infovore + infocom   5

Inform: Past, Present, Future
"I mention Knuth because, of all the Old Masters of computer science, he is the one most interested in the relationship between computer programs and texts. Could we even suggest that a program is a text? It is, after all, a written expression of creativity. Certainly, when running, a computer game can be an artistic experience in the same way that a film, or a play can. But my concern here is not whether the program is art when it runs. I’m talking about whether its source code is a text. We could go down a bit of a rabbit-hole here about playful literary theories. Umberto Eco once reviewed a new Italian banknote as a work of art, describing it as a numbered, limited edition of engravings. But let’s concede that a functional document like a shopping list or a spreadsheet of student names is not a literary text. On the other hand, a recipe by a literary cook like Elizabeth David might be art, even though it also has function. Perhaps the relevant question is: can we experience a program as a text? Can we, in the fullest sense of the word, read it?

A cynical answer might be that if program source codes are texts, why can’t you buy them in a bookshop?" Graham Nelson on a potted history of Inform, and then its future. The second half may be less interesting to you, but the first half is a fantastic piece of writing on literate programming, source-code-as-art, and the nature of languages. I loved this.
design  infocom  inform  if  grahamnelson  programming  donaldknuth  literateprogramming 
10 weeks ago by infovore
The Monk's Brew: Embracing My Inner Nerd
"I thought it was a parking ticket, and was annoyed. But up close, I saw it was just an empty envelope someone put there..." I'll let you click through for the punchline. Delightful, nontheless.
xyzzy  geek  humour  if  textadventure  infocom  licenceplate  joke 
august 2008 by infovore
Frotz Review for iPhone | Touch Arcade
A Z-Code interpreter for the iPhone. Fantastic. If you have an iPhone: get this, and get Spider And Web. My work here is done.
software  ipod  iphone  infocom  zmachine  interactivefiction  games  narrative 
august 2008 by infovore
Milliways: Infocom's Unreleased Sequel to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -
Linked a thousand times over, but some great stuff in the main body. Alas, a shame to see the intertards lay into a very fair Michael Bywater, who at least showed up to the comments.
infocom  douglasadams  hitchihikersguide  textadventure  interactivefiction  waxy  andybaio  scoop 
april 2008 by infovore
Z-list - Vox
Simon Wistow with a sensible, insightful post - starting from Andy Baio's remarkable discovery of Milliways - on how the web (and bloggers) need to grow up, and how telling smart people "you don't get the web" isn't actually an answer at all. Bravo.
journalism  blogging  waxy  infocom  simonwistow  publishing  writing 
april 2008 by infovore

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