Complete engine configuration

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Ras
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ras » Thu May 21, 2020 7:25 am

Ovyron wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:42 am
Says the guy that finds putting "fewer / more" clickable text with no signal whatsoever that clicking it does anything
This is called "affordability", and lack thereof is bad UI design. Typically made by people who shouldn't be designing UIs in the first place. Even reading up the beginner articles on the Nielsen Norman Group website would have made that clear.
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ras » Thu May 21, 2020 12:42 pm

Ovyron wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:46 am
Actually I find SCID a very user-friendly interface and I learned how to do everything it can do by discovery (not reading guides, not asking a developer how to do something) in less than an hour. That's good design.
Btw, this is called "discoverability" in UI design, and it's one of the main reasons for a GUI in the first place. On the other hand, each user choice has a mental cost, so drowning the user in options is also wrong. Getting both right requires a bit more than slapping a CLI wrapper together. It needs a defined workflow where the defaults are the right thing most of the time, and hiding exotic options under some "advanced" tab or so. Discoverability can be achieved via the concept of "information scent".

(On the other hand, even using that "advanced options" approach can go wrong - see the typical Windows dialogues especially for network settings. What's lacking here is the "information scent" part so that people click randomly through the tabs.)
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giovanni
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by giovanni » Thu May 21, 2020 1:30 pm

Hi, Fulvio. Thanks for your work on Scid. One thing that first it was not possible to do was to save/retrieve hash memory to/from disk. I am pretty sure that many users would really appreciate such a feature.
Thanks again.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Thu May 21, 2020 11:47 pm

hgm wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:15 am
And again you show that your agenda is WinBoard bashing
No, I'm just talking about my personal experience. The most complex UI I've had to deal with is Winamp, a music player that satisfies all my needs, and they just went and packed it with all the features anyone could need, and allowed the ones missing to be built by the community via plugins.

To have the music titles of it the way I wanted, I had to insert this code in its Advanced Title Settings:

[$ifgreater(%length%,101000,$ifgreater(%length%,401000,$null(),$mod($div($sub(%length%,101000),1000),16)$mod($div($sub(%length%,101000),10000),10) ),$sub(100,$div(%length%,1000)) )]$if2(%title%,$filepart(%filename%)) $if2( - %artist%, - %folder%) . $fileext(%filename%) $if(%rating%,*%rating%*,$null()) $if2(%playcount%,$null())

(that's just an example about its complexity)

I've fully learned how to do everything it can do, and what all its features do. How? Because they made sure to be very clear about where clicking on the screen would do something.

I bet MOST people are finding out Winboard can do that by clicking the +tail text, just because these discussions are happening. It's like Winboard is so powerful that there's functions yet to be discovered, there's always a way to do something by clicking somewhere on the screen...

This isn't about bashing Winboard, it's about letting GUI designers that are reading this thread know how things are working around, so they make their best decisions for their users. So they don't waste time implementing features into their GUI that nobody will use, because they'd never think about clicking some text like the one you're reading on this post (clicking on text doing nothing is normal, dragging your mouse over it selects it so you can copy it or activate a right-click menu to do something with it. "The text IS a button" is something unique to Winboard, nobody that has learned how Operating Systems work would expect text to be a button.)

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Fulvio » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:36 am

hgm wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:35 pm
If the engine really sends gibberish that your move parser doesn't understand (that can also happen for illegal or ambiguous moves), you can always show the literal text it sent from that point on.
This is interesting: if an engine sends illegal moves I want to show "illegal_pv!" followed by the line he sent.
Does anyone have a PGN containing games with illegal moves (e.g. moving pinned pieces, castling with the king in check, etc ...)?

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:05 pm

Ovyron wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:47 pm
... (clicking on text doing nothing is normal, dragging your mouse over it selects it so you can copy it or activate a right-click menu to do something with it. "The text IS a button" is something unique to Winboard, nobody that has learned how Operating Systems work would expect text to be a button.)
What century are you living in. Clicking text almost always does something. Even clicking the (non-editable!) text in this very posting brings up a context menu with a host of items to choose from. A lot more than just copy-pasting the selection. (The more restricted menu for that only pops up when you select something first.)

WinBoard has always relied on context menus, and almost all text displays text-related actions can be triggered by clicking the corresponding text. How else would you want the user to select a PV for the variation board, or a recursive variation in PGN for upgrading to main line, if not by clicking on it?

But the fact that you bring this up in a thread about SCID, in a discussion about whether it is a good idea to make the PV format preference an engine-dependent function, does make it completely off-topic promotion of your anti-WinBoard agenda.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ras » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:12 pm

hgm wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:05 pm
Clicking text almost always does something.
Wrong. You're mixing up things. And with that track record, you really shouldn't give advice on GUI design until you finally read up at least on the basics, like most intro articles on the Nielsen Norman Group website.
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Ovyron
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm

Ras wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:12 pm
hgm wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:05 pm
Clicking text almost always does something.
Wrong. You're mixing up things. And with that track record, you really shouldn't give advice on GUI design until you finally read up at least on the basics, like most intro articles on the Nielsen Norman Group website.
+1

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:27 pm

How do you guys open these forum postings in the first place? I always have to click on the text of the title of the thread. I suppose there must be another way, as you would never have been able to discover that...

And what you say is absolute bullshit: I am a user of GUIs, and I can say here what I don't like about them without the need to read up on text that would explain me why I should put up with things I don't like.

And I don't like it when I have to reconfigure 50 engines when I take my Chess installation to a computer with a different amount of memory. And that has zilch to do with clicking on text. If you like that, it must be because you are only using one or two enngines anyway, and that puts you in the category of non-representative users. We design these things for users that do have a need for them...

BTW, I still haven't heard how you expect to select PVs for the variation window, and which GUIs do it that way...

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Ovyron
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:03 pm

hgm wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:27 pm
How do you guys open these forum postings in the first place? I always have to click on the text of the title of the thread.
This is a web standard. Links are bolded and colored differently so it's clear they lead somewhere (note: "going somewhere" and "doing something" are different things, users have learned that clicking such text will send them to a new place on the web.)

Do you want to use Web standards on a chess GUI? Okay then, here's an improved Winboard engine dialog:

Image

This will never be as good as buttons, but at least it allows discovery (clickable text is clearly different.)

This concept of allowing users to click on a move in the PV and get that position on the board is actually poweful and commendable, I don't have any way to do it on my chess GUIs. But it's going to waste if I'll never have the idea of clicking those moves...

The funny part is that I didn't even know on what things to put the underlined blue text, because I still have no idea what can be clicked...

Can I make a graphic like this for Scid so the GUI is improved by Fulvio? Not really, it's a well-designed GUI already that works for what it does, that's why most people have been mostly silent about it. But that's a good thing. Good design needs no comment.

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