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School.z5
crashes some interpreteres
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Inform School

by William J. Shlaer

Educational
1999

(based on 4 ratings)
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About the Story

NOTE: This "game" warns about the possibility (certainty!) of eventually crashing your interpreter. This will happen. It also warns about possibly locking up your entire computer. This is highly unlikely in modern OSes. The warning stands - but your OS will most probably be safe. I asked around about it and got this helpful answer from Zarf:

"I believe the specific issue is if the game tries to write to a memory address outside the Z-machine's allocated range. (Most Inform games manage to avoid this, but Inform School allows the player to set up some crazy code constructions. This is what the author is warning you about.)

A good interpreter will check all game memory accesses, and throw a fatal error if anything is out of bounds. Early interpreters didn't always do this, because of the CPU cost of these constant checks. At this point all interpreters should do it. Even on mobile devices, which are (at this point) as powerful as 1999-era desktop machines, anyhow."

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 458
IFID: ZCODE-1-991217-8ADF
TUID: a1f3kx4uzq4fdfm8

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Inform School is a "compiler" for Inf, a miniaturized version of Inform that operates within the adventure itself, allowing you to construct simple environments. It's intended to be used as a tool for learning Inform itself. While there are some programming exercises provided, the main idea is to familiarize the player with Inf commands to facilitate later learning Inform.

-- R. Serena Wakefield

Brass Lantern
It is not only trying to teach you a language but also how to use that language to write a text adventure. In doing so, its reach has exceeded its grasp. Inform School is an amazing example of what can be done with the z-machine, but the inherent limits of the z-machine and some poor pedagogical choices limit Inform School's effectiveness as an aid to learning Inform.
See the full review

SPAG
In short, if you want to learn Inform, but are having trouble, give this program a try. It isn't perfect, but it will give you a nice place to practice without having to constantly compile story files. You can create objects and change them on the fly and see how they will behave. It's really worth it for any potential student of Inform and could save a lot of aggravation when you're ready to write a real game.
See the full review

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 25 February 2013 at 3:22pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item