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Weekly Links #315: Reviving Ramus edition

12 April 2020 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! I set aside one interactive fiction tool for the moment to work on another. Except the Ramus hypertext system isn't new; its first release was in 2011, fully nine years ago! At the time, various factors caused me to abandon it much too early, which was a shame because people had actually used it...

Well, now it's back, better than ever, and this time I plan to keep at it.

Like with so many other things, to write version 2.0 from scratch I needed one afternoon; what took years was the learning process. Barring a longer analysis, here's a few hints:

  • even tiny Javascript libraries of the sort listed at microjs.com are dangerous dependencies unless you're willing to take over maintenance yourself;
  • modern web standards are flexible; you don't need to invent your own tags and attributes, or twist them to the point of breaking to use them in novel ways;
  • for that matter, web browsers have all kinds of neat stuff built in; even smooth scrolling has been available in some browsers for maybe five years now.

A black box you can only drop into your project untouched isn't code reuse.

Come to think of it, that might as well be the motto of Ramus going forward. I now call it a template, and that changed my entire attitude towards the project. Just like that, I have a roadmap, with clear signposts along the way. Ride on.

The bad news is, no other topical news caught my eye this week, so the Weekly Links end here for now. See you next time!

Tags: interactive-fiction, tools, programming

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