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New maintainer, plans for the future of XBoard

From: Simon Scatton
Subject: New maintainer, plans for the future of XBoard
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2021 15:53:28 +0000

Hello everyone,

My name is Simon and I’m the new maintainer/admin of the XBoard project.
I'm really glad to have been given the opportunity to work on this
project and I hope I can reignite some interest in developing XBoard.

I have some plans for the future of GNU XBoard and I would love to have
your feedback and what you think of these possible improvements.

The overall objective of my plans for GNU XBoard is to make this software easier
to use for beginners and newcomers to the chess community. Most of chess GUI
today are not free nor open, and I want XBoard to be a viable alternative to 
I know that it is very unlikely that it will be possible to achieve such a goal 
but it is the

Also, I would like to merge Winboard and GNU XBoard back together.

This is why I wanted to propose a couple of things to achieve this:

1. Drop support for legacy X Window System and use GTK3/4 for everything.

I think that this makes a lot of sense since GTK is everywhere now and
it would be a waste of time and resource in my opinion to maintain 
X Window Support. If some people still need it, they can enjoy the 
4.x versions of the software which supports it.

2. Update the visuals and the feel of the application.

Right now XBoard feels like legacy software when used, and I get that
it should be functional before being pretty but a little rework on the
interface would not hurt. I think that would attract more people to 
free software and this is a good thing!

3. Move to C++ instead of C.

I get that most of the development has been done in C and that the FSF
likes C over C++. But I think that it would solve a lot of issues we are having,
especially the build issues for Windows.
I also think that would lead to cleaner and more maintainable code since
there is no special need for performance for GNU XBoard and that GTK
C++ bindings are perfectly fine and stable. Plus, this move would not
delete any of the contributions that were made and most of the code would
still be used as-is, just wrapped differently.

Thank you for reading this email and for your time. I would love to hear 
your feedback on my ideas and what you think.

Have a wonderful day,


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