Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

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ilari
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Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by ilari » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:13 pm

A week ago me and Arto had a hackathon where we drank a lot of caffeine and laid out some plans for version 1.0 of Cute Chess GUI (for Windows, Linux and Mac). I'm happy to say that things are going quite well, even though it's impossible to guess how long it takes to do all the work that's left. We're trying to do what's right, not what's easy, and that's always time-consuming. The development can be followed at our Github page. As you can see by looking at the commit history, things are happening.

Anyway, making a good GUI involves a lot more design decisions than making a command line tool. So I'm asking you guys what you'd like to see in our GUI? I don't just mean features; I'd like to know what kind of workflows you prefer when you're playing, setting up a tournament, analyzing games or managing a game database, and what kind of default settings you prefer. If you can point to examples of other GUIs doing something particularly well or if there's something no GUI can do properly but you wish they could, I'd like to hear about it.

In addition to giving us any feedback or requests you can come up with, I'd appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

1) What time controls do you use the most?
2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?

Thank you and best regards,
Ilari

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Don
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by Don » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:28 pm

ilari wrote:A week ago me and Arto had a hackathon where we drank a lot of caffeine and laid out some plans for version 1.0 of Cute Chess GUI (for Windows, Linux and Mac). I'm happy to say that things are going quite well, even though it's impossible to guess how long it takes to do all the work that's left. We're trying to do what's right, not what's easy, and that's always time-consuming. The development can be followed at our Github page. As you can see by looking at the commit history, things are happening.

Anyway, making a good GUI involves a lot more design decisions than making a command line tool. So I'm asking you guys what you'd like to see in our GUI? I don't just mean features; I'd like to know what kind of workflows you prefer when you're playing, setting up a tournament, analyzing games or managing a game database, and what kind of default settings you prefer. If you can point to examples of other GUIs doing something particularly well or if there's something no GUI can do properly but you wish they could, I'd like to hear about it.

In addition to giving us any feedback or requests you can come up with, I'd appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

1) What time controls do you use the most?
2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
Hidden

3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
Dragging.

4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?

Thank you and best regards,
Ilari
Keep up the good work. A really top quality Linux GUI is a dream of mine!

Don
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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Don
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by Don » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:47 am

A feature I would like to see - analysis mode which visually shows shows the first 2 moves in the PV with arrows or some indicator. This should of course be optional. It's a real benefit to quick analysis as you see at a glance what the computer plans and the expected response to it.

Don

ilari wrote:A week ago me and Arto had a hackathon where we drank a lot of caffeine and laid out some plans for version 1.0 of Cute Chess GUI (for Windows, Linux and Mac). I'm happy to say that things are going quite well, even though it's impossible to guess how long it takes to do all the work that's left. We're trying to do what's right, not what's easy, and that's always time-consuming. The development can be followed at our Github page. As you can see by looking at the commit history, things are happening.

Anyway, making a good GUI involves a lot more design decisions than making a command line tool. So I'm asking you guys what you'd like to see in our GUI? I don't just mean features; I'd like to know what kind of workflows you prefer when you're playing, setting up a tournament, analyzing games or managing a game database, and what kind of default settings you prefer. If you can point to examples of other GUIs doing something particularly well or if there's something no GUI can do properly but you wish they could, I'd like to hear about it.

In addition to giving us any feedback or requests you can come up with, I'd appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

1) What time controls do you use the most?
2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?

Thank you and best regards,
Ilari
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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Graham Banks
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by Graham Banks » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:03 am

I'd like the option of using tablebases adjudication. 8-)
My email addresses:
gbanksnz at gmail.com
gbanksnz at yahoo.co.nz

Adam Hair
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by Adam Hair » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:10 am

ilari wrote:A week ago me and Arto had a hackathon where we drank a lot of caffeine and laid out some plans for version 1.0 of Cute Chess GUI (for Windows, Linux and Mac). I'm happy to say that things are going quite well, even though it's impossible to guess how long it takes to do all the work that's left. We're trying to do what's right, not what's easy, and that's always time-consuming. The development can be followed at our Github page. As you can see by looking at the commit history, things are happening.
That is great!
ilari wrote: Anyway, making a good GUI involves a lot more design decisions than making a command line tool. So I'm asking you guys what you'd like to see in our GUI? I don't just mean features; I'd like to know what kind of workflows you prefer when you're playing, setting up a tournament, analyzing games or managing a game database, and what kind of default settings you prefer. If you can point to examples of other GUIs doing something particularly well or if there's something no GUI can do properly but you wish they could, I'd like to hear about it.
1) The ability to stop a tournament and then restart from the stopping point.

