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 Post subject: No TADS in IFComp 2018?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:05 pm 
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As a fan of parser games, I was disappointed that there are no TADS based games in IFComp this year.

TADS had a strong presence in past years. Why the decline?

Thank you,
v/r
Jeff


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:55 pm 
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My guess is that it's hard to set up a webpage (you have to create your own server or require login to IFDB, I think). Figuring it out requires a lot of technical work, and Inform does most things TADS does as well as create a website.

I suspect TADS would get more use if that problem were fixed, and if someone was very successful with a new TADS game.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:36 am 
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That is a shame. TADS is such a rich development language.

Thank you, Jeff


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:05 pm 
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I agree. I love working with TADS 3 and I would hate to see it die (like Hugo and ALAN have). Unfortunately, it seems Mike Roberts is no longer able to regularly update TADS. (Again, Hugo and ALAN are also in a similar state.) TADS 3 is still the only IF development language that feels like a real programming language. Inform 6 and TADS 2 were close, but only TADS 3 includes things such as templates, macros and the like; features copied from some of the most famous programming languages such as C++ and Java.
If Mike could be persuaded to release T3 as open source, the community could help keep it maintained, but it looks like he's not going to do that any time soon. :(


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:37 am 
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I think this happened a few years ago as well. There was a year with no TADS entries but there were multiple in the following year. I think TADS problems is partly the way it's web play was setup. An always on setup works but can be problematic in situations where there is no internet access. The other is Inform 7 being easier to pick up causing more to go that way.

TADS doesn't need much work done on it. The library is pretty much good to go. Someone willing to make an offline/online web play interpreter could help with playability. The Windows Workbench could use a few crash bugs fixed as well.

I like TADS because it looks and feels like a programming language. Inform 7, while nice, its natural language approach doesn't agree with me.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:23 pm 
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TADS 2 was the language I migrated to when I grew frustrated with ADRIFT. I made two games with it and would happily have made more. However, I've now ported both of those games to other authoring systems, and predominantly use I7. I did this because when Google Chrome withdrew support for Java and other browsers followed suit, I suddenly discovered that my games were no longer playable online. My website used the Jetty interpreter, which of course used Java, and instead of games, my site now had blank pages. Web technology is changing all the time, and unless TADS can keep up with it, I'm afraid it will go the way of HUGO and Alan.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:28 pm 
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J. J. Guest wrote:
Web technology is changing all the time, and unless TADS can keep up with it, I'm afraid it will go the way of HUGO and Alan.


I feel alone, but I was excited when TADS 3 came with client-server webplay based on standard HTML and JS. I see potential in many areas, one of them that it seems to me more future proof because it doesn't have any dependency on third party plugins like java...

I can even imagine how nice would be to support webui in QTads one day... (By embedding webserver version of TADS and browser component.) That would bring modern web capabilities not only on web online, but also on standalone "offline" interpreter. I'm not requesting the feature, just thinking out loud.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:55 am 
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tomasb wrote:
I feel alone, but I was excited when TADS 3 came with client-server webplay based on standard HTML and JS.


TADS 3 does, I think, have the better system overall in terms of scalabilty. The problem is that it seems to have been largely abandoned and that happened before a healthy enough ecosystem surrounded it that could become self-sustaining. Inform 7 doesn't have that same issue and so while it may have some clunkier aspects to it depending on your point of view, the ecosystem is rich and thriving which can make up for that.

Rectifying that situation is a challenge. For example, figuring out how to update TADS 3 or make more portable versions of it. The source code of TADS 3 seems intertwined with the source code of TADS 2. And that's not even really including the Workbench. I had looked at this a bit but it just seems like way too much complication to disentangle. Maybe it's not. But I guess that's the point. If people aren't persuaded to keep the system up to date and if the original creator is likewise disinclined, TADS 3 will simply wither on the vine. It's a pity because it genuinely is a very nice system.


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