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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in adventures in Javascript's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, March 12th, 2011
3:00 am
In time for PAX East 2011, I've just launched Parchment's new domain: iplayif.com! Parchment finally supports Glulx games as well! Just to prove it...

It also has a fancy search thingy, allowing you to easily search hundreds of stories from the IF Archive (although you may be better off using the IFDB instead.).

As always, post bugs to the tracker. And I'll try to make it prettier soon, I promise!

Sunday, March 21st, 2010
10:22 pm
Big progress in Parchment land!
Hi all!

I've just pushed some major changes to the live version of Parchment, resulting from merging in the library branch to the master branch!

What does this mean?

Well the biggest change is that the VM launcher code has all been rewritten, along with the file downloader. This means that raw story files can now be loaded directly in modern browsers. I have begun working on cross domain loading as well, though that will be harder.

The second more minor though potentially more useful change is that the default story file is now easy to change. Doing so is as simple as adding one of these lines to your parchment.html:

<script>parchment_options = { default_story: './story.z5' };</script>

<script>parchment_options = { default_story: [ './story.z5', './story.z5.txt' ] };</script>

If you can base64 encode your file, use the second option to specify it as the backup (for older browsers which cannot directly load the raw file.)

Finally, together with Zarf we have fixed some of the longest existing bugs. With the development of a new Z-Machine unit test we will hopefully be able to catch and fix bugs quicker in the future.

You can download the updated files from GitHub: http://github.com/curiousdannii/parchment
To use Parchment on your own website grab parchment.html, parchment.css and the lib folder.

Thanks for your support, and keep watching for more exciting changes in the future!
Monday, October 19th, 2009
6:29 pm
Help choose a domain for Parchment
Back in 2004 marnanel suggest having a webpage version of Gnusto - something that has now been realised through Parchment.

Up until now Parchment has been used straight out of the SVN repository, which is not really ideal for several reasons. I would like to move it to a new domain, and would like your help in picking one!
  • My first though was to choose a domain with parchment in it, perhaps parchment-if.com.
  • We could also enquire whether the Gnusto domain could be used (as marnanel suggested), though honestly this wouldn't be my preference.
  • But I now am thinking that something like play-if-online.org or playifonline.org would work better. It better describes what it is: a place to play interactive fiction online. A .org domain would be prefer purely because that's what the archive and wiki have. Sure it will detract from the Parchment brand name, but is that really a big problem? And anyway, if a better web interpreter were ever developed I'd prefer we replace Parchment with it but retain the URLs.
Thursday, May 28th, 2009
2:26 am
Gnusto at GitHub
Hi all,

I'm now developing the Gnusto engine at GitHub primarily for use with Parchment, though if someone wanted to use it again for an extension that would be great too!

We've been finding and fixing several bugs. For example, did you know that the not opcode was broken (and presumably always has been)? Well not anymore :)

The roadmap:
  • Consider making parts of the engine more generic to have compatibility with Quixe
  • Hopefully make Gnusto independent of any major libraries. Small ones like the Class and IFF will be included
  • Stop it polluting the window namespace, perhaps consider other validators or strict mode
  • Let it be used in a Web Worker
  • Add a unit test suite (planning to write a new inform assembler first though)
  • Lots more optimisations
  • Lots more fun!
Did I miss anyone out of the contributors file?

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
11:48 am
0.8 Nightly 7

How did I miss Gnusto getting a new version for the first time in a year and a half?

Anyhow, I quickly downloaded it to a PC running Windows XP Professional in Firefox I was excited to see it actually install again.

However, my excitement abated when I immediately ran into a problem with a file. First off, to test, I clicked on the link to Zork 1 in the Gnusto page that automatically comes up. I did not see any complaint, but the link did not seem to do anything. Copying the link location into the location bar did not load the page either. So, I downloaded the z5 file and opened it locally.

Locally, it showed the opening script and began to play. However, whenever the text reached the top of the window, instead of scrolling off, the game halted with the "Press any key for more..." message in the bottom left. This happened whether it was run in a tab or a window. Is there a local setting that can be changed to turn off scrolling or something else to get this working again?

