TAB - thinBasic Adventure Builder

T.A.B. is an interactive fiction/text adventure program for Windows and made with thinBasic.
 
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 Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?

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dellaqia
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PostSubject: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:18 am

Hi!

How are you? I'm here, among others things, to say that I knew your program recently and liked it very much! I had known many others, like Inform, Quest, Alan, Jacl, etc, and as someone very interested either in fiction and literature on one hand and programs and computer on the other, I consider IF a must. By now, I have no time or disposition to learn how to program, and still programming languages, not to say all about languages in general, are amongst the issues I like most, theoretically, at least regarding programming ones. Everything about they intrigue me a lot, and I am ever searching and reading all pieces of information I put my eyes and my hands on. When I saw your little code the first time I wonder because it is so terse and different... I have to say I don't know much about BASIC, even theoretically. Still... Don't feel like 'basic' at all. Of course, its probably just a tiny script language aiming to IF in TAB only. Yet, it is beautiful. As the program as a whole.

My interest in it is not first and foremost playing per se, but translating it to my language, a very different one, and thus exchange with my fellows "brasileiros" plays and joys of interactive fiction. The reason I don't use the aforementioned commended programs is that, even in those having "facilities" for translation, it wasn't so simply or fast, contrary to working with TAB. I indeed translated the default file in less than an hour, and that knowing nothing about the inner functionality. Now that I am reading the tutorial, I am making other decisions on terms and things while building the demo on it. Of course, there are many things I don't understand about the structure, but I intend to ask if I may. Sorry about my English, its possibly flaws and certain "pedantic" form, but I use it mostly to read, translating technical articles into my own language, sometimes to write something and almost never to chat. I hardly understand Internet gobbledygook, and that is my fault.

There are things I'd like to ask right now, although I don't know is there anybody here to answer. Things seems to be a little slow lately. Hopefully, the interest in the program is not fading. I'll ask anyway. Some words do not appear in the files, preventing me to translate them, and yet they show up in the player. I noticed two of them, "only" and "and" itself, respectively "só", "somente", "apenas", and "e", in Portuguese, but I assume there are others. The former appears when the parser says something like "The character can go north <only...>", and the other shows itself in sentences like "The character can go north <and> east". The first part of them is in the system file and the rest is in the Vocabulary, except the marked ones. It is not to say there is no other problems at all, as conflicts and the like, but they can be bypassed in some way. In these cases, however, I can't even try. It's not something terrifically important, as do not menace understanding, it's just annoying.

By the way, is there some simply means to translate the user interface? If so, I'd like to accomplish it. Besides Portuguese, I can translate in Spanish and Italian as well, but I prefer not doing so, if a native speaker is available. Is there a way to control system messages in the game? Or is that text just static? Regarding it, I was wondering about a mean to insert some dynamic information on the status bar using system messages 81 to 83, but I couldn't figure out how, since I know nothing yet about the code. I created a game (in paper) years ago that is complex enough to be a kind of challenge and still a great amusement. Its characters are based in genuine psychological archetypes and are seven classes of being, although pretending to be typical characters of epic stories. The schematics of the plot is about the evolution of the characters in the universe of the game by types, subtypes, specific domains and all sorts of subtle challenges . Every subtype is a combination of a few but striking attributes, forming fifty unique subtypes.

The narrative and the plot are all complete by now and need only be adjusted somehow, what can be done without hurry, hopefully. I was looking a long time for a medium flexible enough to implement it, or at least trying it. IMHO, your program is the best I ever seem, regarding the specifics. As a consideration only and by no means a comparison, I think Inform7 is a great program indeed and is beyond expectations, but it's out of range in some way too, so to speak. I do not want to scavenge in nasty details that don't concern specifically to the software, since it's not elegant nor intelligent. Some mechanisms I need to accomplish the game seems to be intricate and the use of the system messages are not one of them, though can be impractical depending on the limitations of the program. I really don't know yet.

