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Re: [XBoard-devel] WinBoard installer

From: h.g. muller
Subject: Re: [XBoard-devel] WinBoard installer
Date: Sun, 07 Jun 2009 00:10:29 +0200

At 08:51 6-6-2009 -0600, Eric Mullins wrote:
I wasn't knocking cygwin1.dll, just pointing out the dependency. Lots of chess software requires POSIX, so including cygwin1.dll seems a good move to me. All the back compatibility issues of it are gone-- if you include the most recent DLL, there shouldn't be any issues. But certainly omitting gnuchess wouldn't bother me at all.

I don't think sneaking in POSIX support as a kind of Trojan horse with WinBoard should be on our agenda. Cygwin1.dll is nearly twice the size of winboard.exe, so is size is any concern at all, it should be the first thig to go. Note that the entire WinBoard 4.3.15 Gold Pack only occupies 8.6 MB on disk (2.3 MB for the zipped download), about half the size of the 4.2.7b installer download. While the Gold Pack contains all functionality, while the 4.2.7 installer hardly contained any, and lacked even the most essential components. Because it wasted all that space on stuff that sered no purpose: a huge DLL and a huge opening book that ony served a single engine that no one really wanted.

If we want to supply people with an engine of the caliber of GNU Chess, there are plenty of other engines that are not dependent on cygwin1.dll. E.g. Joker ranks about 100 Elo above GNU Chess on the Chess-War rating list ( http://www.open-aurec.com/chesswar/Chesswar014/Chesswar014DLs.htm ), measures only 52 KB, and is freeware...

The problem with the polyglot that doesn't require cygwin1.dll is it doesn't work in windows 95 because of the new affinity option. I tried to assist that project briefly, including changes for win95 support, but they disappeared in the very next version. I have my own custom version of it that does work in win95 though. Still, I'm not sure I consider it tested enough. I never really understood the point of getting rid of the cygwin1 dependency anyway. However, I do like the windows native version for one reason: in windows 9x and NT4, it doesn't open an extra command window for the forked polyglot process.

I have not tested the Polyglot included in the Gold pack on Win95, but I still should have an old laptop around that runs it, so I could probably do that if I manage to figure out some way to get it on a floppy. But if t doesn't run there, it is likely that the reason I dd not receive any complaints is tht no one is using it anymore.

Of course, I haven't tested the new version of winboard in win95 yet.
Is there an association between .pgn (and .fen) files and winboard that the installer creates?

I think the 4.2.7 installer did optionally create an association between WinBoard and .PGN or .FEN files. But it brought it up just in game viewer mode; not with an engine in analysis mode. But I supposed this could be changed.


That's mostly what my .reg file sets up, including the black-yellow icon from winboard.exe as the PGN icon. So when you d/l a pgn file, it has the correct icon, and when you double-click it, it launches winboard in analysis mode.

I used to set it up manually without a .reg file, but when I was testing Vista, I discovered there is no advanced option in the file association tool it provides.

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