Thanks again for bringing this development back to life!
Thursday, December 29th, 2005
7:59 pm
Gnusto no longer works with new Firefox installation
I had a massive hard disk failure, so I'm reinstalling all my applications. When it came to Firefox, I immediately went to install Gnusto, but 0.7 only works up to Firefox 1.0. Also the Firefox Extension page has loads of people begging for a new version or saying they'd never have upgraded if they'd known Gnusto would stop working.

Knowing about the nightlies page, I tried installing directly from there, but 0.8 only works to Firefox 1.1. Is it easy to confirm compatability so your many fans can continue to use your excellent program?
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005
12:49 pm
Trinity screen pauses
I've noticed another little oddity. Infocom's Trinity uses several screen pauses for dramatic purposes. Normally, this is no problem, since Gnusto catches the output and pauses at its own screen size. However, in this game, when you go through the first white door at the beginning, Trinity writes out a message about the voice in your head talking to you as you step through the door yada yada yada, then pauses for input before printing the title screen. In Gnusto, however, the moment you step through the door, the screen wipes and displays the title screen. This seems to happen even if you shrink the Gnusto window (just in case scrolling to the bottom of the output skipped the pause). The behavior seems similar to the way Gnusto behaves oddly when you restart a game. (Does it take the line feed from the "y\m" answer to the restart question and feed it back to the beginning? I always assumed that was the case since restarted games either skipped a screen pause or complained about unknown input.)
Tuesday, April 26th, 2005
12:12 am
Release Candidate 6 (Possibly Final Bits?)
Okay folks, assuming Marn doesn't nail down a way to make untyped MIME handling work on OS X in the next day or two and you guys don't find any show-stoppers, Release Candidate 6 may actually be Gnusto 0.8.

Notable changes from RC5 are:

1. Quotation marks and certain other punctuation marks weren't being correctly handled in v3 games (as reported in by an anonymous user-- feel free to identify yourself so we can give you credit in the release notes!). That issue is resolved in this release.

2. There are some cosmetic improvements-- the 10 Most Recently Played Games list on the File menu now lists the game name first followed by the full path in parenthesis (rather than just the full path as it did before). Under the old system, games stored in deeply buried directories could appear in the list such that the name of the game itself wasn't visible. This frequently happened when playing games launched from links online as the temp file was stored in the profile-- always a deeply nested directory. Window titling is handled better, though still not ideally in all circumstances.

We've now tested under Linux the handling of links to z-code files with improper MIME types-- works fine, though you have to launch Gnusto once before it gets registered as a helper app to take care of this. Same on Windows. The feature is still disabled on OS X.

The nightly is available here.

Thanks for testing!
Thursday, April 14th, 2005
1:38 am
Gnusto 0.8 Release Candidate 5
Okay, it's another release Candidate. Getting really close, I hope. Still really need some validation under Linux.

Many thanks to demonfile, who tested RC2 and reported in some bugs, many of which are (hopefully) fixed in this release! If we had T-Shirts, we'd give you one.

This release fixes several bugs related to transcription, uses a different strategy for registering to handle z-code files served up with the wrong MIME type, and doesn't attempt to register as a Helper App on MacOS (doesn't work due to OS reasons, so we shouldn't offer).

If you open up a Gnusto window and go to the Tools Menu in that window, there should be a "Register Gnusto as Helper App" option. Choose that and Gnusto should handle z-code files regardless of reported MIME-type from then on. As usual-- give this a shot and then try clicking on this link here. If it launches Gnusto, the Helper App registration worked. If not, let us know and we'll see what we can figure out.

Update: Wow, you can tell I'm tired. I forgot to post a link to the new Release Candidate. You can download it from here. Thanks!
Sunday, April 10th, 2005
3:46 am
Gnusto 0.8 Release Candidate 2
Okay, second release candidate is ready to test. Should be mirrored out to this directory in the next few hours. I'll post a direct link in an edit in the morning. Need sleep now, though.

Only major difference from Release Candidate 1 is that it now provides visible feedback that Gnusto is handling the download when you click on a link to a z-code file.

marnanel's been testing RC1 on the Mac and it looks like the handling of incorrectly MIME-typed files may be more challenging on that platform. Some digging in Bugzilla seems to point towards it being OS-specific. Works fine on Windows, though. I suspect it works fine on Linux as well, but am still awaiting confirmation.


edit: Here's a more proper link: Gnusto 0.8 Release Candidate 2
Friday, April 8th, 2005
11:15 am
Things to test in Gnusto 0.8 RC 1
Other than the usual "kicking the tires", there's two things I'd like to be sure work okay for other people-- especially Linux and Mac users (though validation on other Windows machines is good also).

