Complete engine configuration

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hgm
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:55 pm

Ovyron wrote:
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.
A web standard? Perhaps you have never discovered this either, but when I work locally on my Windows PC and use the file explorer, the path name of the currently shown folder is displayed at the top of the window in what looks like a text entry. I can change to any of the directories in that path by clicking on it. And it isn't even underlined, bold or blue... And when I right-click in the pane that shows the files (whether as text or icons), a menu pops up that offers me, f.e., to create a new folder, resort the files on a different key, use icons instead of text, etc. Context menus are definitely not a 'web standard'. They are a common OS standard; in Linux and Windows you can right-click almost anything, and a context menu will pop up.

Image

Underlining is ugly, and when nearly everything gets underlined it degrades readablity. Shredder GUI doesn't undeline the PVs it prints, does it? And I am pretty sure it also has this feature. Bold and blue could be acceptable.

But I think it would send a much clearer message if the title bar did read "Engine output (right-click to make things happen)".

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Ovyron
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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:37 pm

hgm wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:55 pm
Shredder GUI doesn't undeline the PVs it prints, does it?
Oh wait, I thought Winboard had the capability of jumping to a given position by clicking the PV. It doesn't? Then nevermind the underlining. The point is that a GUI with that feature would want to make it clear clicking the PV moves does something. If it doesn't then the feature could as well not be there, because it won't be discovered.

And now let me do some experiment to showcase what I'm talking about: I want someone that is NOT you to post on this thread what does clicking on the "+tail" on Winboard dialog do. Without going to check.

My claim is that it makes no difference that clicking "+tail" does something or not, if you (hgm) are the only one that knows what it does in this world, and will remain like this because nobody will ever think about clicking it.

So please, anybody that is reading this that already knows what clicking "+tail" does (that isn't hgm) come and tell us, and prove me wrong. Otherwise, my claim is that it's as if that feature wasn't implemented at all, because nobody knows it's there or what it does or that clicking it is supposed to do something.

I won't old my breath, I just hope hgm lets the experiment run.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:36 am

Ovyron wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:37 pm
Oh wait, I thought Winboard had the capability of jumping to a given position by clicking the PV. It doesn't?
Of course it does. What the heck gave you the idea it doesn't? I just asked a question about Shredder GUI. I don't have that, but at the WCCC I once saw someone using the PV walk there. And I don't recall the PVs being underlined there. Are they underlined?
Then nevermind the underlining. The point is that a GUI with that feature would want to make it clear clicking the PV moves does something. If it doesn't then the feature could as well not be there, because it won't be discovered.
So how does Shredder GUI make that clear, then? That doesn't seem such a hard question, right? You don't have to dodge it forever...
And now let me do some experiment to showcase what I'm talking about: I want someone that is NOT you to post on this thread what does clicking on the "+tail" on Winboard dialog do. Without going to check.

My claim is that it makes no difference that clicking "+tail" does something or not, if you (hgm) are the only one that knows what it does in this world, and will remain like this because nobody will ever think about clicking it.

So please, anybody that is reading this that already knows what clicking "+tail" does (that isn't hgm) come and tell us, and prove me wrong. Otherwise, my claim is that it's as if that feature wasn't implemented at all, because nobody knows it's there or what it does or that clicking it is supposed to do something.

I won't old my breath, I just hope hgm lets the experiment run.
You seem to have a funny interpretation of 'discoverability'. In fact, it sounds like you don't know the difference between the verbs 'discover' and 'guess'. "Without going to check" means you want people to guess what will happen. Which in general is not possible for any interface. If the menu bar shows a number of pull-down menus, it will not be possible to guess what items exactly there will be in the menu that opens. And it will not be possible to guess how the dialog will look that opens on clicking one of the items. You will have to discover that by actually doing it, and observe the result. Discovery is an empirical process. Which you seem to be excessively poor at, I might add: you already confessed you have not been able to find the control for the 'MultiPV' engine setting in the Engine Settings dialog... Not only were you unable to guess that the Engine Settings dialog could be used for changing engine settings, but you obviously did not bother to open it and look to get an idea what it was for either!

But let's start with a guessing contest for people who have never used WinBoard or XBoard; we can always address the issue of discoverability later:

If you see, in relation to interactive engine analysis, a line "exclude: none best +tail -Nc6 +e6 ...", and you know something is going to happen when you click on 'none', what would you expect that something will be? (Remember, don't try it! Guessing only!)

And what when you click on 'best'?

And what when you click on 'Nc6'?

And finally, what when you click on '+tail'?

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:33 pm

hgm wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:36 am
Of course it does. What the heck gave you the idea it doesn't? I just asked a question about Shredder GUI.
The Shredder GUI doesn't have this feature, there's no way for the user to jump to any part of the PV. If you double click the engine panel, the first move of the PV is made on the board, but that's it.

