Wb2uci adaptor

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Daniel Shawul
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Wb2uci adaptor

Post by Daniel Shawul » Tue May 14, 2019 11:48 am

I have a problem getting in to ccc tournament because my engine is winboard apparently. I don’t really understand why a GUI will be ok with only uci engines when the tournament is played via cutechess-cli anyway. If the GUI can parse cutechess-cli output I think everything should be fine e.g tcec works that way. I have suggested to use wb2uci but that seems to be unstable for them on their Linux system. Does anybody have any idea why that could be or have suggestions about other adaptors ?

Thanks
Daniel

brianr
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by brianr » Tue May 14, 2019 12:30 pm

I might well be mistaken, but I seem to think the CCCC (is it 3 or 4 C's?) event GUI is a custom one, so even if it uses cutechess-cli, there may be UCI-only issues. While I personally prefer CECP for the control it affords to the engine, I eventually just added minimal UCI support to Tinker (not that my engine is competitive).

Daniel Shawul
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by Daniel Shawul » Tue May 14, 2019 12:46 pm

brianr wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:30 pm
there may be UCI-only issues.
If the pv or something like that can not be parsed by the GUI properly, one can just NOT do that and be done with it
I recall some engines in TCEC used to not display pvs, nps properly etc, but they still played because all that mattered
is that the move they made be parsed properly.
While I personally prefer CECP for the control it affords to the engine, I eventually just added minimal UCI support to Tinker (not that my engine is competitive).
I personally think winboard is the better protocol and don't like uci's total control by the gui or its stateless design.
I have a GUI that only supports xboard protocol (probably a surprize for some that it is not uci native).
But it works fine with UCI engines with polyglot or similar adaptors. It is the most ridiclous thing ever to insist engine authors
implement a protocol to get into your tournament.

jdart
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by jdart » Tue May 14, 2019 12:49 pm

You didn't say (and maybe the CCC team didn't say) what the issue was. I use cutechess-cli with Winboard protocol all the time, and have had no issues. You can use the -debug flag to cutechess-cli to get all engine output/input logged, which can be helpful in finding engine-specific issues.

--Jon

Daniel Shawul
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by Daniel Shawul » Tue May 14, 2019 1:33 pm

jdart wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:49 pm
You didn't say (and maybe the CCC team didn't say) what the issue was. I use cutechess-cli with Winboard protocol all the time, and have had no issues. You can use the -debug flag to cutechess-cli to get all engine output/input logged, which can be helpful in finding engine-specific issues.

--Jon
I don't know the issue but it seems they've one with the GUI not cutechess-cli. cutechess-cli is ofcourse OK with winboard engines, it is the GUI that has problems with winboard engines apparently. I am also told Wb2Uci is "unstable" on linux. Don't ask me what exactly it is unstable about ? :)
I would think since the engine directly communicates with cutechess-cli not the engines, there shouldn't be an issue to begin with. If for some unknown reason to me it actually is, then wb2uci should've solved the problem. I am now told to implement uci in 10 days if i want to get into their tournament.
I admit i wanted to get into that tournament some time ago but not anymore since it seems no one want to spend 5 minutes configuring an engine there. Sad.

brianr
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by brianr » Tue May 14, 2019 1:37 pm

I understand your frustration. My point was that I suspect that the custom GUI is the issue. If you implement bare-bones UCI support and output per the UCI spec, the CCC GUI should be able to deal with it. Cutechess-cli is not the issue, of course. BTW, IIRC the Leela devs in the early days were somewhat reluctant to support UCI. That UCI has become dominant is perhaps a result of the commercial folks focusing on the GUI (and wanting to maintain some control of things), whereas the Winboard/Xboard folks were more focused on their engines; and, as the vast majority of computer chess users were not engine programmers, the ease of use GUIs quickly won out. As to if a tournament should be so restrictive, well, just look at ICGA with the over the board moving by hand nonsense (is that still a requirement?)
PS Posted after I saw your reply to Jon

Norbert Raimund Leisner
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by Norbert Raimund Leisner » Tue May 14, 2019 2:03 pm


Daniel Shawul
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by Daniel Shawul » Tue May 14, 2019 2:18 pm

Daniel Shawul wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:33 pm
jdart wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:49 pm
You didn't say (and maybe the CCC team didn't say) what the issue was. I use cutechess-cli with Winboard protocol all the time, and have had no issues. You can use the -debug flag to cutechess-cli to get all engine output/input logged, which can be helpful in finding engine-specific issues.

--Jon
I don't know the issue but it seems they've one with the GUI not cutechess-cli. cutechess-cli is ofcourse OK with winboard engines, it is the GUI that has problems with winboard engines apparently. I am also told Wb2Uci is "unstable" on linux. Don't ask me what exactly it is unstable about ? :)
I would think since the engine directly communicates with cutechess-cli not the engines, there shouldn't be an issue to begin with. If for some unknown reason to me it actually is, then wb2uci should've solved the problem. I am now told to implement uci in 10 days if i want to get into their tournament.
I admit i wanted to get into that tournament some time ago but not anymore since it seems no one want to spend 5 minutes configuring an engine there. Sad.
I just realized that wb2uci is windows only i.e. unless I missed something. How they managed to run that on centos linux and determined it to be "unstable" is a mystery to me.

adams161
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Re: Wb2uci adaptor

Post by adams161 » Wed May 15, 2019 9:02 am

I know in my client programs one of my apps can open both UCI and Winboard engines. Seems an app can just decide to support both and use the one the client is giving it. Winboard protocol I think tells you that it specifies early on it's a winboard protocol and if protocol 2 or not. That's how the engine knows to turn features on. If you don't get this assume UCI and how to parse it is documented here. http://wbec-ridderkerk.nl/html/UCIProtocol.html It is also a text based protocol like Winboard that uses the Standard Input and Output and and should need no new tech simply the ability to parse some new commands from interface to engine in UCI and engine to interface.

I wrote the start engine early part in UCI awhile ago but i checked and the protocol says:
The engine should boot and wait for input from the GUI,
the engine should wait for the "isready" or "setoption" command to set up its internal parameters
as the boot process should be as quick as possible.
So you get that you know you're UCI. Winboard if properly implemented should tell you on boot what protocol of Winboard it is.

Mike

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