  • Ability to launch Gnusto in a tab-- just make sure this works and that Gnusto behaves in reasonable ways from inside a tab.

  • Ability to launch Gnusto by clicking a link to a z-code file, even if the MIME type is set incorrectly-- be aware that you'll see no indication that anything is happening until the game is fully downloaded. But if you click on this link: Game served with wrong MIME type and Gnusto launches (without errors) it works. If it pops up a "what do you want to do with this file" dialog, it didn't.

Those are the two big questions. Any other feedback and testing is also greatly appreciated. Thanks!
11:00 am
Finally! First Gnusto 0.8 Release Candidate
Sorry for the delay! marnanel has been busy and my wife and I are expecting a baby and so have been kind of preoccupied.

So feel free to try out the Gnusto 0.8 Release Candidate 1-- I don't know that you have to uninstall 0.7 first, but it might not hurt to be safe. There's still a couple of known issues that might get fixed before 0.8 Final ships, but I suspect it could ship as-is and be fine. Nothing, to my knowledge, works worse than it did in 0.7.

New Features:
  • Fully supports z-code versions 1 and 2 games (reeeeealy old Infocom games). So now all we lack is support for z6 (the graphical one).

  • Can now run in either a tab or a separate window

  • Has a startup screen if invoked without a game (to help the unfamiliar figure out what Interactive Fiction is and point them to some games).

  • Layout and cursor fixes-- the "registration form" at the beginning of Bureaucracy now works just fine.

  • Should now launch Gnusto when clicking on links to z-code files even if they're set to the wrong MIME-type.

Known Issues:
  • Launching Gnusto by clicking on a link to a game gives no visual feedback at all until the game is fully downloaded

  • Options screen doesn't really work yet

  • Beyond Zork still locks up solid not too far into the game.

  • "Press any key" only responds to the spacebar.

I'll make a separate post with things it would be helpful for other people to test-- I don't have easy access to Linux or MacOS test machines. Thanks!
Thursday, February 3rd, 2005
1:23 am
Gnusto in the News
Very tiny is our fame, so it's always exciting when Gnusto gets noticed in the press.

Barbara Krasnoff over at the TechWeb collective of sites wrote up a lovely review of Gnusto 0.7. As extension reviews go, it's fairly in-depth. Also, it's quite positive. Barbara is now officially on our list of Extremely Cool People. She'll get a spiffy-keen Christmas card when December rolls around.

Gnusto also got a very tiny mention in an article about customizable web browsers in the New York Times. Yes, it's not much of a mention, but just seeing the word "Gnusto" in a New York Times article is mighty exciting.

Actually, if anyone has (or knows where we can get) a real dead-trees copy of the New York Times (or at least the Technology section) for January 27, 2005, we'd be grateful for any leads you might have. Likewise for the print versions of any of the TechWeb magazines that contained the "Fire Up Firefox: Our Favorite Extensions" article (probably the Dec 23, 2004 issue). Anyone who helps us out with this would also be an Extremely Cool Person. Yes, that includes a Chrismas card.
12:52 am
0.8 Release Candidate Soon...
There are still some pesky, hard-to-kill bugs we want to knock down for 1.0. But we've got plenty of improvements that are too good to shelve until then, so Gnusto 0.8 will be making an appearance soon.

In fact, some time in the next week or so, we'll be posting a release candidate to this forum for testing. We'll fill you in on a full list of features and bugfixes when we post the RC, but highlights include support for z-code versions 1 and 2, a startup page with links to games, the option to run Gnusto in a Firefox tab, some good layout and bug fixes, and some modest speed improvements.

We're hoping to release a very polished 1.0 around the same time Firefox 1.1 ships.

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and support...
Thursday, January 13th, 2005
2:55 pm
Ramping Back Up for a Release
Yes, we stalled out a bit after the release of 0.7. But Tuesday night, I rolled up my sleeves and dove back in full-force. Full support for z-code versions 1 and 2 is now checked in to CVS. I haven't posted a test-build for others yet-- will probably hold off until we get a couple more bugfixes and features worked in.

