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§2.6. Why using headings is a good idea
Reports of problems, as we have seen, often quote back the source to justify themselves. Rather than quoting line numbers ("Midsummer Day, line 2017" or something similar) Inform uses the icon. The down side of this is that a glance at the list of problems might give little hint of whereabouts in the source the difficulties lie. Inform therefore makes use of headings to give a general indication:
In Part the First, Chapter 1 - Attic Area:
Problem. You wrote 'South of the Attic is the Winery' , but in another sentence 'South of the Attic is the Old Furniture' : this looks like a contradiction, which might be because I have misunderstood what was meant to be the subject of one or both of those sentences.
In Chapter 2 - Deeper In:
Problem. You wrote 'The Disused Observatory is south of the Dark Room' , but in another sentence 'South of the Dark Room is the Cupboard' : again, this looks like a contradiction.
Secondly, headings are used in the Contents page of the Index, and they allow rapid navigation through the source, by jumping to any heading or subheading with a single click.
Finally, headings are used when working out what a name refers to. Suppose the source contains both a "four-poster bed" and also a "camp bed", and we write something like "The pillow is on the bed." Inform decides which bed is meant by giving priority to whichever is defined in the current section (so far), or failing that the current chapter, or current part, or current book, or finally the current volume. This allows us to write, for instance,
The four-poster bed is in the Boudoir. The pillow is on the bed.
and not have the pillow mysteriously turn up on the camp bed, which hasn't been mentioned since way back in Chapter 2.