A warning about Stockfish 2.7 for iOS

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Tord Romstad
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:19 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

A warning about Stockfish 2.7 for iOS

Post by Tord Romstad » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:28 pm

Unfortunately, I discovered a little too late that a last-minute change in the recently released Stockfish 2.7 introduced a nasty little bug:

Every game you preview in a PGN file will cause the performance to degrade somewhat until you exit and restart the program. If you want to load a game from the PGN and want the highest possible quality analysis, you should therefore first load the game, then press the home button to exit the program, and then restart Stockfish again. This is more than a little inconvenient, and needless to say, a new version that corrects this bug will be available soon.

Apart from this, I don't think there are any serious problems with this version, and there is no reason not to update. I also hope this bug won't stop you from experimenting with the new user interface for browsing PGN files, which I think is much friendlier than the old.

Ferdy
Posts: 4308
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:15 pm
Location: Philippines

Re: A warning about Stockfish 2.7 for iOS

Post by Ferdy » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:58 pm

Thanks for this update and free app.
I have a couple of features to request if you don't mind :) .

Code: Select all

1. For loaded game also show the player names and result (if available) in the notation pane.
2. In analysis mode, apply colored arrows to the moves for the first 4 plies of the pv
currently considered by the engine. Example from starting position, the engine thinks
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5, show an arrow colored dark green for e4 move,
show an arrow colored dark blue for e5, then arrow for Nf3 this time light green, and for Nf6
light blue. The advantage with this visual is that the user can quickly get a hint of what the engine
is planning rather than looking at the analysis pane and back to the board where a user's focus on the board is lost.
A dedicated button to turn this on/off would be perfect, as there are users
who may try to evaluate first the position by themselves and would like to turn this on and compare
with the engine's analyses - a sort of technique to improve accuracy of analysis especially
when position is tactical.

Tord Romstad
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:19 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: A warning about Stockfish 2.7 for iOS

Post by Tord Romstad » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:15 pm

Ferdy wrote:Thanks for this update and free app.
I have a couple of features to request if you don't mind :) .
I love feature requests, even though I usually hesitate or outright refuse to implement them. :)

I'm very conservative about adding new features, because trying to stuff too many features into a program running on a tiny hand-held device without careful thought is a sure path to a usability nightmare. There are a couple of well-known iOS apps (which I won't mention by name, out of respect for their authors) which I find awfully awkward and confusing to use because they are packed with too many features which I rarely or never need. I don't want Stockfish to head down that road.

Needless to say, this doesn't mean that there will be no new features, only that I will consider their short-term and long-term implications very carefully before adding them. Even if something can be added without causing too much clutter right now, it could still make it more difficult to find room for other and potentially even more useful features in the future.

Code: Select all

1. For loaded game also show the player names and result (if available) in the notation pane.
I'm considering it, at least for the iPad. Player names either at the top of the move list view, or in a small font below the clocks. On the iPhone, due to the limited space, I'm less sure. Perhaps I'll do something similar to what I do with opening names today: Display them only on 4-inch iPhones, and not on the older 3.5-inch iPhones.

Code: Select all

2. In analysis mode, apply colored arrows to the moves for the first 4 plies of the pv
currently considered by the engine. Example from starting position, the engine thinks
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5, show an arrow colored dark green for e4 move,
show an arrow colored dark blue for e5, then arrow for Nf3 this time light green, and for Nf6
light blue. The advantage with this visual is that the user can quickly get a hint of what the engine
is planning rather than looking at the analysis pane and back to the board where a user's focus on the board is lost.
A dedicated button to turn this on/off would be perfect, as there are users
who may try to evaluate first the position by themselves and would like to turn this on and compare
with the engine's analyses - a sort of technique to improve accuracy of analysis especially
when position is tactical.
I don't think different colors for the four arrows would be a good idea, it would be too tedious to go through all the color schemes and find four arrow colors for each of them. All arrows in the same color, but getting progressively thinner or more transparent would probably work better. As you point out, there would need to be a button. I don't like buttons, and want as few of them as possible.

All I can promise right now is that I will at least consider both features. Anyway, thanks for suggesting them!

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