Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation

§18.28. Printing a locale paragraph about

1. When it happens. See "printing the locale description". By this point, the locale description process has identified a number of items as candidates to be described, and worked out a priority order. This activity is then called for each candidate in turn, starting with the highest priority items and working downwards. It can either print some text or not, and can either mark the item as "mentioned" or not: if it does, then the item won't appear subsequently in the locale description. If the activity does nothing, the item becomes "nondescript" and falls through into the final "You can also see..." paragraph, unless another rule mentions it in the mean time.

2. The default behaviour. Is provided by a sequence of seven rules:

(1) The "don't mention player's supporter in room descriptions rule" excludes anything the player is directly or indirectly standing on or, less frequently, in. The header of the room description has probably already said something like "Boudoir (on the four-poster bed)", so the player can't be unaware of this item.

(2) The "don't mention scenery in room descriptions rule" excludes scenery.

(3) The "don't mention undescribed items in room descriptions rule" excludes the player object. (It's redundant to say "You can also see yourself here.") At present nothing else in I7 is "undescribed" in this sense.

(4) The "set pronouns from items in room descriptions rule" adjusts the meaning of pronouns like IT and HER to pick up items mentioned. Thus if a room description ends "Mme Tourmalet glares at you.", then HER would be adjusted to mean Mme Tourmalet.

(5) The "offer items to writing a paragraph about rule" gives the "writing a paragraph about" activity a chance to intervene. We detect whether it does intervene or not by looking to see if it has printed any text.

(6) The "use initial appearance in room descriptions rule" prints the "initial appearance" property of an item which has never been handled as a paragraph, if it has one.

(7) The "describe what's on scenery supporters in room descriptions rule" is somewhat controversial. It prints text such as "On the mantelpiece is a piece of chalk." for items which, like the mantelpiece, are scenery mentioned - we assume - in the main room description. (It is assumed that scenery supporters make their contents more prominently visible than scenery containers, which we do not announce the contents of.)

3. Examples. If all that's required is to supply an interesting paragraph of room description about something then it's always better to use the "writing a paragraph about" activity, not this one. This activity should only be used when the mechanism itself needs to be adjusted.

(a) The following excludes doors from room descriptions:

paste.png For printing a locale paragraph about a door (called the item)
    (this is the don't mention doors in room descriptions rule):
    set the locale priority of the item to 0;
    continue the activity.

(It's usually a good idea to "continue the activity" at the end of rules for this activity, since usually they all need to take effect for a happy outcome to the process. Here it doesn't really matter, since we were trying to stop anything from happening about the door, but it doesn't do any harm either.)

(b) Here's how to abolish what may be the most contentious rule in the whole Standard Rules:

paste.png The describe what's on scenery supporters in room descriptions rule is not listed in any rulebook.

arrow-up.png Start of Chapter 18: Activities
arrow-left.png Back to §18.27. Choosing notable locale objects for something
arrow-right.png Onward to §18.29. Deciding the scope of something

Creating a raised supporter kind whose contents the player can't see or take from the ground.

***ExampleCopper River
Manipulating room descriptions so that only interesting items are mentioned, while objects that are present but not currently useful to the player are ignored.