather difficult to switch tasks. A generic map file format would also be
> nice, so I could move maps between my Palm and my PC. Preferrably ASCII
> based, to make the map information as useful as possible even to people
> who haven't got the software to support it.
>
> In fact, I may post a Mapping thread to rec.arts.int-fiction, regarding
how
> new mapping tools might be produced.
>
> /Fredrik
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Those are good points about paper mapping. Major problems I have with paper
mapping are that I don't do it well, don't have convenient writing space at
the table where the computer is and one of my kittens tends to "assist" me
even more when paper is present. OTOH, paper maps can be reasonably easy to
make changes to which may not be the case when using mapping tools and I
know creating a paper map is not going to suddenly change something in my
browser or other software in a way I may not want or understand or flat-out
crash the system. Also paper maps are perfectly viewable while playing the
game and I don't know whether ones from mapping tools are integrated with
the game somehow or convenient to view from a seperate program while running
the interpreter, IF game, running antiviral software, listening to music and
so on. I'd dislike having to interrupt things everytime I wanted to change
or view a map.

David K


David Keller

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Mar 9, 2002, 4:48:27 PM3/9/02
to

"atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
news:Xns91CB5989B216...@209.249.90.101...

> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:%pXh8.2276$Vx1.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
> >
> > "Glenn Hutchings" <zo...@pillock.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> > news:a60mp6$2tu$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
> > <snip>
> >> The Interactive Fiction archive (www.ifarchive.org) has a number of
> >> programs available for making maps of IF games -- they're designed to
> >> take the tedium (and waste paper) out of it all. Look in the
> >> 'mapping-tools' directory.
> >>
> >> If you want a ready-made map of LGOP, point your browser at
> >> www.sentex.net/~dchapes/ifm. There's a PostScript version of it (any
> >> many other maps) there.
> >>
> >> Glenn
> >>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> > Thanks for the information, Glenn.
> >
> > Would this news group be appropriate to ask for people's non-technical
> > comments about the different mapping tools in regard to preferences,
> > ease of installation, ease of use, compatibility matters and potential
> > problems concerning both the mapping tools and any additional software
> > they may require to operate (e.g. GhostScript and GSview)? [sigs added
for clarity about who said what]

>
> Sure. I mean, why not?
>
> The IFM maps that Glenn pointed you to don't necessarily require
> GhostScript... that is, if you have or don't mind installing a Tcl/Tk
> runtime.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
A search of my computer for folders or files using "Tcl/Tk runtime" came up
empty. I've no idea what it is, does or whether it would alter any software
upon installation. As may be obvious, I've had *bad* or bothersome
experiences with some sofware installations including upgrades. That you
haven't had any problems from installing this is a good sign. Is the same
true of GhostScript which you apparently also have? I'm not opposed to all
alterations. Acrobat Reader made some but caused no problems and improved
my system. I've forgotten why I installed and upgraded it but it gives me
very useful capabilities besides whatever I needed it for originally.
D-------

There's a program included that lets you load a map and see the
> different sections of it on-screen without GhostScript. (I downloaded
> ActiveState's ActiveTCL, and haven't had any problems.) In fact, if you're
> creating the map -- and the language isn't that hard to learn -- you can
> see your updates as you save your map file. Kind of cool, really. I
> translated my paper Anchorhead map into an IFM map in about 30 minutes
this
> way, mostly learning the system.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

That does sound pretty good and I would like to use the ability to create my
own maps as maps that have already been created are going to provide me with
more information than I'll want while playing a game. The closer I can come
to the onscreen map that Zork Zero has the better. I'm very impressed with
the way that displays where you have been accurately without giving away
much about places you haven't visited yet in a very easy to use manner
despite there being so much to map and the fact that some aspects of the
"landscape" have event-triggered changes. Beyond Zork has a nice onscreen
map also. D ----------


>
> IFM will also allow you to embed items and tasks that need to be completed
> in your maps, a kind of neat feature.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I certainly like the sound of that. Can such information be altered if it
turns out that some changes, was entered incorrectly or omitted?
D-----------


> The only other mapping tool I can think of is GUEMap, which is a nice
> Windows program. The problem with it is that it is shareware, and it
hasn't
> been updated in quite some time; the author was promising to add resizable
> maps, but hasn't. The area you have for a map is rather small with no way
> to enlarge it or link maps, and you cannot save a map with more than 10
> rooms before registration.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Very useful information about GUEMap. That one doesn't sound like it would
suit my needs. D----------


> > Especially for someone open to the
> > possibility that bad paper and pencil mapping or going by whatever I
> > can manage to remember may be better options for now.
>
> I have been playing with IFM, but haven't yet decided if it's worth it to
> switch over to mapping with that, or whether the pencil-and-paper method
is
> better. There are drawbacks to both, but nothing overwhelming. I think
when
> I play a new game all the way through with IFM, I'll be in a better spot
to
> make a decision.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks. This has been a very useful response (as have the others I've seen
so far). I'm getting good vibes from this news group.

A quick OT question now. Is the method necessary for opening Beyond Zork
from the Masterpieces CD (and perhaps other sources) with WinFrotz well
known? It took me a little while to figure out because it is different than
the other Infocom games. If it isn't well known I'd be happy to make a
contribution to this news group by explaining how that is done. WinFrotz
Help discusses the font issue but not the story opening issue.

David K


atholbrose

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Mar 10, 2002, 1:25:24 AM3/10/02
to
"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:Lqvi8.8642$Vx1.5...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

> A search of my computer for folders or files using "Tcl/Tk runtime"
> came up empty. I've no idea what it is, does or whether it would
> alter any software upon installation. As may be obvious, I've had
> *bad* or bothersome experiences with some sofware installations
> including upgrades. That you haven't had any problems from installing
> this is a good sign. Is the same true of GhostScript which you
> apparently also have?

Both Ghostscript and Tcl/Tk seem to live entirely in their own directories;
I have not experienced a single problem after installing either one.
Ghostscript doesn't even register any file extensions; Tcl/Tk does.

>> There's a program included that lets you load a map and see the
>> different sections of it on-screen without GhostScript.

> That does sound pretty good and I would like to use the ability to
> create my own maps as maps that have already been created are going to
> provide me with more information than I'll want while playing a game.
> The closer I can come to the onscreen map that Zork Zero has the
> better.

Well, you'd do that with this tool by writing a script as you played.
(There's also a tool I haven't tried that will generate a map from a
transcript.) For instance:

title "Zork I";

map "Above Ground";

room "West of House" tag westofhouse;
item mailbox;
room "North of House" dir n e;
room "Behind House" tag behindhouse dir e s;
item "Window"
room "South of House" tag southofhouse dir s w;
link southofhouse to westofhouse dir w n;
room "Kitchen" dir w of behindhouse;

This will get you a map that looks (roughly) like:

+-------+
| North |
| of |
+--------| House |--------+
| | | |
| +-------+ |
| |
| |
+-------+ +-------+ +-------+
| West | |Kitchen| |Behind |
| of | | | | House |
| House | |sack, |----| |
|mailbox| |bottle | |window |
+-------+ +-------+ +-------+
| |
| |
| +-------+ |
| | North | |
+--------| of |--------+
| House |
| |
+-------+

See, you can give each room a tag that's a name the mapper understands. If
you just declare a new room with "dir [direction]", it's from the last
declared room; if you want a new exit, you have to give the room a tag and
then you can say "dir [direction] from [tag]". You can give many directions
both to space your map out and show twisting paths; you can show one-way
paths, in/out and up/down paths, jumps from one room to another, and so on.
For instance, you're going to have to make room for the attic, the living
room and "through the trap door" on this map, probably by doubling the
length of the north and south paths.

