How To Use the System Table of Contents Version Differences


A complete Alan system should contain a compiler and an interpreter. They are normally called alan and arun respectively, but depending on the environment may have different names, such as alan.exe .

The Alan system is delivered packaged in different ways depending of the platform. On each platform the 'standard' way of packing software has been attempted. Seek local wisdom or look at where the Interactive Fiction Archives are located for info.

Alan has been ported to many platforms (try for latest info). Below follows some very specific information for some of the platforms.


The Alan compiler requires more than the standard stack size (4096), a size of 20000 has been used without trouble.

The Alan interpreter arun supports Workbench-start-up through double-clicking on the Arun-icon. The tooltype WINDOW is supported to make it possible to selecting the window in which the adventure should be run. If a console handler device such as NEWCON: in 1.3 or the normal CON: in 2.x and above history and command line editing is available.


On UNIX systems command history, recall and editing is available.


In the PC environment Alan and Arun are command shell programs. This means that it needs an MS-DOS console to run. In this case it is most convenient to have the programs in your command path. Refer to your MS-DOS manuals for info on how to do this.

In a Windows environment you can associate the extensions .ala and .acd with the programs Alan and Arun respectively. This will enable compiling and running by double clicking on the files.

E.1 Portability of Games

The adventure files produced by the Alan compiler is compatible across all supported platforms. This means that by copying the binary .acd and .dat files to another machine they should be possible to interpret by an interpreter on that new machine without any changes. Note however that the files must be transferred in binary mode (where applicable). All characters are automatically converted to the native set allowing multi-national characters to be presented correctly even on machines that do not support the IS0 8859-1 standard. This is of course restricted to characters having a representation in the current native character set.

It is a strong goal to achieve complete portability of the games to be able to provide games for all supported platforms without re-compilation. Game authors should take this into serious consideration when designing games and not use any system specific characters, character combinations or special commands that may be available on some systems.

Portability will not extend to different versions of the system. Changes in the game file format can occur between versions. Conversion tools may be available, older interpreter versions can be requested.

How To Use the System Table of Contents Version Differences