RAIF FAQ > About the newsgroup > 2.2: What topics are appropriate here?

2.2: What topics are appropriate here?

Topics related to interactive fiction design, theory, and implementation are appropriate, as is the discussion of IF implementation languages (authoring systems). Ideas on applying popular technologies (object oriented programming, incremental compilers, etc.) to problems in interactive fiction development (knowledge representation, natural language parsing, etc.) are welcomed. There are many pleas of a "how do I do this...?" nature with reference to the nuts'n'bolts of particular authoring systems (very nearly 100% of which are answered). You should put the name of the authoring system, enclosed in square brackets, at the beginning of the subject line of your post (e.g., "[Inform]", "[Hugo]", "[TADS]", etc.), as this allows people who do not wish to read about particular systems to maintain effective kill-files. It also often helps if you post a short piece of code that demonstrates your problem: we cannot read your mind and your post is useless if we can't understand your problem. However, try to keep your examples succinct and relevant: it's hard and boring to sift through pages of code to find one tiny error. Do not post very long or irrelevant pieces of code.

Sometimes people post "giftware", clever pieces of code which solve a particular problem. These, too, should be kept as concise as possible. "Giftware" is usually placed in the public domain, but don't take this for granted. However, if you intend to post "giftware", please consider uploading your code to the IF-Archive [What is the IF-Archive?: 6.1] instead and posting a pointer to it in a raif message. This way your contribution will be given a permanent home on the Internet and will help to build a large literature library for the authoring system you have chosen.

Posts on authoring Web-based hyperfiction are not inappropriate on rec.arts.int-fiction, though it is true that there is not much of an audience on the newsgroup for this sort of thing.

Reviews of interactive fiction games are gladly received on either newsgroup. The nature of a review may be such that it is relevant to both the interactive fiction newsgroups. This is an exception to the cross-posting rule. Whenever you do cross-post, whether it be for reviews or other purposes, please set your Followup-To: header to one or the other; this ensures any followup messages are posted only to the most appropriate group. Post-competition reviews of IF Competition games [What sort of events does the IF community do?: 2.6] should be posted only to rgif.

The other major exception to the crossposting rule is requests for betatesters for games. Such requests may appear on either, or both, of the newsgroups. However, please *do not* post replies to the newsgroups. Send your reply to the author via private e-mail. Otherwise, the resulting glut of "me too!" posts is extremely annoying to the other readers of the newsgroup. Many authors will in fact *ignore* such replies to the newsgroups, and will only respond to those sent by e-mail. If you are an author posting for betatesters, you should set your Followup-To: news header to the word 'poster' (no quotes). See [How do I become an IF author?: 4.1] for more information on betatesting your game.

Lastly, game announcements are often crossposted to both of the groups, with a Followup-To: to rgif.

Controversial viewpoints are sometimes posted and indeed are to be encouraged; when you post a dissenting view remember to attack the idea, not the person. Let us debate, not battle. raif has been very good when it comes to that; most fights have been misunderstandings that were soon fixed. Our flamewars rarely last a week, and there usually are only a handful per year - which is quite good for a newsgroup.

RAIF FAQ > About the newsgroup > 2.2: What topics are appropriate here?