The real output looks MUCH better on the screen. It can handle pretty large
maps, as my map of Anchorhead shows.

David Keller

unread,
Mar 14, 2002, 2:30:11 PM3/14/02
to

"atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
news:Xns91CDF37AC35...@209.249.90.101...

> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:Lqvi8.8642$Vx1.5...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
<SNIP>

Snipped a lot of good info from previous post because it can be read there
and isn't directly relevant to this post.
Another question about mapping and compatibility matters. The mapping tool
within ifm.zip and the additional software is all useable with Windows Me
isn't it? I'd like make certain about that before installation.

"ifm41.zip [10-May-1999]
Windows 95/NT executable (console mode, i.e. not a Windows program)" does
leave room for uncertainty for worrywarts like me.

David K

atholbrose

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Mar 14, 2002, 11:44:28 PM3/14/02
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"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:7T6k8.19302$Vx1.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

> "ifm41.zip [10-May-1999]
> Windows 95/NT executable (console mode, i.e. not a Windows program)"
> does leave room for uncertainty for worrywarts like me.

I'm not sure, not having ME, but I'd say "yes".

There are three programs; one is a Win32 console-mode application (ie, run
from the command line), one is a Tcl script, and the third is a Perl
script.

David Keller

unread,
Mar 18, 2002, 7:43:48 PM3/18/02
to

"atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
news:Xns91D1F23DBF6E...@209.249.90.101...
Moved this to top of reply as it's likely of more interest than the other
paragraphs:

*Anyway* what I started to post about was that "the last good version" or
"last easy to use version" (forget exact wording in archive description) of
GSview doesn't work with the version of Ghost Script that downloads now.
Doesn't recognize its presence, perhaps because of some renaming. Probably
works with whatever later version downloads from the site for a later
version which is forebodingly referred to as "Nagware".


I've pretty new to Windows having stuck with DOS until less than 2 years ago
(except to use public access terminals at the library for internet
connection). Used Windows 98 for a while on a used computer then switched
to Windows ME when I bought a new computer system last year. The two
versions have differences that are probably relevant to this. Would I
likelier be correct in thinking "console-mode application (ie, run
from the command line)" means I should go to Start -Programs - Accessories -
MS-DOS Prompt to use it or Start - Run - Browse -[choose a program to open
the file or folder I want assuming I can figure out which one I want and it
is listed or I can find how to get to it one way or another]. With the
first method I'll get a window that ought to work like the familiar DOS from
the C prompt though my Windows 98 experience leaves me dubious about
stability; especially if trying to use any other program at the same time.
With the second method I think if I figure it out correctly I can associate
the file or folder with whatever opens it so later I can just go to it with
Windows Explorer, click open and that will start it; indeed it might be
easier to do that from scratch as I apparently get the the same Browse
window/menu/whatever the right term is anytime I click open on something
that the system doesn't "know" what to open with.

Frankly, the more I look at what I've just written the less I'm inclined to
think I want to mess around with figuring out how to do this and that it
will work reasonably well and conveniently in practice. Indeed, my main
reason for not just deleting it is that it may be useful information to
someone. Possibly for a revised version of ifm41 or a designer of a new map
making tool as I expect Windows XP is like ME in this respect.

ifm41 sounds like a good program once you've got it running but I'm inclined
now to leave it alone unless it does get revised to be a Windows program.

David K

David Keller

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Mar 18, 2002, 7:43:51 PM3/18/02
to

"atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
news:Xns91CDF37AC35...@209.249.90.101...

> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:Lqvi8.8642$Vx1.5...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
<BIG SNIP>

I recommend reading the "trimmed" matter in earlier post for those
interested in the subject.

I've posted elsewhere about the problems I encountered with Ghostscript and
GSview and my uncertainty about how I open ifm41's folder to use it anyway.
I may try reinstalling ifm41, downloading Tcl/Tk and seeing how that works
assuming I can
get ifm41 running that way. I didn't really try to find how to open and use
it before since
the ghostly things didn't mesh.

1) Do I understand correctly that if it's working properly ifm41 with
Tcl/Tk is something I can use and view while playing a game with the
Winfrotz interpreter? If I had to shut down one to use the other I wouldn't
be very interested. I also want to be able to at least play music while
gaming and would like to have as close to full use of programs as possible.
How close would this come to allowing that?

2) The archives also have "mpmkr011.zip [08-Sep-1999]
Map Maker version 0.11, a Windows program for mapping text adventures, by
Jeremy Reaban". Does anyone have experience with this program and
comments on it?

3) Are there programs I might already have [e.g., Paint] that aren't
mapping programs but could be used as such? Would they be convenient enough
to be worth using? I give Paint as an example because I know I have it.
Practically never use it so don't know if its limitations would make it
unsuitable for a map though it looks like it would be too time consuming to
use while playing and might be better suited for updating maps from paper
between playing so they'd at least be easy to view and hard to misplace.

4) Are there more comments about the relative merits of mapping programs
compared to paper and pencil mapping? Tips for better p&p mapping?

5) Any mapping questions I should have asked but didn't think of that
others would like to raise?

David K

atholbrose

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Mar 18, 2002, 11:09:11 PM3/18/02
to
"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:bRvl8.46$s8....@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

> 1) Do I understand correctly that if it's working properly ifm41 with
> Tcl/Tk is something I can use and view while playing a game with the
> Winfrotz interpreter? If I had to shut down one to use the other I
> wouldn't be very interested. I also want to be able to at least play
> music while gaming and would like to have as close to full use of
> programs as possible. How close would this come to allowing that?

Yes. After installing Tcl/Tk, you should be able to simply double-click on
tkifm.tcl to launch it. It is a simple text editor. The docs for it are in
a docs directory off the ifm directory (docs\tkifm.html). You'd also need
to read docs\ifm.html to learn how to describe your map.

And it multitasks just fine with everything.

Note that you don't need Ghostscript or GSView if you just want to make
maps and look at them on the screen -- tkifm will display them just fine.
You only need Ghostscript/GSView to print the maps.

I saw your other message, worrying about the new GSView. Go ahead and
download the latest; it's easy enough to use, and "nagware" just means you
see a dialog box telling you to register each time you open the program, no
big deal.

> 4) Are there more comments about the relative merits of mapping
> programs compared to paper and pencil mapping? Tips for better p&p
> mapping?

I actually have come to the conclusion that ifm is very useful for me to
plan out a game I might write, but not so useful in mapping as I'm playing.
It just feels like it interrupts too much. Pencil-and-paper still works
best for me.

Tips?

Um, well, I don't draw boxes around the rooms; gives you a bit more freedom
placing lines and stuff like that. "up/down" and "in/out" can be any
direction; I just write "u/d" or "i/o" next to the line between rooms. I
use a circled number to refer to a key at the bottom of the page for items
fixed in place and the inital locations of takeable items. I use a letter
in a square for "warp points". This seems to work pretty well for me.

David Keller

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Mar 21, 2002, 2:55:45 AM3/21/02
to

"atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
news:Xns91D5EC439F3E...@209.249.90.101...

> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:bRvl8.46$s8....@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
> > 1) Do I understand correctly that if it's working properly ifm41 with
> > Tcl/Tk is something I can use and view while playing a game with the
> > Winfrotz interpreter? If I had to shut down one to use the other I
> > wouldn't be very interested. I also want to be able to at least play
> > music while gaming and would like to have as close to full use of
> > programs as possible. How close would this come to allowing that?
>
> Yes. After installing Tcl/Tk, you should be able to simply double-click on
> tkifm.tcl to launch it. It is a simple text editor. The docs for it are in
> a docs directory off the ifm directory (docs\tkifm.html). You'd also need
> to read docs\ifm.html to learn how to describe your map.
>
> And it multitasks just fine with everything.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for the info, atholbrose. Predictably I want more. I think it would
be appropriate to offer TIA for any further information or even for reading
this tortuous, ill-written post. The following may be of more interest to
program/tool designers than the average gamer as it illustrates how ignorant
a gamer may be of words and matters designers may take for granted. E.g.,
to me terms including "simple text editor", "front end" and "run it from the
console" are foreign language.

I'm getting mixed messages about whether I can simply double-click on
tkifm.tcl to launch it as it comes out of the ifm41 download. In the
document "Win32 version of IFM" Glenn Hutchings wrote:

"Assuming you have Tcl/Tk installed, you can arrange for tkifm to run when
you double-click an IFM file. Just create a new file type, with suffix
.ifm, and set the Open command to be:

<pathname of wish> -f <pathname of tkifm.tcl> "%1%"

<SNIP>

Alternatively, you can write a Tcl/Tk front
end which builds an IFM source file automatically -- but don't forget to
send me a copy so I can include it in the next IFM distribution. :-)"

I have the impression this "front end" thing *is* included in the current
distribution but Glenn missed revising the text. If that's correct I'm cool
with it. If I really do have to "Just create a new file type...", as he so
casually puts it, I think I'm way over my head and should probably just hang
it up. I've spent some time in the Help section of ActiveTcl and all I came
away with was a headache. It was like trying to figure something out from a
textbook for a course when I'd skipped a prerequisite class or two in the
subject.

If I really can simply double-click on tkifm.tcl to launch it then I'm
willing to have a go at learning how to use ifm41. "string" looked like a
word I'm going to need a better understanding of though. Is there somewhere
online that I can look up such terms and learn a bit about them despite
having no background in whatever it is I ought to have a background in for
this sort of thing? For the time being all I really care about is managing
to get the mapping tool operational and how to use it with minimal hassle.
I don't particularly feel a need to understand it now any more than I
understand something like WinFrotz or Word or Outlook Express.

****************
If I can just "simply double-click on tkifm.tcl to launch it" my situation
is that I downloaded the ActiveTcl and unzipped it. It considerately
installed
itself in a folder on Local Disk (C:) as the folder Tcl with an entry on the
programs menu also. Presumably it does what it does correctly (I know
nothing about this sort of program) but I need to do something with ifm41 so
the two will interact properly. Glenn wrote:

"The Win32 version of IFM comes in a ZIP file, and is built using Cygnus
gcc, which requires the library file CYGWIN1.DLL (included in the ZIP
distribution). This should be in your DLL search path. Probably the best
place for it is the main Windows system directory. "

I've deleted the unzipped ifm41 folder from the default unzipped folder so I
can make a fresh start. Should I unzip to the default folder and move the
unzipped ifm41 folder somewhere or should I use one of the WinZip options
other than "Open with WinZip" to accomplish whatever I need to?
As precisely as you can say about a computer you can't see the configuration
of where can or should the unzipped ifm41 folder be, what factors should be
considered in deciding among choices (if they exist), how do I get it there,
what effects might this have on the functioning of Windows or any other
programs and what effects might it have if I later delete the folder (there
isn't an uninstall iirc)?
If it isn't necessary to put it in the Windows folder I'd like to hear any
reasons why it might be better to put ifm41 in C: or in C:\Windows.
Particularly anything related to potential creation of instabilities or
conflicts.

I do have a couple of reference books for Windows 98 that are usually
correct for Windows ME also (Dummies and Peter Norton's Complete Guide) and
not overly difficult to follow as long as what I need to do is covered
there. Plus I've got the Help section on my computer though predictably
enough it has some information that is not correct for the system with its
preinstalled changes.


In the document "Win32 version of IFM" Glenn Hutchings also wrote:

When running, IFM looks for certain files that are contained in the 'lib'
directory (e.g. the ifm-pro.ps file for PostScript). IFM searches for
these files using a standard search path, which you can see by invoking the
-show path option. But you can change the search path by setting the
IFMPATH environment variable. It should be a colon-separated list of
directories to search (forward-slashes in directory names though -- none of
that MS-DOG backslash nonsense).

IFM looks for an initialization file called ifm.ini in your home directory
(the one pointed at by the HOME environment variable). If that exists, it
is read. You can set various defaults there. See the documentation for
more details."

I don't really understand this but have the impression from it and an error
message I got that it's important information about where the ifm41 folder
can be located and be able to work with ActiveTcl or Ghostscript or anything
else. Maybe even about where it has to be located to work at all. I'm not
entirely clear about whether the reason for using it with other programs is
convenience/efficiency or absolute dependence.

David K --------------

> Note that you don't need Ghostscript or GSView if you just want to make
> maps and look at them on the screen -- tkifm will display them just fine.
> You only need Ghostscript/GSView to print the maps.
>
> I saw your other message, worrying about the new GSView. Go ahead and
> download the latest; it's easy enough to use, and "nagware" just means you
> see a dialog box telling you to register each time you open the program,
no
> big deal.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for this info. I went ahead and downloaded the latest GSView. Don't
know if I'll ever install Ghostscript and GSView but I've got them available
for future use if desired.

David K ----------------


> > 4) Are there more comments about the relative merits of mapping
> > programs compared to paper and pencil mapping? Tips for better p&p
> > mapping?
>
> I actually have come to the conclusion that ifm is very useful for me to
> plan out a game I might write, but not so useful in mapping as I'm
playing.
> It just feels like it interrupts too much. Pencil-and-paper still works
> best for me.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Interesting you find it so useful for planning a game. I'll want to
remember that in case I try dabbling in writing IF of any sort some time in
the future. I can imagine ifm might be more interesting as a creative
writing tool than as a tool for logging information about something that has
already been created.

As for ifm mapping while playing, I want to see how much of an interruption
it feels like to me to use ifm while playing. I wouldn't be surprised if it
interrupted too much for enjoyable use in the midst of play but was fine to
use between playing from p&p maps jotted down while playing. Listen to some
music and update the game's map in a legible convenient format for
reference. P&p mapping is more disruptive of the game flow than I like
already but maps are a necessity or close to one for me.
David K ---------

> Tips?
>
> Um, well, I don't draw boxes around the rooms; gives you a bit more
freedom
> placing lines and stuff like that. "up/down" and "in/out" can be any
> direction; I just write "u/d" or "i/o" next to the line between rooms. I
> use a circled number to refer to a key at the bottom of the page for items
> fixed in place and the inital locations of takeable items. I use a letter
> in a square for "warp points". This seems to work pretty well for me.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Not drawing boxes around the rooms and circled numbers as footnotes sound
like good ideas to me. That may not be quite what you mean by using circled
numbers to refer to a key at the bottom of the page but it would certainly
help with the clutter problem of mapping. I'm guessing "warp points" refers
to abnormal transportation spots/devices. That seems a good way of keeping
track of them which would also be useful for event or time triggered
changes. Even if I stick with straight p&p mapping I'll have gotten
something good out of this.