I hope you don't mind that my message is so big. Please, don't be constrained to read and answer everything at once. I write the most I can when I have some spare time. Sometimes I'm just working all the time. I have a lot of minor questions about the use of the language, but in time I ask. Some solutions as I see them are awkward and have strange side effects, even when they seems to work. For example, we use the verb "sair", that is the infinitive, to quit, and I prefer putting two persons as synonyms, the second and the third imperative persons, "sai" and "saia", here, just in case, because Brazilian people, of any social class, are accustomed to use the third person at almost every case where the Portuguese people, and also the Spanish one, by the way, use the second person. It's is almost pointless in a game, in which most people are just looking for fun, but we also use it in place of "out", as it is used in game.

Sometimes that and the likes cause a sort of mess from which is hard to go out lightly, and all of a sudden nothing is working as expected. The use of the separator in long words is something I'd like to see well explained in a more complete manual. It uses to beat me now and then. Like the english terms go in, go out, go up, go down, etc, we have the verb ir=go, dentro=in, fora=out, cima=ap, baixo=down, etc, but unlike English, a language more analytical, Portuguese, as every Latin language, is more synthetic, and so is more rigid concerning some structures. We never use something like "go down", "ir dentro", because it is ungrammatical and sounds terrible, and even less we say just "dentro" in the same way you do. We have to say "ir para dentro" or even more problematic "ir para o norte" in a case you just say "go north". Saying just "norte" or "n" as a command is all right. The problem begins when you try to adjust everything with the system messages.

In order to simulate the natural speech, I tried to reference the build on the place in the forest of the tutorial. Instead of "go in" and "go down", I wanted "entrar na cabana" and "sair da cabana". I just used de first part and ignored the word "cabana", the building. It worked, but "sair" is also "quit", so some strange things happens at times. And so on. Note, however, that I am not complaining at all, even if it seems to be so. On the contrary, I think it demonstrates without any doubt how flexible the system is. We have just to know how. Until now, every problem I encountered I managed to resolve one way or another and that is very instructive and funny. Thanks a lot! I forget to ask whether or not is it feasible to create games in third person in IF in general and in particular on TAB, because it is important to build the kind of game I have in mind. I mean to play with a character, not playing a character, if it makes sense at all, using an avatar, more separate, that evolves as a sort of alter-ego, but with ludicrous, or magic, or harmonic, or evil attributes. Is it clear enough?

Regards
Dellaqia
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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:48 am

Quote :

My interest in it is not first and foremost playing per se, but translating it to my language, a very different one, and thus exchange with my fellows "brasileiros" plays and joys of interactive fiction.

I indeed translated the default file in less than an hour, and that knowing nothing about the inner functionality. Now that I am reading the tutorial, I am making other decisions on terms and things while building the demo on it. Of course, there are many things I don't understand about the structure, but I intend to ask if I may.

Hello dellaqia and welcome to this adventure forum. Your english is quite good. I must apologise for not replying sooner and this was due to a busy week.

As you have found out you may be able to convert successfully the default database text - particular words and system messages from within the TAB Editor - but you can only go so far and do this to a certain extent and limit... The TAB program does not have a facility for translating the WHOLE of the english text which is printed by certain coding ACTIONS internally by TAB eg: the actions that list objects or characters in sentence fashion which use "and" etc... and also the TAB dialog boxes or messageboxes where it is not possible to change the text and which is automatically printed in english!

I really must thank you for your kind comments about the program and say that I applaud your efforts so far to do a decent translation...


Quote :

There are things I'd like to ask right now, although I don't know is there anybody here to answer. Things seems to be a little slow lately. Hopefully, the interest in the program is not fading. I'll ask anyway. Some words do not appear in the files, preventing me to translate them, and yet they show up in the player. I noticed two of them, "only" and "and" itself, respectively "só", "somente", "apenas", and "e", in Portuguese, but I assume there are others. The former appears when the parser says something like "The character can go north <only...>", and the other shows itself in sentences like "The character can go north <and> east". The first part of them is in the system file and the rest is in the Vocabulary, except the marked ones. It is not to say there is no other problems at all, as conflicts and the like, but they can be bypassed in some way. In these cases, however, I can't even try. It's not something terrifically important, as do not menace understanding, it's just annoying.

