Advice on book building

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Ovyron
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Re: Advice on book building

Post by Ovyron » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:28 pm

Werewolf wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:56 pm
Is there a help file on this?
Winboard is very abnormal in the way it implements everything, so probably not the solution you're looking for, unless you're willing to spend a lot of time learning how to use it.

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hgm
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Re: Advice on book building

Post by hgm » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:50 pm

Not much to learn, though...

Jonathan003
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Re: Advice on book building

Post by Jonathan003 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:53 pm

hgm wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:16 pm

Book format is Polyglot. The book that is edited is the one installed as GUI book in the Common Engine Settings dialog.
I want to try this book editing in WinBoard for editing my own book. Where exactly can I change the book to edit?
Where can I find this Common Engine Settings dialog?

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Ovyron
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Re: Advice on book building

Post by Ovyron » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:58 pm

Here's just one example of the kind of stuff you'd need to learn to use Winboard:

To set up a position, you do Mode > Edit Position.

You'll see a message that tells you that to clear the board you need to click on the clocks, even though you won't see any clocks. It turns out the "White / Black" bar right below the menu are the "clocks", so you click them to clear the board.

Now what? How do you set up a position?

Well... You have to right-click an empty square, hold the right click, and drag the mouse around to rotate the available pieces.

Yes, I'm not kidding.

And that's only the beginning.

It seems nobody bothered to finish the Winboard GUI, because everything it does can be done "the normal way" (like, with a button to clear the board, and pieces you can click to set it up) in another GUI.

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Re: Advice on book building

Post by hgm » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:04 pm

Jonathan003 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:53 pm
I want to try this book editing in WinBoard for editing my own book. Where exactly can I change the book to edit?
Where can I find this Common Engine Settings dialog?
In the Engine main menu ('Common Settings'). The book name should go into the text entry after 'Use book:', which also has a browse button.

I don't think it is necessary to tick the checkbox in front of it; this only controls whether the book is probed in games.

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Re: Advice on book building

Post by hgm » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:31 pm

Ovyron wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:58 pm
Here's just one example of the kind of stuff you'd need to learn to use Winboard:

To set up a position, you do Mode > Edit Position.

You'll see a message that tells you that to clear the board you need to click on the clocks, even though you won't see any clocks. It turns out the "White / Black" bar right below the menu are the "clocks", so you click them to clear the board.

Now what? How do you set up a position?

Well... You have to right-click an empty square, hold the right click, and drag the mouse around to rotate the available pieces.

Yes, I'm not kidding.

And that's only the beginning.

It seems nobody bothered to finish the Winboard GUI, because everything it does can be done "the normal way" (like, with a button to clear the board, and pieces you can click to set it up) in another GUI.
That is rather misleading, as there are many other ways to set up a position:

* Normally you would paste a FEN, and not use the Edit Position menu at all.
* Most straightforward is to use Edit Position on the start position, and simply drag all the pieces to where you want them. (And drag pieces you don't want off board, or capture them with another piece, or even with an empty square.)
* Slightly more advanced is (once in Edit Position mode) clicking the clock twice to call up a position that contains each piece only once ('palette board'). You can drag those to the desired location, and when you need more copies of the same type, you can drag the existing one keeping the Ctrl key pressed (which is standard for copying, on most operating systems). For late middle-game positions this is more convenient than using the initial position as starting point.

BTW, you are the first person in 12 years that complained he couldn't find the clocks. But you have a point there: it would be almost trivial to just replace the text in the clock fields by "Clear Board" and "Black to Move" (or "White to Move" and "Clear Board" if black already had the move) as soon as you enter Edit Position mode, and change it back to the normal White / Black when you leave Edit Position mode. So there isn't really an excuse for not doing that.

Note that the development version also has a way for setting up positions that I might make the new default: this allows you to right-click a piece to 'lift' it from the board, and subsequent left clicks on empty squares to place multiple copies of that piece. Starting from the palette board this seems to work fastest of all methods.

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Re: Advice on book building

Post by Jonathan003 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:37 pm

hgm wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:04 pm
Jonathan003 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:53 pm
I want to try this book editing in WinBoard for editing my own book. Where exactly can I change the book to edit?
Where can I find this Common Engine Settings dialog?
In the Engine main menu ('Common Settings'). The book name should go into the text entry after 'Use book:', which also has a browse button.

I don't think it is necessary to tick the checkbox in front of it; this only controls whether the book is probed in games.
Thanks that works! It appears that move deletion is much faster with WinBoard than with Scid. I which I would have known this sooner. I would like the book editor used short algebraic notation like in Scid, it's a bit confusing with only these square letters and numbers.

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Ovyron
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Re: Advice on book building

Post by Ovyron » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:56 pm

hgm wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:31 pm
* Slightly more advanced is (once in Edit Position mode) clicking the clock twice to call up a position that contains each piece only once ('palette board').
There's no chance I could have ever found about that if you didn't tell me. SO MUCH to learn that I'm still learning how to use it after so many years!

Here's Shredder GUI's set up position dialog for comparison:

Image

Please note this is a separate dialog, the original board with some other position still exists, one can click Cancel to go back to it without any changes, or Curr. Position to reset the changes done in a position.

I never needed to read help files or have someone reveal ultra-secret features like a palette appear, and this even has features like sliding all pieces one square in 4 directions, or flip the board upside down or horizontally, for good measure.

Different design principles, I guess. At least Winboard beat Scid at speed of move deletion, so that's something.

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Re: Advice on book building

Post by hgm » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:01 pm

Jonathan003 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:37 pm
I would like the book editor used short algebraic notation like in Scid, it's a bit confusing with only these square letters and numbers.
Oh, that's true. WinBoard 4.8 still does that.

The WinBoard 4.9 or the development version ( http://hgm.nubati.net/WinBoard-AA.zip ) already display the moves in SAN.

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Re: Advice on book building

Post by hgm » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:12 pm

Ovyron wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:56 pm
There's no chance I could have ever found about that if you didn't tell me.
Well, this also has already been solved in the development version: this gives you the palette board first time you click the clock, together with the message "Click again to clear more". If you then click again, it clears everything except Kings, and the message displays "Keep clicking clock to restore position". When you finally do that, the message will read "Keep Ctrl pressed to duplicate pieces".

Note that WinBoard 4.8 also can be configured to work with the old piece menu, where after a right-click on a square you can select the piece from a menu. In the development version I replaced that mode with the lift-multidrop method, the explanation of which will pop up when you right-click an empty square (in the expectation to get the old menu). Unfortunately the window with the explanation is to small in WinBoard; (in XBoard it automatically adapts), I still have to fix that.

Design principles of WinBoard are indeed different. I would consider a second board in another dialog while the first board is still displayed redundant. I tried working with a palette in another dialog, but the 'internal palette' worked much more smoothly.


WinBoard currently cycles through palette board, 'empty' (Kings-only) board, the initial position and the position being edited. I guess the initial position should really be replaced here by the position from before the edit, or both should be put in the loop.

Sliding all pieces is a nice gimmick, but I cannot imagine any situation where I would ever uneed that.

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