- What's this about version 3?
- What new features does version 3 contain?
- Will it be compatible with version 2?
- Can I try it now? Will it be different when it is released?
- When will it be released?
QUESTION: What's this about version 3?
ANSWER: Alan has been in use for almost 15 years. Of course it is time for an upgrade so that it can remain one of the most easy to use languages for interactive fiction and text adventures.
QUESTION: What new features does version 3 contain?
ANSWER: There are a large number of new features in Alan v3. The biggest thing is object orientation. This means that you can define classes such as doors, define properties for that class and create any number of instances of that class. Classes may inherit each other, making it easy to extend the properties further. Attributes that refer to instances, new statements and pictures and sounds are other examples of things that Alan v3 supports. But it is still easy to learn and use! Efforts have also been made to enhance the player experience, examples are Windows GUI, transcripts, record and playback of player commands and simple install using a setup program.
QUESTION: Will it be compatible with version 2?
ANSWER: With such a major step forward it has been impossible to keep the language completely backwards compatible. It does keep most of the syntax, adds some and removes some things. You will recognize most of the new syntax and it will have the same style, which you will appreciate. Version 2 is declared obsolete and will no longer be developed or corrected. You should really move on to Version 3. A converter program and a conversion guide is available to help your transition.
QUESTION: Can I try it now? Will it be different when it is released?
ANSWER: Alan v3 is now in beta state. Many users have downloaded it and so can you. It is supported for production work. Each development version have been thoroughly tested using hundreds of automated tests which are run with each change. And new test cases are added all the time. Unless some major problems are discovered during the beta stage, the release version will have the same features as the current beta version.
QUESTION: When will it be released? ANSWER: Alan is a non-profit, hobby, pastime. Time is limited and varying. Sometimes progress is real fast. Sometimes very slow. The development of Alan v3 is done in increments. Each increment results in a new version available to adventurous users. Each and everyone has been perfectly usable. Alan is now in beta state and will progress into release. When the final v3 version is released depends on rapid feedback (you can help!) and available development time.