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Re: [Bug-XBoard] Xboard 4.3.15 bugs Mac OS X 10.5.8 PPC

From: h.g. muller
Subject: Re: [Bug-XBoard] Xboard 4.3.15 bugs Mac OS X 10.5.8 PPC
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 13:22:47 +0200

It works now. When I try variants out, I find it natural to run a game
in xboard with the engine playing against itself. After playing
awhile, I want to go back to see what actually was played.

Then the Mac OS X chess GUI "Sigma Chess" has a feature "branch game",
which pops up window with another copy of the game up to that point.
This way, one can try to play against one engine in various positions.

XBoard does not have this, but it is possible to step through the current game,
using the < and > buttons, to go to an earlier position, and restart the game from there.
(Possibly after switching back and forth to Edit Position.)

It is also possible to copy positions from the game (via the clipboard)
to some text editor, for later use as start position.

At this point, it is good to figure out the rules of the pieces and
the game. It is logically a backwards to do it this way, but I think
the GUI and natural human curiosity encourages it. So perhaps xboard
should have some windows for "piece definitions" and "rules games".

XBoard has no feature to display possible moves (e.g. highlighting all
the target squares of a selected piece.) It could be made, of course.

After this, one might want experiment with defining ones own variant.

I considered having XBoard directly read the fmax.ini file, so if people define
their own pieces, XBoard would automatically be aware of them. Currently,
when someone wants to use a piece that is not pre-defined in XBoard,
he would have to use a wild-card piece ike the Amazon (Lance), losing the
possibility for XBoard to reliably recognize checkmates. Or play with legality
testing off, losing even more functionality.

But the fmax.ini description syntax is not general enough to describe every
piece WinBoard knows now (zonal boards like Xiangqi are problematic,
for instance, as is Janus castling). Ans it is rather user-unfriendly. I still want
to fix that someday, equiping Fairy-Max with a  "move compiler" that would
understand, e.g. Betza syntax.


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