Mil Gracias,

David K


atholbrose

unread,
Mar 21, 2002, 8:44:57 AM3/21/02
to
"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:5mgm8.115$oi....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

> Thanks for the info, atholbrose.

You're welcome.

> Predictably I want more.

Heh. Well, I'll try my best.

> I'm getting mixed messages about whether I can simply double-click on
> tkifm.tcl to launch it as it comes out of the ifm41 download. In the
> document "Win32 version of IFM" Glenn Hutchings wrote:

I only know about ActiveState Tcl/Tk 8.3, which is what I have. It
automatically sets up an association, and you can doubleclick any .tcl file
to automatically run it. (The program that runs .tcl files is called
"wish", if you're wondering what that reference is all about.)

I imagine most distributions of Tcl/Tk would do the same thing.

You can try looking at the ifm\progs directory in Explorer. If Tcl has set
this up for you, tkifm.tcl should have an icon that looks like a feather
(again, for ActiveState Tcl/Tk). If it does, you're good to go.

> If I really can simply double-click on tkifm.tcl to launch it then I'm
> willing to have a go at learning how to use ifm41. "string" looked
> like a word I'm going to need a better understanding of though. Is
> there somewhere online that I can look up such terms and learn a bit
> about them despite having no background in whatever it is I ought to
> have a background in for this sort of thing?

Well, the ifm.html document has a definition of "string" as "any sequence
of letters contained in double-quotes" (kind of like that), so that's the
definition you need to know.

> "The Win32 version of IFM comes in a ZIP file, and is built using
> Cygnus gcc, which requires the library file CYGWIN1.DLL (included in
> the ZIP distribution). This should be in your DLL search path.
> Probably the best place for it is the main Windows system directory. "

I'd just leave IFM where it is. It comes with a copy of the CYGWIN1.DLL in
the ifm\progs directory and you can leave it there; the program will work
fine.

I would NOT recommend putting it in the Windows directory. c:\ifm is just
fine.

> When running, IFM looks for certain files that are contained in the
> 'lib' directory (e.g. the ifm-pro.ps file for PostScript). IFM
> searches for these files using a standard search path, which you can
> see by invoking the -show path option. But you can change the search
> path by setting the IFMPATH environment variable. It should be a
> colon-separated list of directories to search (forward-slashes in
> directory names though -- none of that MS-DOG backslash nonsense).

I forgot about this. Are you familiar with autoexec.bat? Add this one line
to the end of that file:

set IFMPATH=c:\ifm\lib

and that will take care of the IFM lib path. You'll have to reboot after
adding the line.

> As for ifm mapping while playing, I want to see how much of an
> interruption it feels like to me to use ifm while playing.

That's probably wisest. It's very easy to add a room, but especially in a
gripping game, it does seem to be more of a distraction than jotting down a
new room name on a sheet of paper.

David Keller

unread,
Mar 24, 2002, 2:54:04 AM3/24/02
to

"atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
news:Xns91D859B91A5C...@209.249.90.101...

> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:5mgm8.115$oi....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
> > Thanks for the info, atholbrose.
>
> You're welcome.
>
> > Predictably I want more.
>
> Heh. Well, I'll try my best.
>
> > I'm getting mixed messages about whether I can simply double-click on
> > tkifm.tcl to launch it as it comes out of the ifm41 download.
<SNIP>

> I only know about ActiveState Tcl/Tk 8.3, which is what I have. It
> automatically sets up an association, and you can doubleclick any .tcl
file
> to automatically run it. (The program that runs .tcl files is called
> "wish", if you're wondering what that reference is all about.)
>
> I imagine most distributions of Tcl/Tk would do the same thing.
>

<snip>
My Tcl/Tk seems to and thinking more carefully about what is happening and
not
happening it appears tkifm.tcl does launch OK and the problem is with the
.ifm files, the IFM application and _maybe_ the cygwin1.dll. I.e., tkifm
launches but nothing is working with it and I've been saying it doesn't
"launch" when I meant it doesn't function properly. I get a window
(untitled.ifm is
the apparently default name) that I don't seem able to do anything useful
with.

*I'm now thinking that just because something happened I assumed IFM was
running but it isn't and never has been.* Like looking at the famous oak in
the forest so closely that I didn't notice there was no forest around it.

Every .ifm file gives me an "error in startup script" message (a different
specific message with each file) if I try to open it. Doesn't matter
whether the file is in lib
or maps.

ifm.exe in progs is identified as an application but I don't know how
to open or run it. It reminds me of trying to run a z file without an
interpreter.
If I double-click on it some window (possibly the MS-DOS Prompt window)
appears and disappears so quickly I can't even tell what window it is.

I've not tried making any change to autoexec.bat because I'm reluctant to
alter autoexec.bat, not sure to which autoexec.bat you were referring and
increasing doubt that IFM is searching for files (or doing anything else) so
that isn't a problem anyway at this time.

Similarly I'm ignoring:
--------------------


"Assuming you have Tcl/Tk installed, you can arrange for tkifm to run when
you double-click an IFM file. Just create a new file type, with suffix
.ifm, and set the Open command to be:

<pathname of wish> -f <pathname of tkifm.tcl> "%1%"

----------------
I'm not sure where I'm supposed to do this anyway. Sounds to me like it's
supposed to be done somewhere in the Tcl/Tk program. Even if it should be
done there seems no reason to do it if IFM isn't running yet.

<snip>

I've deleted everything, downloaded ifm41 again and installed it in case my
problems were due to a corrupted file in the IFM application. Nothing has
changed.

THE MEAT OF THIS POST:

In the WIN32 document Glenn Hutchings wrote, "IFM is *not* a Windows
program -- you won't get any nice friendly windowy menu-y stuff. You must
run it from the console."

I asked some posts earlier about the meaning of "run it from the console"
but don't think I got any responses. I think this is what I need explained.
I won't explain what I've tried unsuccessfully or why I tried those things.
I will note I no mention or no useful mention of console in any Windows
reference book though I did find some info in two MS-DOS reference books;
not terribly clear without doing a lot more studying than I care to do and I
don't know whether the information would be correct for Windows ME anyhow.

In the simplest possible language I'd like an explanation of how to run IFM.
How is it opened? Does it have to be opened and run with some other
application or can it be run without an "interpreter"? In brief my question
is: what do I have to do to make the bleeping thing work? Explanations may
be as detailed and/or dumbed-down or seems appropriate. As close to a
"walkthrough" as possible might be best though it seems there is so much
variation between computers even when using the same operating system that
this is too straightforward and simple to be possible.

David K

David Keller

unread,
Mar 25, 2002, 3:42:27 AM3/25/02
to

"Peter McMurray" <ma...@alphalink.com.au> wrote in message
news:MPG.170547021...@news.alphalink.com.au...
> On this day Thu, 21 Mar 2002 13:44:57 -0000, the Great and Almighty
atholbrose
> strode forth and proclaimed...

> > "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> > news:5mgm8.115$oi....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
> >
<snip>

> Actually, that should be something like:
>
> set IFMPATH=//c/ifm/lib
>
> IFM is programmed to only understand UNIX style directories. You should
also
> have:
>
> set HOME=//c/ifm
>
> --
> Peter McMurray
> ICQ: 38181959
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks for that information. As mentioned elsewhere I don't think this is
where I'm having the problem afterall but I'll keep it in mind.

