Hi all! New here, but latest episode of Future of ...
# thinking-together
Hi all! New here, but latest episode of Future of Coding (‘_66 - a Small Matter of Programming_’) made me think of something closely related. Part of the discussion was about using formal vs informal language to communicate with a computer, and whether ‘end-user programming’ would be feasible using those methods or not. One tool which came to mind is ‘Inform’. It is a tool (mainly a programming language, though it also ships with its own IDE-like thing) to write text adventure games. But rather than being geared towards programmers, it is geared towards writers. An example of a simple program:
Copy code
The Cabin is a room.  "The front of the small cabin is entirely occupied with navigational instruments, a radar display, and radios for calling back to shore. Along each side runs a bench with faded blue vinyl cushions, which can be lifted to reveal the storage space underneath. A glass case against the wall contains several fishing rods.

Scratched windows offer a view of the surrounding bay, and there is a door south to the deck. A sign taped to one wall announces the menu of tours offered by the Yakutat Charter Boat Company."

The Cabin contains a glass case. In the glass case is a collection of fishing rods.

The case is closed, transparent, and openable.

The bench is in the cabin. On the bench are some blue vinyl cushions.

The bench is enterable.

The Beach is a room. "A beautiful beach where the sunset can be seen. Some seagulls are flying overhead."
The Beach is south of the Cabin.
Some points for consideration are: • Where do you think a language like Inform fall on the ‘formal’ vs ‘informal’ spectrum? • Inform is perhaps the most widely used tool to create text adventures with today. Could this be considered a success story where non-programmer end users were able to build something through ‘programming’?
Yes, Inform 7 in particular is a phenomenal success and a major inspiration.
I'm also inspired by how well organised development is https://github.com/ganelson/inform-evolution
@Alex McLean It used to be closed-source (though free) and has existed in that state from 2015 to 2022. Very stoked that it is now open source and indeed it looks very organized!
@Qqwy / Marten I'm generally very pro free/open source, but do think there is something about developing new ideas in software without the distractions of external input.
One has to wonder how LLMs (GPT) might apply…