My point was that it's useless that Winboard has this feature because nobody is going to click on a move in the PV to use it. With my proposed underline it looks like a link, so people would try it.

As for the rest, I know what clicking +tail does :roll: - but I had to look it up. I'm still waiting for someone that knows what it does without having to look it up. 1 single user example of someone that got the feature working just by using Winboard.

If this person doesn't exist, you could as well have saved the job of implementing the feature because you're the only one that knows it's there. And you could have saved the job of implementing that clicking on PV moves plays them on the board, because nobody will know that's possible either.

Either go all the way and make sure the feature you're implementing can be discovered, or don't bother implementing it at all. The user experience where people discover text can be clicked on Winboard's window is fictional, that's why you're the only remaining person defending Winboard's design.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:31 pm

It must have been Fritz then. (Don't have that either.) It seems that this indeed has a variation board, according to the docs that are on line. As I remember it the variation board (which there was a small extra board) moved with the mouse pointer when the latter moved through the PV, but perhaps I have seen that wrong too. But the funny thing is that to get it, you have to right-click the board, and select it from the context menu (or so the docs say). While there is nothing on or near the board to suggest you could right-click it. There is no button 'Variation board' in there...

BTW, there seems to be a misunderstanding here. I implement these features because I need them and frequently use them. And they benefit me enormously. So it is always worth the trouble of implementing them, many times over.

As for your test; I am afraid that no one reads this thread anymore. So that there are no respondents really doesn't tell us anything. This is why I added the comparatively trivial question "what happens when you click exclude best". Even a moron should be able to guess that. So that there are no answers to it will not be because it was too difficult to guess.

But you have a point; it would be nice for other people if they could use this too, and apparently using the OS standard to ask for a context menu is one bridge too far for the average computer user. I still think that printing "right-click text to make things happen" would be a better solution than underlining everything in the window. I could always make that text disappear when they first right-click in the window.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:18 am

hgm wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:31 pm
I still think that printing "right-click text to make things happen" would be a better solution than underlining everything in the window.
So you'd rather have that message appearing than making clear text can be clicked? That's fine.

I'll just go ahead and show a well designed UI from years gone by:

Image

I don't speak that language, so I have no idea what these things do. But I can't be more certain that clicking the Suchen, Okay and Fertig buttons do something.

This is how it would have been if you designed it:

Image

It honestly looks like a regression to me.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:09 am

You have no idea how it would look when I would have designed it. You can be sure it would not look like that. The message is not helpful at all, because the entire window is full of text, and you give no idication whatsoever that the message only applies to the few words on the right, while 95% of the text would not do anything when you click it. It is mind-boggling that you can come up with such a stupid design.

In the XBoard case, however, the Engine Output window contains almost nothing but moves, and every move can be clicked to trigger an action. If you would have designed it, it would contain 300 bulky buttons with a move on them, mostly out of view, and only reachable by operating scroll bars. I would call that a regression.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:16 am

hgm wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:09 am
If you would have designed it, it would contain 300 bulky buttons with a move on them, mostly out of view, and only reachable by operating scroll bars. I would call that a regression.
If I had designed it, the underlines would have allowed people to try clicking the text to see something happen, without being told, and I wouldn't be the only person in the world that knew that feature was there.

But you seem perfectly happy being the only person in the world that knows a feature exists and is the only one using it, so go on.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by hgm » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:13 am

So you see how silly it is to just throw up some garbage and then say that this is how another person would have designed it?

But you would actually use web standards in a chess GUI?

Indeed I am not overly worried if ultimately stupid persons would not be able to properly use something that I made, mainly for my own convenience. The world is crammed with stupid persons. It is unbelievable how many bug reports we get because an engine makes an e.p. capture, or that XBoard 'crashes' when it reports the requested engine is not installed on the machine. I you worry about that, you should carefully watch that anything you make never gets public.

If people cannot find the MultiPV engine setting in the Engine Settings dialog... Well, then it is their problem.

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Re: Complete engine configuration

Post by Ovyron » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:35 pm

hgm wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:13 am
If you worry about that, you should carefully watch that anything you make never gets public.
Or ask people for feedback and make changes accordingly.

Have you gone around the Banksia GUI thread? Despite starting much later that GUI now has much more users than Winboard. Because its developer listens and the features added are making the user base happy.

Remember when we tried this for Winboard? I'm Vytron/Uly at Rybka Forum and you were willing to make changes to Winboard to make it the best GUI. My request was that I wanted an option so the newest line of the engine would appear at the bottom of the panel, instead of the top. You said it's fine that it appears at the top and I should live with it. And that was how it ended. You also claimed that it was open source so I should just go and make the changes I wanted myself.

All I've done in this thread is warning GUI developers that listening to you can lead to unfriendly design for users, and it shows if your philosophy is "most users are stupid and if they can't find how to do something it's their fault."

In my philosophy "the user is always right."

I apologize to Fulvio for taking over this thread, I think I said everything I needed to say now.

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