An interactive fiction programming language, created by Graham Nelson in 1993 and now one of the most popular IF development systems. Inform is particularly notable in that it compiles to code for the Z-machine, the same virtual machine used by Infocom. More recent versions of the Inform compiler optionally produce code for the more powerful and flexible virtual machine Glulx.
Inform is portable across many hardware platforms. Interpreters for z-code exist for nearly every computer system ever designed and Glulx interpreters exist for most major operating systems currently in use.
Graham Nelson announced the first release of Inform (with no version number, but considered "Inform 1" in retrospect) on RAIF on May 9, 1993:
Subject: Announcement: INFORM Date: Sun, 9 May 1993 18:20:53 GMT Infocom game story files are as near to a universal format as we have for interactive fiction games, but until now it has been very difficult to construct them, and I am not aware that anyone has previously created them outside of Infocom itself. I have written such a compiler, called "Inform", the ANSI C source of which is public domain. It is not a marvellously well-written program, but it does work, and it is documented. (Usenet post via Google)
Summary of Inform Variations
- Inform 6
- Inform 7
- Triform - alternate Inform library (still in beta as of January 2005).
Tips and Tutorials
There are a number of editors meant to make writing Inform code simpler and easier. They can automatically highlight or format code, generate basic code for classes, and other handy functions.
- IF-Archive list of editors (including Inform editors, and editors for other development systems as well)
- Inform Explorer
- Roger Firth's list of IF editors