As for people striding forth and proclaiming, I wish many more would do so
on the subject of mapping and mapping tools. Perhaps practically no one
uses them or has tried them and therefore lack a basis for comment. However
I'd like to see a substantial discussion of the subject (from the game
players viewpoint).

People stating which mapping tools they use or have tried with any comments
they think useful or interesting.

Info on where any reviews of mapping tools may be located.

Info on programs/applications that may not be mapping tools as such but can
be used reasonably well for creating maps of games.

Info or comments on any existing mapping tools that might help other game
players decide whether they would want to try a particular mapping tool.

Info on installing/opening and/or using any mapping tools that may be
downloaded from the ifarchives. *Something I particularly want to learn
about regarding ifm41 which sounds like it is capable of doing some very
good things if it can be coaxed into operating.*

Mapping tools that may be available from somewhere other than the archive;
with the URLs necessary to read up on them and download them.

Warnings about any problems specific mapping tools may create within a
computer system.

Why they've never bothered to try a mapping tool if that is the case.

Even whether this subject is of so little interest to other gamers that
they'd like me to drop it.

David K


David Keller

unread,
Mar 25, 2002, 3:42:33 AM3/25/02
to

"David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:wCfn8.115$SR4....@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net...

>
> "atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
> news:Xns91D859B91A5C...@209.249.90.101...
> > "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> > news:5mgm8.115$oi....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
> >

In case there is any doubt, I want to explicitly state this is a general
post to the ng and I would welcome helpful comments from anyone. It may
seem like a dialogue as atholbrose is pretty much the only person trying to
help me out but I'd like to hear from other people also.

This includes comments about other mapping tools or anything relevant to the
general subject of IF mapping tools.

I'd also like to know if there is a general feeling that it would be better
to ask my questions over at the if ng for programmers in addition to here or
instead of here. I'm really quite surprised that so little interest is
apparent here.

David K


--
=================
http://zaptopi.net/afdb.html
Some assembly required. Crank handles for additional hours of fun.


ally

unread,
Mar 25, 2002, 12:20:41 PM3/25/02
to
On 24 Mrz 2002, "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:wCfn8.115$SR4....@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

I have no experience with Tcl/Tk, nor have I ever used IFM or Windows ME
or, for that matter, any English language Windows. Doesn't sound too
promising yet, does it? However, I will try to answer two of your
questions.

1) "Running something from the console" means running it from the command
line (aka "DOS Box", or "DOS Window", or "DOS Shell". Or "Console".)[1] In
other words, you need to open an MS-DOS shell first: Select "Run"
("Execute"?) from the Windows Start Menu, and type
command.com
or just
command
to launch "command.com". This will open a window with the MS-DOS command
line interface inside.[2] At the DOS prompt, change directory to
"C:\ifm\progs\" by typing
cd c:\ifm\progs
Type
dir
if you want to see what's in there. ".exe" and ".com" files are executable
programs; you can run those by typing their names (as you might have done
with "command"). "ifm.exe" is the IFM "application" itself, that is,
typing
ifm
will run IFM. If doing so produces an error message, you might still have
to edit "autoexec.bat" to set the correct paths for you, as outlined by
another poster (don't worry about that, it's mostly harmless.)

Old-school MS-DOS programs/commands behave quite like IF commands in that
they usually require you to specify additional
parameters/options/arguments; run IFM with the "-h" or "-help" option;
that is, type
ifm -h
or
ifm -help
to make IFM output a list of possible options.

2) As for creating new file types, you can do so from within any Windows
Explorer window. (I have no idea what the relevant options are called in
Windows ME, or indeed in English, so the following might get a little
vague, for which I apologize.)

Select "Folder Options"[3] from the "View" menu, click the "File types"
tab, then whatever button looks like it might let you add a new file type.
Associate the new file type with the extension "ifm". The large white box
displays the context menu items for that file type. Create a new entry,
call it "open", and paste


<pathname of wish> -f <pathname of tkifm.tcl> "%1%"

into the second input field. (Replacing both "<pathname of ...>"s with the
appropriate paths, of course. When in doubt, you can always use Explorer
or the Start Menu's file search tool to locate wish and/or tkifm.tcl.)

I hope that helped a little, even when stuff might be located elsewhere in
ME, or has different names.


[1] This does not involve an "interpreter" or anything.

[2] You might already have a shortcut to command.com somewhere in the
Start Menu. If you want to create such a shortcut yourself, the
command.com program should be in C:\ and/or C:\Windows. Right-click it,
select "Send to", then "Desktop".

[3] While you're there, you should also tell Windows Explorer to stop
hiding files' extensions from you (if you haven't done so yet.) This must
be one of Windows' default setup's most annoying "features". (Basically,
you should turn on everything that's turned off anywhere within Windows,
and vice versa. Er, never mind.)

David Keller

unread,
Mar 28, 2002, 2:30:07 AM3/28/02
to

"ally" <REMkitz...@gmx.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Xns91DCBB36478A...@62.153.159.134...

> On 24 Mrz 2002, "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:wCfn8.115$SR4....@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
> >
> > "atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
> > news:Xns91D859B91A5C...@209.249.90.101...
> >> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> >> news:5mgm8.115$oi....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
> >>

<much snippage>


> > In the simplest possible language I'd like an explanation of how to run
> > IFM. How is it opened? Does it have to be opened and run with some
> > other application or can it be run without an "interpreter"? In brief
> > my question is: what do I have to do to make the bleeping thing work?
> > Explanations may be as detailed and/or dumbed-down or seems
> > appropriate. As close to a "walkthrough" as possible might be best
> > though it seems there is so much variation between computers even when
> > using the same operating system that this is too straightforward and
> > simple to be possible.
> >
> > David K
>


> I have no experience with Tcl/Tk, nor have I ever used IFM or Windows ME
> or, for that matter, any English language Windows. Doesn't sound too
> promising yet, does it? However, I will try to answer two of your
> questions.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Much appreciated, ally. Your explaination of "running something from the
console" is very lucid and I'm glad to have that cleared up.

ATHELBROSE, I have a very specific question for you below. It's between a
pair of

))))))))))))))) rows for easy location.

D -----------


> 1) "Running something from the console" means running it from the command
> line (aka "DOS Box", or "DOS Window", or "DOS Shell". Or "Console".)[1] In
> other words, you need to open an MS-DOS shell first: Select "Run"
> ("Execute"?) from the Windows Start Menu, and type
> command.com
> or just
> command
> to launch "command.com". This will open a window with the MS-DOS command
> line interface inside.[2] At the DOS prompt, change directory to
> "C:\ifm\progs\" by typing
> cd c:\ifm\progs
> Type
> dir
> if you want to see what's in there. ".exe" and ".com" files are executable
> programs; you can run those by typing their names (as you might have done
> with "command"). "ifm.exe" is the IFM "application" itself, that is,
> typing
> ifm
> will run IFM. If doing so produces an error message, you might still have
> to edit "autoexec.bat" to set the correct paths for you, as outlined by
> another poster (don't worry about that, it's mostly harmless.)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This is one of the things I've tried and the error message I get is,

"/IFM/PROGS/IFM.EXE: error: can't open library file 'ifm-init.ifm' "

I think there were two other things I found that would get me the same error
message.
Oddly, if I start from the MS-DOS Prompt and do the the same thing I get the
error message, "This program cannot be run in DOS mode."

