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Re: [XBoard-devel] WinBoard Installer

From: h.g. muller
Subject: Re: [XBoard-devel] WinBoard Installer
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 16:58:26 +0200

At 07:15 15-7-2009 -0600, Eric Mullins wrote:
I downloaded this file. Bear with me, it's the first time I've seen a gold-pack installation, so some of this may be old news. But here are my thoughts:

Shortcuts: These almost work. There's no icon, I presume because they are currently hardcoded to some path on your machine which doesn't exist on mine. As your help file says, they 'adapt' after opening.

The shortcuts are problematic on download / unzip, unless you unzip in the same directory as I packed it from on my system. The installer.zip was not meant for distribution as such; normally I would move it to C:\Chess\ (i.e. the "root" folder in it) before I zip it, and would advise people to unpack it under that name. Vista does not seem to adapt the shortcuts at all, not even if you click them. Another problem with the shortcuts is that theydo not show the complete command line in their target field, which is actually "...\winboard @FILE" where FILE is one of the small .ini files in the WinBoard folder. Windows never displays the @FILE argument, and in fact it would disappear when you open the shortcut properties dialog and OK it (destroying the usefulness of shortcut).

I don't think many users are going to find the solution-- they probably won't even consider opening the winboard installation directory with explorer. So, I think the installer should build these at install time so they are accessible from the start menu, or can be placed on the desktop. It's clear to me you work out of the winboard directory directly, which is kind of unusual for end users.

Now that we will have an installer, it was my idea to make everything that is a shortcut in the WinBoard folder an item in the start menu, so that we get a menu similar to what 4.2.7 offered, with items to logon to ICC, FICS, play Fruit, play Fairy-Max, play Pulsar (in so far included in the install). The ICSbot is probably not useful on the menu; it was just provided as an example of how to do things. Because with an installer we should also be able to put files in other places, I now want to supply the fonts too. (Previously I only provided instructions on how to download them.)

Additionally, I was getting an error with several shortcuts when exiting, pointing at "C:\cygwin\home\fboard\xboard44\installer\root\WinBoa" where the msgbox got cut off. This is the result of it trying to save the PGN, there's a setting in winboard.ini that points there. Is there some reason we need to ship winboard.ini? Isn't it automatically generated using the defaults if not present? In any event, the PGN save location must be changed-- very few are going to have a cygwin directory. Heh.

It is very important to supply the winboard.ini, as the compiled-in defaults are no good for this complex package. To prevent the problem you signaled all path names in this winboard.ini will have to be relative to the WinBoard folder. This is what I did for the opening books, texture bitmaps, engine directories, polyglot. WinBoard preserves this even when it saves new settings. The problem is that I made the saveGameFile with the Options->Save... menu browse command, and when you do that, it uses the full pathname. /saveGameFile=".\default.pgn" would do.

Aren't we going to ship the source code? Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought it came with 4.2.7.

There was no source code shipped with 4.2.7. If an executable is available, no Windows usr would ever build from source. The 4.3.13 sources I reeased contained a bug that prevented compiling. I did not get any complaint on that until long after I released 4.3.14...

I still do not have the commit for this. As I am running AMD64, I actually need the fix and can not use an i386 .deb.

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