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Re: [Bug-gnubg] Handling ambiguous checker moves

From: Zulli, Louis P
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] Handling ambiguous checker moves
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 16:05:00 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Mike,

There is currently some "parsing" of "user checker actions on the gtk-board" to yield "actual backgammon moves." For example, my continuous checker slide from 6 to 3 was parsed as 6/5*/3 rather than 6/4/3. Even though a user can readily undo and redo a move, we should strive to have a parsing scheme that is as intuitive as possible. Perhaps I am atypical, but parsing my action as 6/5*3 is counter-intuitive. Philippe's suggestion that a continuous slide like mine never be parsed as pick and pass makes sense to me. Ideally, parsing of actions should not simply default to "pick the first legal interpretation" of the action based on some arbitrarily ordered list of legal interpretations.

Of course this is a small issue, but it seems like the kind of issue that should be discussed before any "official" release.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Petch" <address@hidden>
To: "Louis P Zulli" <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden, "Jonathan Kinsey" <address@hidden>, "Philippe Michel" <address@hidden>
Sent: Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:30:30 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] Handling ambiguous checker moves

On 09/04/09 1:13 PM, "Zulli, Louis P" <address@hidden> wrote:

Yes, but the user has to know how his action will be interpreted, and that interpretation should make sense intuitively. If I slide a checker directly from 6 to 3, I don't expect that to be interpreted as 6/5*/3. Of course I can undo the move and replay it in a "clearer" way. But I think Philippe's reply makes sense; there is simply a small problem in how gnubg is currently interpreting certain actions. Fix that, and no extra prefs or complications are needed.

I am aware of that. However moving a piece from 6 down to 3 has two possible paths as you point out. One hits and one doesn’t. I as a user really wouldn’t have the expectation that the program would know what I intended (either way), nor do I believe it should tell me about the other path. I personally would have no issue if GnuBG picked the first valid move that it could find that got from one to the other. And I would not be surprised if that is exactly what is happening. If you change how the program finds valid moves, then the result of which choice the program plays in this situation may also change.

My opinion still stands - It is up to the user to correct the ambiguity. If the bot makes the play you don’t like then you simply go back and correct it or move the pieces the way you want to begin with. I actually use the program and select every move and where it will go (With all intermediate steps) simply so that I always get the result I intended without the bot ever making a choice for me.

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