Beginning from RUN with "command" the MS-DOS Prompt window opens showing

"C:\WINDOWS\Desktop>"

Beginning from the MS-DOS Prompt window by way of Start - Programs -
Accessories - MS-DOS Prompt the MS-DOS Prompt window shows

"C:\WINDOWS>"

Why this affects what error message I get after changing directories to
c:\ifm\progs> is something I don't know. It is consistent even if I start
from the MS-DOS Prompt and cd to
"C:\WINDOWS\Desktop>" before changing directories to get to "c:\ifm\progs>".

BTW, none of the four files in "c:\ifm\progs>" is a ".com" file and
"ifm.exe" is the only ".exe" file.

******* I have an "autoexec.bat" in "C:\" and in "C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\EBD".
I don't know which of these I'm supposed to edit, uncertain I'm going to
determine what I have to do to edit or which, if either, of the suggestions
as to what changes I need to make are correct. For all I know, this is
referring to some "autoexec.bat" inside IFM which Search isn't able to see
yet and I don't know how to access. Arrrrrrrgh!

David K----------


> Old-school MS-DOS programs/commands behave quite like IF commands in that
> they usually require you to specify additional
> parameters/options/arguments; run IFM with the "-h" or "-help" option;
> that is, type
> ifm -h
> or
> ifm -help
> to make IFM output a list of possible options.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This gets me a display of options but none that I tried did anything. "-h"
is a DOS option and I had the impression that was why something happened
rather
than because IFM was doing anything. I didn't try them all as I perhaps
should have. Just too tired and hungry by then.

D -------------

> 2) As for creating new file types, you can do so from within any Windows
> Explorer window. (I have no idea what the relevant options are called in
> Windows ME, or indeed in English, so the following might get a little
> vague, for which I apologize.)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Your English is excellent and I find it amazing you described this so well
when you aren't familiar with Windows ME or certain what the "options" are
called in English. Do you use a lot of English language reference books?
In this context I believe "option" like "argument" has a specialized
technical meaning. One of the difficulties I have with checking such
computer things in the reference books I have or the Help sections of
computer programs is that they often use English words within a context
where they mean something I don't understand.

D -----------

> Select "Folder Options"[3] from the "View" menu, click the "File types"
> tab, then whatever button looks like it might let you add a new file type.
> Associate the new file type with the extension "ifm". The large white box
> displays the context menu items for that file type. Create a new entry,
> call it "open", and paste
> <pathname of wish> -f <pathname of tkifm.tcl> "%1%"
> into the second input field. (Replacing both "<pathname of ...>"s with the
> appropriate paths, of course. When in doubt, you can always use Explorer
> or the Start Menu's file search tool to locate wish and/or tkifm.tcl.)
>
> I hope that helped a little, even when stuff might be located elsewhere in
> ME, or has different names.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In Me "Folder Options" is in the Tool menu though Peter Norton's Windows 98
book tells me it is in "View" there. Also showed me the dialogue boxes for
this are a bit different in Me than 98. An IFM file type already exists on
my computer and
is supposed to open with the Wish Application. Clicking on Edit for this so
I can get more information shows "Action" is "open" and "Application used to
perform action" is

"C:\Tcl\bin\wish83.exe" "%1" %*

Should it be

<"C:\Tcl\bin\wish83.exe"> -f <"C:\ifm\progs\tkifm.tcl> "%1" %*

instead? Are the "<"s and ">"s naming conventions or do they actually get
typed in?

))))))))))))))))))))))))))
ATHELBROSE, you have both programs on your computer. What shows in your
"Application used to perform action" field? What, if any, text shows in the
icon field and does it matter if that field is blank?
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
>

David K ---------------

> [1] This does not involve an "interpreter" or anything.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for clarifying that.
D ---------

> [2] You might already have a shortcut to command.com somewhere in the
> Start Menu. If you want to create such a shortcut yourself, the
> command.com program should be in C:\ and/or C:\Windows. Right-click it,
> select "Send to", then "Desktop".
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I think just clicking on "Run" and typing command or command.com would work
fine and not waste any RAM or add to clutter.

D -----


> [3] While you're there, you should also tell Windows Explorer to stop
> hiding files' extensions from you (if you haven't done so yet.) This must
> be one of Windows' default setup's most annoying "features". (Basically,
> you should turn on everything that's turned off anywhere within Windows,
> and vice versa. Er, never mind.)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I did change from the default of hiding known extensions so something
positive has definitely come of all this. I thought about changing the
default so hidden files would display while I was there but decided I can do
that temporarily if I ever have a need to see them and it's safer to leave
them hidden. Considered changing the default that has Documents on the
Start Menu show the 15 most recently opened or something. That would be
safer but I'm sure Sue would be unhappy about the change. Technical
decisions are not always decided by the technical merits.

David K


Glenn Hutchings

unread,
Mar 29, 2002, 10:48:37 AM3/29/02
to
On Thu, 28 Mar 2002 07:30:07 GMT, "David Keller"
<davi...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> This is one of the things I've tried and the error message
I get is,

> "/IFM/PROGS/IFM.EXE: error: can't open library file
'ifm-init.ifm' "

The problem here is that when IFM runs, it needs to be able
to find various setup files. There's a default directory it
looks in, which is hardwired into the program. Since IFM was
developed on a Unix machine, that default is based on the
Unix directory structure (it's /usr/local/share/ifm, if
you're interested). Unfortunately, on Windows, there is no
standard place to put files like that -- everyone has their
own idea of where to install things.

IFM gets around this by also looking at an environment
variable: IFMPATH. If this is set, it treats it as the name
of another directory to look in for its setup files.

It looks like you've unpacked IFM in C:\IFM. Try these
steps:

1) Bring up a DOS window
2) Type 'set PATH=%PATH%;C:\ifm\progs'
3) Type 'set IFMPATH=C:\ifm\lib'
4) Type 'ifm -m -o out.ps C:\ifm\maps\example.ifm'

All being well, this should produce a file in the current
directory called 'out.ps' -- a PostScript file of the example
map from the IFM documentation. You can use GSview to view
it.

If that works, then add commands (2) and (3) above to the
file C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT. That sets things up permanently.

It also looks like you have Tcl/Tk installed. After trying
the above, in the same DOS window, try typing this:

cd \ifm\maps
C:\Tcl\bin\wish83 -f C:\ifm\progs\tkifm.tcl ruins.ifm

This should bring up a tkifm editing window on the map, and
selecting the Map menu item should display the map.

> Should it be <"C:\Tcl\bin\wish83.exe"> -f
<"C:\ifm\progs\tkifm.tcl> "%1" %* instead? Are the "<"s and
">"s naming conventions or do they actually get typed in?

No, the < and > don't get typed in. And now you can see why
-- the command you're entering here is basically the same as
the one typed at the DOS prompt above (except the "%1" is
replaced with the name of the IFM file).

Hope this helps. It certainly helps me -- in realizing just
how much I assume without knowing it when I'm writing
documentation for programs!

Glenn

David Keller

unread,
Apr 5, 2002, 2:24:59 AM4/5/02
to

"ally" <REMkitz...@gmx.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Xns91DCBB36478A...@62.153.159.134...
> On 24 Mrz 2002, "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:wCfn8.115$SR4....@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
> >
> > "atholbrose" <cinn...@one.net> wrote in message
> > news:Xns91D859B91A5C...@209.249.90.101...
> >> "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> >> news:5mgm8.115$oi....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
> >>
> >> > Thanks for the info, atholbrose.
> >>
> >> You're welcome.
> >>
> >> > Predictably I want more.
> >>
<big snip>

<snip>

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks. That was a very clear explanation of what "running from the
console" means and how it is done. I've left it unsnipped for reference by
others who may read this post. I had tried that but didn't know if it was
what was meant.

