Printing the I7 Manual – A Major Hitch

I’ve given up on T3. As a long-time programmer who knows 5-8 programming languages and is currently in the process of learning another one, Java, this is a major concession for me. I don’t get defeated easily. It is simply the lack of a good tutorial manual that is doing me in on T3. More on that later. And I will still present “Doe’s Course of Study to Learn T3” in a week or so.

I decided to stick to I6, Inform 6, which I know pretty darn well, for now. But I started thinking, after the agony of plowing through the T3 manuals, that maybe I had not given I7 a decent chance. Especially since the BNF Grammar of I7 has now been “published” on the I7 site. This sort of thing, strangely, makes a lot more sense to me than apparent NL (“natural language”). BTW, I put quotes around natural language, because it is not MY natural language, not the way I write.

If I could correlate the keyword layout in the BNF with the sentences in the I7 manual, then I could actually learn it. In fact, what I would really like is a I6er’s Anointed I7 Manual. Right below an example NL sentence would be one with the basic BNF layout of the particular sentence, then the NL sentence again, but now with the keywords highlighted. That arrangement would show the “code”, the programming, the logic underlying the apparent NL interface. Sure, this would not help newbie non-programmers, but I suspect it would help programmers a great deal. I realize it would be subject to change, but it could be done. Because, let’s get real, the apparent NL interface is not REALLY NL, but programming logic that apes NL. Computers just aren’t that smart yet.

But back to printing the I7 manual (at least with I7 there is only one <relieved sigh>). It can be printed the same way the T3 manuals can be printed — with the use of Firefox and the extension that will print all open tabs.

Only, as David Gracia pointed out, one has to “open” the examples to print them. This can be done page by page before one prints all open tabs, but with ONE MAJOR HITCH. Only one example can be “opened” at once. When you open another example, it closes the previously open one. Who’s bright idea was this?!? It makes printing the manual much more trouble. One has to go back and open the next example and use print selected area for that example, and so on and so forth. Sometimes there are three examples on a page. This makes it 10X more work. This should be done away with. Immediately. While it maybe a pretty way to do it, it makes printing much more of a PITA than it needs to be.

 More on I7 later.

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