Hello, Hobbit

In a hole in the ground lives a hobbit. A nasty, dirty, wet hole contains ends of worms and an oozy smell. A dry, bare, sandy hole contains nothing to sit down on or eat. The hole in the ground is a hobbit hole. “That means comfort.” —Brian Slesinsky has some fun with Inform 7 syntax. —Hello, Hobbit (rec.arts.int-fiction) Can you tell what I’ve been thinking about lately?

[Graham Nelson and Emily Short discuss Inform 7]

Chartres cathedral used to have an actual bazaar in it, in the middle ages – you could buy vegetables, or even livestock, and it must have been mayhem sometimes: but that was all right, because the occasional runaway piglet was never going to be able to knock over the columns holding up the walls. Well, if Inform is a cathedral, its explicit support for extensions is the equivalent of inviting…


A better way to prevent student cheating

Honor, with its emphasis on doing the right thing for its own sake, is no match for the anxious cynicism of many college students. This point was driven home to me by a junior I met last year in North Carolina. Why not cheat, he argued, given how many of America’s most successful people cut corners to get where they are? Cheating is how the real world works, he said.…