Folder Options is located elsewhere on Windows Me but wasn't hard to find.
The files were already associated but it seems the easier way to associate
files if you need to or want to change the associations is usually by using
a drop down window to pick the file you want to associate and Windows does
the work (you can edit the association Windows made if you want to for some
reason which you may).

Turns out quite a bit of the important information in Peter Norton's
Complete Guide to Windows 98 is obsolete for ME and presumably for xp. For
that matter my system was preinstalled by Gateway which made some changes so
there is a disturbing amount of information in Help on my computer that is
not correct for my computer. :-0

I'm not sure how much the changes affect what is the way to do something in
ME compared to how to do it in 98 (or 95 or 3.1 or whatever). Apparently a
lot in some instances.

I have difficulty believing editing autoexec.bat is mostly harmless. Also
I'm not sure any of the ways I've read to do so are how it is done in ME.
Right-clicking on autoexec.bat and clicking on Edit gives me a nice clear
window with the lines of the existing autoexec.bat commands (right word for
this?) and looks like it can be edited easily in a very straighforward
manner though I didn't test this. Hmmmmmm. Just tried something and got to
the way to edit autoexec.bat from the >. Have to reread the posts about
editing autoexec.bat but I don't recall any telling me I had to cd to c:\>
and then type "edit autoexec.bat" to start doing so. Seems incredibly
obvious now that I've done that but...... Hmmm again. After some lengthy
reviewing I find 4 of my 5 reference sources were useless and/or misleading
and the other one is unclear though that might not be the case if I'd
studied the preceding 400 pages carefully.


If nothing else this has been quite a learning experience. And I did change
the hide known file extensions default and make a couple other changes that
I consider improvements.

I see I have replied to this before as I'd thought but it doesn't display
the icon change for a post that's been replied to. Another mystery.

David K


David Keller

unread,
Apr 5, 2002, 2:25:06 AM4/5/02
to

"Glenn Hutchings" <zo...@pillock.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1103_1017416917@default...
Yes, C:\ifm is the place. I don't have the program(s) for PostScript
installed and frankly would rather not install them unless I'm certain I'm
going to use them.
I did try steps 1, 2 and 3 above then what you describe below regarding
Tcl/Tk which I do have installed. That didn't work which is what I
expected. I'm pretty certain either something is missing from the
instructions or there is a change in Windows ME that requires a change in
the instructions. *Of course, I've been pretty certain of quite a few
things incorrectly.*
You don't say to press enter after each step and I may have been mistaken in
assuming I should do that. If I wasn't mistaken should 2 and 3 have simply
taken me back to the C:\> (which was the > I thought best to start from)
when I pressed enter? That's what happened.
cd\ifm\maps (enter) did what it usually does and I've forgotten exactly what
error occurred when I typed

C:\Tcl\bin\wish83 -f C:\ifm\progs\tkifm.tcl ruins.ifm
at C:\ifm\maps>

I think it was something like invalid or bad command or file for a change.
It was late and I'm not in the mood to try it again to report more
accurately. I'm very uncomfortable about trying such things.

David K --------------


> It also looks like you have Tcl/Tk installed. After trying
> the above, in the same DOS window, try typing this:
>
> cd \ifm\maps
> C:\Tcl\bin\wish83 -f C:\ifm\progs\tkifm.tcl ruins.ifm
>
> This should bring up a tkifm editing window on the map, and
> selecting the Map menu item should display the map.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As I've mentioned offlist to you I seem to be able to bring up what I
believe is the tkifm menu and using a somewhat roundabout way to open the
files I can get some text display but selecting the Map menu and expanding
it only displays a blank gray window.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
David K---------

> > Should it be <"C:\Tcl\bin\wish83.exe"> -f
> <"C:\ifm\progs\tkifm.tcl> "%1" %* instead? Are the "<"s and
> ">"s naming conventions or do they actually get typed in?
>
> No, the < and > don't get typed in. And now you can see why
> -- the command you're entering here is basically the same as
> the one typed at the DOS prompt above (except the "%1" is
> replaced with the name of the IFM file).
>
> Hope this helps. It certainly helps me -- in realizing just
> how much I assume without knowing it when I'm writing
> documentation for programs!
>
> Glenn
>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for the help Glenn. You responded to an email that left my Outbox
some minutes before I downloaded your post and that terrible tangle of
"information" left you feeling the path was the problem and these
instructions are what I need to do to fix the problem. You may be right
(perhaps with some modification to take into account I don't have the
PostScript programs installed but do have Tcl/Tk) or there may be something
about Windows Me that requires different instructions or even won't work
with IFM. In another post that will be sent at the same time as this I
comment on the problems of trying to do various things in Windows Me when no
book references specifically for it are available to me plus Gateway did
some tweaks so there is even information in Help on my system that just
ain't so.

The one thing I'm really taking to heart right now is that messing with
autoexec.bat has a potential to cause serious problems. It's a greater risk
than I'm willing to take at this time. Indeed, I've done at least one thing
while trying to get IFM working and/or learning things I needed to know that
made it _necessary_ to revert my hard drive.

I do hope this thread has been useful to some gamers and to you and other
programmers. When writing documentation it should be assumed that some of
the people reading it know less about computers than a programmer can
possibly believe. Also that some will have Windows Whatever that doesn't
come with a manual or have good reference books available that are specific
to WW or Mac Whatever or _____. And that they may have a computer with
pre-installed programs that were fiddled about some by the retailer; which I
suppose would most practically be dealt with by a notice that this may be
the case and the documentation for a program can't cover all possibilities.

I gather RTFM has become an obsolete acronym in recent years and the
appropriate response to it would usually be TINFM (There Is No F******
Manual). I'm not saying the salespeople lied when consistently responding
yes to my repeated question about whether the system came with all the
manuals for the programs bundled with it but nobody enlightened about about
the nonexistence of manuals for programs, most importantly the Windows Me
program.

If I'm not going to use IFM would it be best to just leave it alone or to
delete the ifm folder from my hard drive? It takes up so little space that
is not an important factor. What matters is whether either leaving it there
or deleting it may be detrimental in some way. I can only make uninformed
guesses about why either choice has any potential for problems.

I do get the impression IFM can do some pretty hot things when it is working
on a system and people interested in a mapping tool might benefit if they
could read the documentation before deciding whether to download it. This
applies to other mapping tools and quite a few other things also. Perhaps
too many to be practical.

Again thanks to all who've responded and I hope some other aspects of the
existing mapping tools thread will be continued. Comments on mapping tools
others have tried and what they do and don't like about those tools seems of
particular general usefulness and interest.

David K


--
=============================
http://babel.altavista.com/translate.dyn
http://www.howstuffworks.com
http://www.carecats.org/helpfulresources.htm


ally

unread,
Apr 5, 2002, 2:58:26 PM4/5/02
to
On 05 Apr 2002, "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:fjcr8.17675$nt1.1...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:

<much snippage>

Hi David, ...

