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§16.18. Table continuations

A table is an arrangement for putting information together concisely in a single place, so it might seem odd that we sometimes need to divide it up: but once in a while, we do. Suppose we have:

Table of Outer Planets


semimajor axis


5 AU


10 AU


19 AU


30 AU


39 AU

But then someone in Chile with a telescope the size of God's own teacup notices something a long, long way out, and the newspapers get terribly excited. We can write an addendum:

Table of Outer Planets (continued)


semimajor axis


39 AU


43 AU


68 AU


524 AU

This may seem unnecessary - why not simply add extra rows to the original table? - but it allows us to split the table between different parts of the source text, if we want to, or to continue a table which exists only in an extension. (Thus if we were using an extension which involved the planets, and had a table like this one, we would be able to add new planets without changing the extension.)

The name for the continuation must be identical to the original. The continuation has no existence in its own right: Inform simply splices the two (or more) pieces together, exactly as if the table were all in one piece at the place where it first occurred. Thus the above creates only one table, the "Table of Outer Planets", with nine rows. Each column in the continuation must exist in the original, but not every column need be given: those omitted are filled with blank entries. The columns need not be in the same order. Both original and continuations are allowed to quote a number of blank rows: if so, the combined total is used.

At time of writing the International Astronomical Union has not yet consented to name 2003 UB313 after Xena, the Warrior Princess, but this is surely only a bureaucratic delay. (Footnote: on 24 August 2006 it was demoted to dwarf planet status, like the luckless Pluto, and on 13 September renamed Eris; though its moon's official name, Dysnomia, is an ingenious double-meaning to do with the name of Xena's actress, Lucy Lawless.)

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Using a menu system from an extension, but adding our own material to it for this game.