[Haskell] ANNOUNCE: ZMachine 0.0

Samuel Bronson naesten at gmail.com
Sat Dec 9 14:58:43 EST 2006

On 12/9/06, Neil Mitchell <ndmitchell at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Samuel,
> For future releases can you put up a little description of what a Z
> Machine is in the email?

Hmm. That would probably be a good idea ;-). But I don't see why I
can't do that now, too. Except I actually want to describe the
Z-machine, because apparantly the Z machine is a big giant machine
covered in what looks like lightning.

Anyway, here is the description from Wikipedia:

The Z-machine is a virtual machine that was developed by Joel Berez
and Marc Blank in 1979 and used by Infocom for its text adventure
games. Infocom compiled game code to files containing Z-machine
instructions (called story files, or Z-code files), and could
therefore port all its text adventures to a new platform simply by
writing a Z-machine implementation for that platform. With the large
number of incompatible home computer systems in use at the time, this
was an important advantage over using native code (or developing some
compiler for each system).

And I'll also note that, since then, a lot of people have used Graham
Nelson's Inform compiler to write their own "text adventure games" (or
"interactive fiction", as they like to call it) for the Z-machine,
many of which are available at the IF archive (ifarchive.org).

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