2) The ability to filter and remove games from a database. Sometimes, an engine turns out to be buggy and I wish to remove its games from a tournament database. I can do this with Arena, but it is slow and sometimes I have to fix the PGN (blank lines go missing between games).

3) Retain the ability to individually set depth, nodes, and time control for engines.

4) EPD support

5) A bar graph showing each engine's evaluation of each move. It is helpful for quickly finding where an engine misunderstood a position in a game.

6) An interface for creating .json files. The desired engine parameters should be stored for each engine in a general purpose GUI. .json files are not hard to construct, but the average user (non-programmer) will be put off if they have to do it themselves. They are use to being able to set global parameter values and engine parameter values directly with the GUI.
ilari wrote: In addition to giving us any feedback or requests you can come up with, I'd appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

1) What time controls do you use the most?
40/4, repeating. But I also use incremental time controls, fixed nodes, fixed depth, faster time controls, and slower time controls.
ilari wrote: 2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
No preference
ilari wrote: 3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
Dragging
ilari wrote: 4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
Over 600.
ilari wrote: 5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
Equally.
ilari wrote: 6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?
Some of both. I do have a PGN file of starting positions that I use a lot for my regular testing, but I also use other PGN files and some books (depending on the situation).
ilari wrote: Thank you and best regards,
Ilari
Thank you, and Arto.
Adam

Bram Visser
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by Bram Visser » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:17 am

1) What time controls do you use the most?
--> Blitz with 2-6 sec/move

2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
--> Visible

3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
--> Dragging

4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
--> 30

5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
--> I have some favorites

6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?
--> Mostly the same book

One thing I like and miss in standard Arena is Swiss tournament setting.

Good luck with your GUI.

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Ajedrecista
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better.

Post by Ajedrecista » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:19 am

Hello Ilari:
ilari wrote:A week ago me and Arto had a hackathon where we drank a lot of caffeine and laid out some plans for version 1.0 of Cute Chess GUI (for Windows, Linux and Mac). I'm happy to say that things are going quite well, even though it's impossible to guess how long it takes to do all the work that's left. We're trying to do what's right, not what's easy, and that's always time-consuming. The development can be followed at our Github page. As you can see by looking at the commit history, things are happening.

Anyway, making a good GUI involves a lot more design decisions than making a command line tool. So I'm asking you guys what you'd like to see in our GUI? I don't just mean features; I'd like to know what kind of workflows you prefer when you're playing, setting up a tournament, analyzing games or managing a game database, and what kind of default settings you prefer. If you can point to examples of other GUIs doing something particularly well or if there's something no GUI can do properly but you wish they could, I'd like to hear about it.

In addition to giving us any feedback or requests you can come up with, I'd appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

1) What time controls do you use the most?
2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?

Thank you and best regards,
Ilari
First of all: congratulations for this great work! I have recently started to use cutechess-cli and it is exactly that I was looking for. Asking to your questions:

1) I am conducting a fixed depth testing match, only using Quazar 0.4 w32; since it is the only match I have ran... I say fixed depth testing.

2) I prefer them visible, although a good compromise could be add a feature to show/hide them.

3) For playing games, I only use Arena 2.0.1; I usually drag the pieces if source and target squares are close, otherwise I tend to click in the source square and the target square.

4) Talking about Arena again, I have 98 engines at this momment, but the list will grow if other top free engines come out (Critter, SF, ...).

5) As I have just said in the latter point: I have favourites that I use them most of the time.

6) I always use the same book in Arena (I am using a PGN in cutechess-cli) but I am not an expert in opening books, so please do not take this point seriously.

//Mod note: I added a quotation mark so that the quote was more readable - AH//
Adam Hair wrote: 1) The ability to stop a tournament and then restart from the stopping point.

2) The ability to filter and remove games from a database. Sometimes, an engine turns out to be buggy and I wish to remove its games from a tournament database. I can do this with Arena, but it is slow and sometimes I have to fix the PGN (blank lines go missing between games).

3) Retain the ability to individually set depth, nodes, and time control for engines.

4) EPD support

5) A bar graph showing each engine's evaluation of each move. It is helpful for quickly finding where an engine misunderstood a position in a game.

