The name "adv3Lite" was (as it suggests) originally chosen to suggest a "lite", i.e. simplified version of adv3 (the library that comes standard with TADS 3). It was never going to be simply a cut-down version of adv3 — especially from the time that it adopted the Mercury
parser as its base — but the original conception was to provide something substantially simpler than adv3, something that would be more a less a minimal system for writing Interactive Fiction in the TADS 3 language.
As adv3Lite developed, however, it largely moved away from this initial vision. While adv3Lite remains simpler than adv3 in certain respects (such as the smaller number of classes it uses for simulation objects, and the odd adv3 feature it leaves out), it has effectively evolved into an alternative TADS 3 library rather than a lite one, an alternative that leaves out some adv3 features but includes other features not found as standard in adv3. The main reason for this is that the further I got with adv3Lite, the more it became apparent that a minimalist system might be too restrictive for what many people were likely to want to do in a piece of modern IF.
However, adv3Lite was also designed to be more scalable than adv3, which means that you can leave more of it out if you don't want it. If you leave out all the optional modules, then you are left with something that can be considered a "lite" version. I'm now calling this minimalist version adv3Liter
. Adv3Liter is not something different from adv3Lite, it's simply adv3Lite in its most basic form, with all the optional modules excluded. If you start from standard adv3Lite and exclude all the optional modules you'll effectively end up with adv3Liter. Conversely, if you start from adv3Liter and add in all the optional modules you'll end back up with full adv3Lite. The library is fully scalable from one to the other.
To help illustrate the point, I've just posted the source code for a simple adv3Lite game called "Trollbridge" in two versions. Version 1
uses only adv3Liter, while Version 2
uses (more or less) the full adv3Lite library. This illustrates some of the differences between the two, but should not be taken as meaning that adv3Liter can do everything that full adv3Lite can do. It can't; at least, not without a lot of reinvention of the wheels that full adv3Lite already provides.
The adv3Liter option is provided for anyone who genuinely wants a lite version of TADS 3. Some reasons why some people might want it are suggested on my adv3Lite page