new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

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adams161
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new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by adams161 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:04 pm

I have been working on a chess client for chessclub.com for a little over a year now and decided it was about time to release the beta download link here on talkchess.

It’s called Lantern Chess. It’s similar to Jinchess in that it’s a java program, works on windows linux and mac, and it’s GPL, and open source. I’m keeping the download now in the finger of one of my accounts, http://www.chessclub.com/activities/fin ... le=michael
Help can be opened in lantern in the help menu and opens this page http://www.adammr.com/lanternhelp/lantern-help.html in the internal browser.

It supports opening in examine mode, UCI and Winboard engines. UCI is a little more finished now. I do not intend to compete with a engine management program like winboard or a database program like chessbase or SCID. Engine support in lantern is geared for basic needs that players have when connected to an online chess server.

While it’s like jin in some ways, I think it has a lot more features which include:

Engine support
A tabbed game board. ( you can also open multiple boards)
A tabbed chat console ( you can open multiple consoles and direct them to look at different tabs)
Detached game list windows.
Open pgn ( some more work needed here).
An activities window with 4 tabs, Events, Human seeks, Computer Seeks, Notify ( no visual seek graph yet, the seeks are in an updating list form and double click will play).

Support for all wilds on icc including kriegspiel and crazyhouse.
A games package with extra games that can open in lantern which include a breakout like game, mastermind, connect 4 and minesweeper.
A tool bar ( not on at login, go to window tool bar and check it. Not visually as appealing yet just user buttons but you can activate them with tool bar closed with ctrl + #)
Scripter plugin support, windows menu / toolbox.
Noidle ( auto menu noidle, this setting wont save , as I don’t want everyone turning it on and leaving it on)
Circle and arrow support ( not really done but works ok, can see circles and arrows people put up, but no pointer on arrow and circle drawing not well done yet and no UI beyond typing circle and arrow to input you want to create them)
Internal web browser for opening help files.
Double click to highlight name and right click for popup menu support.
F9 and up and down arrow for last person who sent tell and last commands typed that goes 10 back.
Alt + up or down arrow to increase or decrease a tabs font size. Also shift + left or right arrow to switch chat tabs.

Mike

wolfv
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by wolfv » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:53 am

This looks great, feels great. Too bad you haven't offered the FICS server as an option :( Wouldn't it be very easy to implement?

Tried your program on my Linux box -- I'd love to see another good FICS client...

Thanks.
----------

Djordje

adams161
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Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by adams161 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:54 am

I've fiddled a bit with FICS support but not a huge amount has been done. FICS parsing is a bit of a turnoff for me. And FICS doesn't offer all the things that i can implement on ICC. But i have gotten chat and observing working and I'll get back to it maybe it can be ready for FICS in the next few months. I recently learned about blocking, haven't tried it yet, but it may help out with some things I've been concerned with.

Mike

Will Singleton
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by Will Singleton » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:49 am

Looks interesting. It seems to work pretty well, looks nice. I was thinking it might be a good way to get analysis of ongoing games with a variety of engines.

Not sure how to do it. I tried loading some engines, but it wasn't obvious how to get them to analyze a current game. Can you give a step-by-step guide to accomplish the following?

Observe Crafty vs Karpov
Analyze with Rbyka
Analyze with Stockfish in a separate window.

Thanks.

adams161
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Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by adams161 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:14 am

This is an analysis feature in examine mode.

type examine.

go to game menu and do start uci engine.

analysis begins on current examine game.

can't load two engines.

can't load an engine in an observed game BUT.

if observed game is #634 type copygame 634

an examind copy of game appears and follow steps to load engine.

to refresh type copygame.

you can go to game menu and do stop and start engine.

once you load an engine, if your examining. start engine is enough to reload it.

Mike

Michel
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by Michel » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:06 am

I recently learned about blocking, haven't tried it yet, but it may help out with some things I've been concerned with.
Blocking is broken on FICS. It does not work with timeseal, but even without timeseal I seem to recall there are bugs.

The clean way to get around this is to bracket every command you sent by two tells. Unfortunately tell's can get lost for unregistered users ("communication limit reached") potentially messing up the state of your program.

adams161
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by adams161 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:21 am

Lantern will support analysis in observed games.

rather than have one engine available to load. there will be:

engines[maxgametabs]

any board can have an engine.

if you do load engine, the current board with focus will get an engine. if a console or other window has focus you get a pop-up.

in the telnet if a gamestart playing starts, all engines are disabled.

start engine will reload the current engine in the current board. its up to the engine to support multiple engines or there will be a failure.

I thinks wills questions will be answered by this.

No guarantees when this happens. this month certainly.

Mike

adams161
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by adams161 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:26 am

That's not good news. I'm already disinclined to program for fics. ICC offers a clean system. It works. great functionality. Forgive me if i am attracted to that. This is not anti fics. This is hey are you going to support me.

Mike

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hgm
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by hgm » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:57 am

Will Singleton wrote:I was thinking it might be a good way to get analysis of ongoing games with a variety of engines.
A short off-topic question about that: Is there demand for analyzing observed games with multiple engines at once? In WinBoard the seconde engine is never used in ICS/zippy mode (or in fact in any mode other than "Two Machines"). But it would be comparatively easy to let it produce its analysis output in the second pane of the engine-output window while you are analyzing an observed game.

Come to think of it, it might also be useful to offer that in local mode. E.g. when clicking 'Analyze Mode' while already in this mode, it could enable the second engine.

adams161
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Re: new chess client for ICC with engine support ( beta)

Post by adams161 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:14 am

Look with the current object orientated setup. its trivial to implement the feature. My most reliable tester is not thrilled when i brought up that this thread has almost 300 views. he said "can it shrink" and logged off. I messaged him of course that views are historical and can't shrink. other thinks can happen. I must lack grace. I'm happy but its very important for me that everyone else be. or it is not worth as much.

yours
Mike

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