Please ask any questions at any time if needing help! The forum is a little slow just of late - you are right but I always check the forum regularly several times a week in case of any new messages (or you can join the TAB email group)

Regarding the "exit listing" problem you encountered where TAB lists the exits and uses "and" and "only." which you are presently unable to change to your language - one solution to get round that is by using the "exitsoff" action in a coding entry to prevent TAB from auto-showing those and then instead write your own exits in portuguese as a part of the written LOCATION text itself...
If you need details of how to do that, let me know and I tell you how to accomplish that. Smile

Quote :

By the way, is there some simply means to translate the user interface? If so, I'd like to accomplish it. Besides Portuguese, I can translate in Spanish and Italian as well, but I prefer not doing so, if a native speaker is available.

It **could** be done but in order to do all that as well as all the internal messages causing the problems you are not able to deal with now (mentioned previously) would mean translating the relevant words/sentences etc. currently written in english in the actual TAB source thinbasic program file listing (essentially that is a large text file written in english)
After all/any translations were done then it would be a relatively easy matter to re-compile the amended program, make a separate version and you would effectively end up with a clone of TAB that was entirely in Portuguese!
**However please note that the names of all of the CONDITIONS and ACTIONS listed in the "language.txt" file (in TAB directory) could not be changed and would necessarily have to remain the same as in the english version...**

I would be happy to email you a copy of that program listing file to look at if you would be interested?

Regarding the "long verbs" and "long nouns" facility I would recommend that you take a look at the topic in this forum on that subject which explains how you can get TAB to understand two or more words and have them interpreted by the parser as one single word.
link: http://adventure.rpgdynasty.com/t55-long-nouns-and-synonyms

Even with the syntax "difficulties" you talked about and other language conflicts it might be still possible with some work and cooperation to produce a workable and usable conversion that would fit your needs Smile

Best regards,
catventure. (Phil)


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dellaqia
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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:39 am

Hello, Phil!

Thanks for the answer. No problem with the delay. We are all busy people. I understand the problems related with accessing inner actions and their responses in a non specific way. Especially when we know that many other uses were not foreseen, as they cannot be. I knew that already, but could not renounce to be astonished with the incredible easiness of the program in so many ways. For a moment, I thought it will be that easy. The dialog boxes and message boxes are not a concern to me, except if and when I am going to translate the whole program, what I would like to do when opportune.

At first, my primary goal is being capable of writing an interactive fiction in my language in order to exchange it with other countrymen. It's not easy to write whole stories in other languages, even when you can read and translate that languages into yours. And what's the point? It is another entirely different thing. We have practically no example of this activity along the whole country and I think it's very sad. That is not at all because there is no interest in computers, as testify programming languages like Boo and Lua, created here and acknowledged everywhere, but because there is no examples of it in Portuguese, I believe.

I will ask, then, and thank you very much! The solution regarding the "exits listing" problem is excellent. I think it really solves the problem completely, since my questions are about in game features mostly. That kind of flexibility is very rare to find anywhere, and so you really do not have thanking my comments about the program, cause they are true indeed. Yes, I would like you tell me how to apply the action "exitsoff" in my games, if you please. Now that I have read the tutorial, I have some notion about how to do it. But I read only, not really studied it yet, nor the language file. So, I would appreciate an example.

Wow! It would be great! You can e-mail me anytime at dellaqia_at_gmail_dot_com for any question. If you send me a copy of the program listing file I will look at it carefully and I will try to translate it as soon as possible, returning to you the results with any indications you need about my language. Regarding the names of conditions and actions, that is not a problem at all. They are not elements that appear in game and after all are very concise and straightforward. I wonder if this kind of structure could ever be used as a model to a multi purpose programming language! Its so amazing!

Now I understood longŻnames well enough, I think. It was just a matter of reading a little more about it. Specially because I have used it to go around some issues on the language, as in the command "go north", for instance, that we use to say "ir para o norte", thus I use "oŻnorte" as the keyword and "norte" as a synonym, since it seems to minimize troubles with the system messages. Also, I have copied all the topics from the forum that have any information on the code by now. I confess though, I would like having access to many more examples of code, if I could. I would like to ask you also about specific possibilities in game creation, but I will do it another time.

