New WinBoard beta

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hgm
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New WinBoard beta

Post by hgm » Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:24 pm

I finally finished what I started about a year ago: making WinBoard's Edit Position mode more self-explanatory. At the time I had expanded the number of methods that could be used with the 'lift/multi-drop' mechanism, where a right-click on a piece 'lifts' it from the board, and subsequent left-clicks on empty squares drop pieces of that type on the clicked squares. This works very fast in combination with the 'palette board' that can be obtained by partially clearing the board, leaving only a single copy of each type. A 'full clear' (i.e. everything except Kings) can be obtained by repeating the clear operation. Clicking a Rook, King or Pawn a second time toggles its castling or e.p. rights.

Older methods, such as moving around pieces using the left mouse button, or copy them by keeping the Alt key pressed during the move, remain operational.

To remind the user of the many options he has, right-clicking an empty square (the old way to drop pieces, but no longer needed in the new method) would make a Help Dialog pop up, explaining the new method. I was not very happy that this would completely abolish the old Piece Menu or 'sweep selection', though, as after some time the user would probably know how to do things, and the right-click signal would be wasted on an unneeded feature.

So I now added new checkboxes in the General Options menu, to switch this Help Dialog on or off, and when it is off, choose whether a right-clock on an empty square should pop up the old Piece Menu, or initiate sweep selection of a piece on the clicked square. The Help Dialog refers to the possibility to suppress it this way.

During Edit Position the fields that normally display the clocks function as buttons. But I now have them display their function, so that this will be imemdiately clear. One of the clocks will switch the side to move, and show the text "Set White/Black to Move". The other clock will control the board-clear operations, which will cycle through the states 'palette board' -> 'empty board' -> 'original position' -> 'altered position' -> 'palette board'. During this cycle it will display the texts "Clear Board", "Clear More", "Restore Position" or "Resume Edit" to indicate what clicking it is going to achieve.

The binary package is at http://hgm.nubati.net/WinBoard-AA.zip .

Let me know what you think.
Get rid of the shit: vote for SHID!

Jamal Bubker
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Re: New WinBoard beta

Post by Jamal Bubker » Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:40 pm

Thanks Harm Geert :D :D

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Roland Chastain
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Re: New WinBoard beta

Post by Roland Chastain » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:24 pm

Thank you for the new version. It seems to work well, and I would say that it is handy and easy enough to understand.

I have a doubt about the rights granted. I suppose that it has to do with castling and en-passant square. Rights granted for a rook means that it can castle if rights are also granted for the king and if the rook is on A or H file. Is it something like that? I ask the question because I noticed that the message 'rights granted' is displayed for a rook on any square, so I am not sure to have understood the logic.

By the way, maybe it would be good to erase the message 'rights granted' as soon as the user performs any other action. Currently the message stays.

From an aesthetic point of view, several small things bother me slightly (but maybe I'm maniac). For the clocks that become buttons, I would have tried to center the text and use small characters, so it will more look like a button. Just an idea, of course.

Off topic. Have you noticed that WinBoard flickers just after it has been started? Would it be possible, without too much work, to fix that?
Qui trop embrasse mal étreint.

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hgm
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Re: New WinBoard beta

Post by hgm » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:33 pm

Indeed, rights granted should be interpreted as that the piece should be considered virgin. And you are right, perhaps I should be a bit more selective on where to allow that.
Get rid of the shit: vote for SHID!

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