First, yeah, I like the solution of alternate text. I would assume that you can use something like Emily Short’s object property checking to make sure everything is alt-defined. So I guess you’d add lines like this (you may know this already, but others might be interested) :
A property-check rule for a thing (called the target) (this is the things must have description rule):
unless target provides the property alt-description:
if alt-description of target is empty:
say "[target] needs alt-description.";
Me too when I can do it. Though in many cases it’s cool enough to say “oh wow I can just cut a lot out here.” (Warning, tangent here). That’s what happened with Fourdiopolis. It slowed down once I added more scenery, but I sped it up by ignoring certain parts of a table in certain cases.
MY WIPRO had a similar case where I spent too much time initializing stuff the player probably wouldn’t see anyway.
Then in in A Roiling Original I broke up nudge-tables by region, and that sped things up, as you only searched through 200 entries instead of 1100. There’s still some speedup work I can do there. I should ask at intfiction.org.
Finally, I think one big reason I use tables is to get somthing like “[one of][or][at random/stopping]” behavior. I know I love to see random text, and I am never sure I’ve seen it all. Of course I can decompile, but other players might not (heck, I might not) and having the table (shuffled randomly at the start) means that I can check when I’ve hit the end and then give the player a message. I didn’t see a way to do that with [one of]. I also like that it’s just neater and better formatted and if there’s an if-then, it doesn’t get lost in the mess.
A code change example is here for the Problems Compound.
I know there are a lot of times I say, should I post a progress report? I also think that there’s a high standard for what is posted, on here or intfiction. That can get in the way for people like me who lean towards, nah, it’s not worth it. Thing is–I don’t like divas too much, but that’s no excuse to run entirely the opposite way and not share anything.