Thanks again.
Ramon.
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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:34 am

Hello Ramon,

Example of exitsoff. Simply add the "exitsoff" action in a SCRIPT 1 editor entry which is called before the game properly starts.
The simple code entry below is from the Script 1 entries in the "default.tab" database:


[start]turns<0[acts]fontname=fixedsys#fontsize=10#exitsoff[end]


Turns off exit listing. You still need to enter the exit directions in the Location Editor of course; but now you can write your exit details as a part of the location text itself:

You are in a room. There is a single exit leading north.

To make a similar operation in the "tutorial.tab" database - add or copy the below entry into the SCRIPT 1 EDITOR. I used a spare flag variable "flag10" to trigger this entry once only...



TAB SCRIPT 1 ENTRIES
====================
All the entries in this list are looked at directly after a location description is shown by TAB and just BEFORE visible exits, objects, characters present are shown.
Useful for appending a message to a room description or carrying out other conditions and actions.

[start]flag10=0[acts]exitsoff#flag10=1[end]

Above entry turns off exit listing

Regards,
Phil.

PS. I sent you an email about the source code listing.

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dellaqia
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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:21 am

Hi, Phil!

Yes, I received the email and am looking at the file right now. Thanks for the example. It simply solves the problem entirely. I have a question. The font used by the player have to exist in the computer it runs, isn't it? The game does not embed any font, does it? I like using the font "cambria" with the player. If I send a game to somebody and he or she doesn't possess that font what the player does? Uses another one, or simply complains and does nothing? I'd like to know to embed a specific font with the game before sending it to someone. There are fonts in public domain, although I believe it is not necessary when there is no sale.

Regards,
Ramon.
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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:06 pm

Hi, Phil!

I put a note in my forum relating on the topics we have talked about, if you don't mind. I translated it here.

"I have talked with Catventure (Phil), the author of TAB, whom is indeed very kind and willing. He is always prompt to help the program users with clues and relevant advices, and also with snips of code to insert in the games. We agreed that I would trying translating the program into Portuguese and he already sent me the necessary files. I said "trying" because the files are really big and very complex. Besides, I know nothing about the basic programming language, as he knows nothing about Portuguese. It can takes some time, but I think we will end up with a fully functional translated program eventually. I just do not know when. Anyway, it is an excellent opportunity to whom had none at hand. Furthermore, the program is fully functional right now and we can perfectly use it to build interactive fictions in our language without much trouble, although to use the script language embedded in the program it is necessary having some notion of English at first, but not too much. The commands end up being memorized and after that it is easy using them in game building."

I expect it bring some people to watch the program closely and use it soon. Moreover, you can have a notion of what I think right now of working on the file you sent to me.

Regards,
Ramon.
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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:22 pm

dellaqia wrote:

I have a question. The font used by the player have to exist in the computer it runs, isn't it? The game does not embed any font, does it? I like using the font "cambria" with the player. If I send a game to somebody and he or she doesn't possess that font what the player does? Uses another one, or simply complains and does nothing? I'd like to know to embed a specific font with the game before sending it to someone. There are fonts in public domain, although I believe it is not necessary when there is no sale.

The "cambria" font works for me in TAB on Windows Vista - and I think it will work on any windows from Vista onwards... However that particular font may not work on earlier versions of windows, unless they have Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word installed in which case it might work... See this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambria_(typeface)

Have a look at this site and it tells you some fonts which should work safely on ALL versions of MS Windows:

http://designzoo.com/Windows-Mac-Web-Fonts/index.html

If TAB cannot find the font then you are correct it will substitute it with another similar font that it can find or use the default font for the richedit control which I think is set to "arial" in the TAB adventure window.

Most Font files are copyright, so you can't distribute them with your game for others to install on their systems without permission. (A bit like using copyrighted music in your games...)

This variation of fonts supplied with differing versions of Windows is a bit of a nuisance really to everyone, I suppose, and would also affect HTML web browsers too - but hopefully it won't affect your game creation too much Smile

Regards,
Phil.

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PostSubject: Re: Hi! I'm new here. Can I Translate?   Tue May 15, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi,

Just updating this thread to let you know that the translation project is going ahead and is currently underway. Ramon is doing a great conversion job. Hopefully, this will mean the TAB can be used by IF members and authors in the Portuguese text adventuring community.

Regards,
catventure.

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