> I have difficulty believing editing autoexec.bat is mostly harmless.
> Also I'm not sure any of the ways I've read to do so are how it is done
> in ME. Right-clicking on autoexec.bat and clicking on Edit gives me a
> nice clear window with the lines of the existing autoexec.bat commands
> (right word for this?) and looks like it can be edited easily in a very
> straighforward manner though I didn't test this. Hmmmmmm. Just tried
> something and got to the way to edit autoexec.bat from the >. Have to
> reread the posts about editing autoexec.bat but I don't recall any
> telling me I had to cd to c:\> and then type "edit autoexec.bat" to
> start doing so. Seems incredibly obvious now that I've done that
> but......

It's just a plain text file. You can edit it with Notepad, the DOS-Edit,
or any other text editor (Notepad/Edit being the scum of the editor world
if you ask me...)

Alternatively, there's the "sysedit" app (somewhere within c:\windows\ I
guess--run it from "Start Menu/Run") which allows you to edit a whole
bunch of DOS/Windows system files at the same time, including
autoexec.bat.

> Hmmm again. After some lengthy reviewing I find 4 of my 5
> reference sources were useless and/or misleading and the other one is
> unclear though that might not be the case if I'd studied the preceding
> 400 pages carefully.

Regarding autoexec.bat, it's simply a list of DOS commands that are
processed as the computer boots up. (The one in your root directory (C:\)
is the one that matters.)

Here're two handy DOS tricks:

1.) Put DOSKEY somewhere in your autoexec.bat (doskey.com itself is in
c:\windows\command on my 'puter; I presume there's a PATH in your
autoexec.bat that adds this directory to the OS' search path. In that
case, you needn't worry about specifying the exact path as long as you add
the DOSKEY line *after* the PATH.)

DOSKEY will let you cycle through previously entered commands using the
cursor keys, and adds some command line editing. (Just like an IF terp. Or
any decent command shell ;)

2.) Go to "folder options". Edit the "folder" file type. Add a new process
(if that's what it's called in English.) Call it "Open in DOS-Shell" or
something like that, and make it execute this command:
command.com /k cd "%1"

This will add an "Open in DOS-Shell" entry to each folder icon's context
(right click) menu. Selecting this entry will open a DOS box and
automatically CD to the folder you selected, so you needn't worm your way
through your entire hard disk each time.

> If nothing else this has been quite a learning experience. And I did
> change the hide known file extensions default and make a couple other
> changes that I consider improvements.

That's the spirit :)



> I see I have replied to this before as I'd thought but it doesn't
> display the icon change for a post that's been replied to. Another
> mystery.

Can't help you there, don't have Outlook Express ;)

Well...! I'm glad to have helped you somewhat. Sorry I didn't reply to
your previous post (lack of time/energy.)

~ally

David Keller

unread,
Apr 16, 2002, 2:50:07 AM4/16/02
to

"ally" <REMkitz...@gmx.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Xns91E7DFF04C7E...@62.153.159.134...

> On 05 Apr 2002, "David Keller" <davi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:fjcr8.17675$nt1.1...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net:
>
> <much snippage>
>
>
> > I have difficulty believing editing autoexec.bat is mostly harmless.
<snip>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I remain apprehensive about messing around with autoexec.bat without a much
better idea of what I'm doing and trying to get a mapping tool to operate
isn't important enough to me to overcome that reluctance.

David K -----------

> Alternatively, there's the "sysedit" app (somewhere within c:\windows\ I
> guess--run it from "Start Menu/Run") which allows you to edit a whole
> bunch of DOS/Windows system files at the same time, including
> autoexec.bat.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I believe sysedit is what Help said to run from there to see autoexec.bat
and some other things but I get the message that, "Windows cannot find
'sysedit'. ..... Possibley it is on the system discs somewhere and I can
add it somehow but it wasn't preinstalled by GateWay. I've had to use the
appropriate disc to add some Word Features that Gateway chose not to
install.

David K ----------


> > Hmmm again. After some lengthy reviewing I find 4 of my 5
> > reference sources were useless and/or misleading and the other one is
> > unclear though that might not be the case if I'd studied the preceding
> > 400 pages carefully.
>
> Regarding autoexec.bat, it's simply a list of DOS commands that are
> processed as the computer boots up. (The one in your root directory (C:\)
> is the one that matters.)
>
> Here're two handy DOS tricks:
>
> 1.) Put DOSKEY somewhere in your autoexec.bat (doskey.com itself is in
> c:\windows\command on my 'puter;
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It's in the same place on my computer. D --------------


I presume there's a PATH in your
> autoexec.bat that adds this directory to the OS' search path. In that
> case, you needn't worry about specifying the exact path as long as you add
> the DOSKEY line *after* the PATH.)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

That sounds weird to a less-than-rookie like myself as DOSKEY is already in
the path which is within autoexec.bat. Like having to ring the doorbell
twice because it is too sleepy to notice a single ring. D ------------

> DOSKEY will let you cycle through previously entered commands using the
> cursor keys, and adds some command line editing. (Just like an IF terp. Or
> any decent command shell ;)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I think you overestimate my remembered or more recently aquired computer
knowledge. And underestimate how inhibiting it is that the multiple
references I consult are so out of agreement with each other and my actual
computer system. D -------------


> 2.) Go to "folder options". Edit the "folder" file type. Add a new process
> (if that's what it's called in English.) Call it "Open in DOS-Shell" or
> something like that, and make it execute this command:
> command.com /k cd "%1"
>
> This will add an "Open in DOS-Shell" entry to each folder icon's context
> (right click) menu. Selecting this entry will open a DOS box and
> automatically CD to the folder you selected, so you needn't worm your way
> through your entire hard disk each time.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If ifm41 would open I think it would be opening in a default style DOS type
window automatically. I'm pretty sure it is the conflict of computer
languages at a crucial point that is the only problem. That's something the
documentation anticipates as a potential problem and what I'm heard from
those who have used it suggest it functions just fine if that barrier is
overcome.

To avoid having to worm through the hard disk I think I could simple add it
to the Programs menu as I've done with WinFrotz and a few other programs.
There are directions for how to do this which deliver pretty much the stated
result. They seem to add on at the end instead of integrating aphabetically
but I can live with that. D ----------


> > If nothing else this has been quite a learning experience. And I did
> > change the hide known file extensions default and make a couple other
> > changes that I consider improvements.
>
> That's the spirit :)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A quick change of subject query. I've not downloaded some IF games because
they are old DOS executable ones (mostly Spanish language games). I've also
not tried installing some old DOS or DOS and Windows 3.1 "games" that I
enjoyed. Mostly graphics programs like FracTools and Dazzle. And some
other things that are more along educational lines like a Spanish-English
translation program with some Spanish instructional material included. Any
thoughts on whether these would be likely to cause problems if I tried to
run them on my current system. I believe I've mentioned how badly one
typing game I downloaded that was supposed to have been redisigned so it was
at least Windows 95 (or maybe 98) compatible screwed up my system using
either 98 or 95. Freezing the computer, apparently corrupting some DLLs
that were important to nearly everything and worse. I've been leery of any
DOS or old Windows software since then. D -----------

> > I see I have replied to this before as I'd thought but it doesn't
> > display the icon change for a post that's been replied to. Another
> > mystery.
>
> Can't help you there, don't have Outlook Express ;)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For other reasons people have recommended switching to Eudora or Pegasus.
I'm giving that some thought. D ---------

> Well...! I'm glad to have helped you somewhat. Sorry I didn't reply to
> your previous post (lack of time/energy.)
>
> ~ally
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

All help from you and others has been much appreciated. Thanks.

David K

--
=============
http://www.erowid.org/index.shtml
http://www.kcrw.org
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/ftpptoc/ernst_ext.html

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