Also, Update.Mozilla.Org has re-enabled their download counter (now with some spiffy new features). The count was a hair over 7000 downloads when they disabled the counter in preparation for the onslaught of extension downloads for the FireFox 1.0 release. On the new (reset) counter, we've now crossed the 3000 download mark. So even without the month or two around FF 1.0, Gnusto has officially been downloaded over 10,000 times. It boggles the mind...

We're looking to release Gnusto 1.0 in the not too distant future. I'll post again later with information on what to expect in the new release.

Thanks so much for using Gnusto and extra-special thanks for the testing and bug reports.

Happy New Year!
Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
2:12 pm
Error Message During Restores
I get the following error message every time I try to restore a saved game from within Zork 3.

This is while running Gnusto 0.7 on a Windows 2000 box with Service Pack 3.

I haven't seen this error so far on any other game.
Saturday, October 9th, 2004
11:23 am
Poll on Potential Gnusto Features
How would you rank the following potential features for upcoming releases of Gnusto (1 is very interesting, 10 is not at all interesting):

Tell Us What Features You Want HereCollapse )
Thursday, October 7th, 2004
6:25 pm
Inside Mozilla Update Guild  Score: 0      Moves: 7    
thrown bodily through the door of the Guild Hall by the Bugzilla.

Mozilla Update Guild Hall
You find yourself inside a large stone room consumed by what can only be described as a small hurricane of parchments. Scurrying around you at incredible speed are an endless stream of tiny gnomes ferrying stacks of scrolls and parchments from the door to a desk. Behind the desk, harried-looking Clerks swap scrolls with the gnomes, occasionally reaching back to pull down and hand over a bundle from the tall, somewhat unstable wooden shelves behind them.

> give extension to clerk
You manage to attract the attention of a burly looking clerk who stomps over to your end of the desk. The clerk picks up your Gnusto 0.7 exension and looks at it with a critical eye, turning it over and over in his hands.

"We'll have to test it first of course," he says. The clerk grabs an incongruously large iron mallet, two branding irons and a handful of dry-roasted peanuts, then disappears into the back room with your extension. Clamorous and painful sounds waft outward from under an abruptly closed door.

> wait
Days pass...
Clamorous and painful sounds continue to spill outward from the back room. Finally the clerk emerges from the back room, sweating profusely and covered in soot.

"Your extension has been posted to the site."

> ask clerk about downloads
The clerk arches an oversized eyebrow at you, then sighs and pulls out an absurdly large and dusty book. He leafs through the pages and puts tick marks on a notepad while humming a tuneless tune.

"In the past 2.5 days, Gnusto 0.7 has been downloaded... slightly over 1000 times."

> retrieve jaw from floor
You snatch the errant jawbone from the floor, dust it off, and wiggle it awkwardly back into your head.
Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
2:39 am
Gnusto 0.7 Released
It's out the door and it's quite a good release. Works for FireFox 0.9 or later. All the important info is available in the Release Notes and you can install it from here.

As some of you may have installed test-builds, please uninstall them before installing the release-bits (no worries-- it's easy to do and there are instructions on how to do this in the Release Notes).

And be sure to check out some z3 and z4 (older Infocom) games now that they're supported.

Speaking of older games-- Here are the free versions of the Zork games that were distributed by Activision to promote their newer less-texty Zork games. If you're running Gnusto 0.7, you can just click on the links to them in the browser and they'll pop up in Gnusto. (Be patient-- it's a slow server and may take a few seconds.)

Have fun! And be sure to give feedback and bug reports-- the best way for us to make the product better is through your input!

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004
3:21 pm
"Burn in Hell, Venkman"
For anyone doing Gnusto debugging under FireFox 0.9+ (where else?) it would probably be handy to have a working copy of Venkman with which to debug, wouldn't it? Well, the off-the-shelf copy of Venkman will not work at all under FireFox 0.9+. And the author is rumored to have indicated that he is disinclined to support FireFox in any way.

Luckily, some enterprising souls in Venkman-withdrawl sorted out the issues via this bug and there's now a highly unofficial Venkman Build that works great for most people. It seems to work great under FireFox 0.9.3 for Windows, though you must be using the tarred build of FireFox rather than the Installer-based one for it to run under Linux (or hunt down the jsd3250.so file and add it manually).

Good luck!
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