6) An interface for creating .json files. The desired engine parameters should be stored for each engine in a general purpose GUI. .json files are not hard to construct, but the average user (non-programmer) will be put off if they have to do it themselves. They are use to being able to set global parameter values and engine parameter values directly with the GUI.
I see Adam's first point as very important: it would help me a lot with my fixed depth testing. I think that now it is impossible to stop and resume a match using cutechess-cli tool.

Maintaning Adam's third point is fundamental for me: I began to use cutechess.-cli due to my wish of doing fixed depth testing.

As Adam said, EPD support will be great: LittleBlitzer GUI has it and I have 4000 openings in EPD format (I think that this EPD file was made by Bob Hyatt, so thank you very much to him).

The idea of bar graphs showing each engine eval looks good to me: I always use them in Arena for view when an engine misevaluates the position.

I did not use cutechess-cli before due to the fact that I did not know how to build JSON files and I also did not know what exactly write in the command line (thanks for your help, Adam!). An average non-programmer user (as me) would thank you without any doubt the effort of simplifying this task.

Please keep up the good work!

Regards from Spain.

Ajedrecista.

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GenoM
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by GenoM » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:32 pm

ilari wrote: 1) What time controls do you use the most?
2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?
3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?
4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?
5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?
6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?
1) blitz with increment
2) visible but small
3) dragging&clicking
4) over 100
5) to have favorite engines is inevitable but yes, i do try to use them equally
6) i prefer pgn-files of grand-master' games and i'm setting them up to 5 or to 8 moves - Arena is good at this

In GUI i would prefer to have 2 things:
A) Swiss-tournaments
B) possibility to compute engine ratings and assign rating to engine automatically

Wish you luck,
regards,
Geno
take it easy :)

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fern
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by fern » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:34 pm

ilari wrote:A week ago me and Arto had a hackathon where we drank a lot of caffeine and laid out some plans for version 1.0 of Cute Chess GUI (for Windows, Linux and Mac). I'm happy to say that things are going quite well, even though it's impossible to guess how long it takes to do all the work that's left. We're trying to do what's right, not what's easy, and that's always time-consuming. The development can be followed at our Github page. As you can see by looking at the commit history, things are happening.

Anyway, making a good GUI involves a lot more design decisions than making a command line tool. So I'm asking you guys what you'd like to see in our GUI? I don't just mean features; I'd like to know what kind of workflows you prefer when you're playing, setting up a tournament, analyzing games or managing a game database, and what kind of default settings you prefer. If you can point to examples of other GUIs doing something particularly well or if there's something no GUI can do properly but you wish they could, I'd like to hear about it.

In addition to giving us any feedback or requests you can come up with, I'd appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

1) What time controls do you use the most?

40 moves in one hour

2) Do you prefer to have the file letters and rank numbers visible or hidden?

Indifferent

3) Do you prefer to make your moves by dragging a piece, by clicking the source square and then the target square, by typing the move, or by using some other method?

Indifferent

4) Roughly how many engines do you have installed in your favorite GUI?

a dozen or more


5) Do you use all your installed engines equally or do you have a few favorite engines that you use most of the time?

favorites

6) Do you have a favorite opening book that you use most of the time or do you alternate between multiple books?

favorite


Thank you and best regards,
Ilari

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ilari
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Re: Help us make Cute Chess GUI better

Post by ilari » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:28 pm

Don wrote:Keep up the good work. A really top quality Linux GUI is a dream of mine!

Don
It's a dream of mine too, otherwise I never would've taken on such a crazy challenge. There are a couple of beautifully designed chess GUIs for Linux (eg. PyChess), but they always seem to lack advanced features and the internals don't scale well to do bigger things. I think Cute Chess is going to be different largely because it's 3 projects in one (the library, the GUI and the CLI tool). After implementing new features in the library we push them to the CLI tool where we can do rapid testing on a massive scale, and later we can enable those features in the GUI and be confident that they'll work.
Don wrote:A feature I would like to see - analysis mode which visually shows shows the first 2 moves in the PV with arrows or some indicator. This should of course be optional. It's a real benefit to quick analysis as you see at a glance what the computer plans and the expected response to it.
That's a nice idea and it would be pretty easy to implement too. I'm not yet sure if analyzing positions will make it to v1.0, but it will definitely be supported later, along with your idea (or a variation of it).

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