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RE: current development

From: Sarah Payne
Subject: RE: current development
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2020 17:12:36 +0000

Hi Philippe - I agree these two points are critical. Until recently I was only using mac and have had issues with playing gnu for a long time, but also little incentive to try xg which (until the next version, it seems) has only been available for windows.


So yes, this lack of a maintained mac version has gradually excluded long term users and inhibited uptake by new ones, a divide that can only become more extreme when xg goes cross platform.


And yes, cross compatibility with xg files would go even further to opening gnu right back up to everyone, including die-hard xg fans (would give them an incentive to use gnu again, in fact).


Your suggestion to try specifically recruiting mac developers is useful, thanks. I don’t have direct contacts but know someone who does, so I’ll make inquiries. Perhaps there are others reading this who could also do so?



Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Philippe Michel <address@hidden>
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 9:38:10 PM
To: Sarah Payne <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: current development
On Sat, Jan 25, 2020 at 10:15:16AM +0000, Sarah Payne wrote:

> In my opinion, a phone version would broaden appeal / access but the
> most critical issue is the neural nets. XG feels like a very different
> animal as an opponent - noticeably more opportunistic & aggressive, so
> some degree of congruence asap seems critical for gnubg to hold
> ground.

As other have already pointed, this "feeling" is most probably illusory
and calling that critical seems excessive.

On the other hand, I think there are some issues that could legitimely
be called critical. These are situations where GNUbg could end excluded
or be greatly handicapped for some use cases.

Two such issues that come to mind are :

- the lack of a maintained packaged Mac OS version. You wrote earlier
about trying to recruit programmers. What about trying to specifically
find a Mac hobbyist, or a developer or consultant interested in doing it
as training ?

- the inability to read XG files. It looks like matches tend
increasingly to be published in this form and that people often don't
bother with mat/txt exports.

A few years ago Michael Petch made available a Python library with
routines to decode XG matches files (maybe not single positions) but he
didn't go all the way to a small utility that would convert them to a
sgf file.

Converting it to C and using it in gnubg itself is probably not trivial
but completing the Python stuff to at least recover the moves, not the
evaluations, shouldn't be too difficult.

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