what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

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Tibono
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:16 pm
Location: France
Full name: Eric Bonneau

Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by Tibono »

Hi all,
thanks Albert for your post, you are right. This lets me want to share my rather funny user experience with Fritz 19 I recently purchased.
Some context: I am an IT guy, and I collect chess programs and chess computers - including running old stuff using many emulators.
Therefore I can leverage some experience... Just untrue with any Fritz recent software.

Well, I wanted to submit a mate puzzle to Fritz 19. Soon found the paste icon for the FEN position, so far so good. I was aware a specific engine is available for mate search, thus I planned to select it for an analysis run. This module was not in the available list. OK, I am aware modules can be activated or not, so I used the relevant management feature. The naughty module (Mate 2.22) was there, and already activated: is it kidding me? :evil:

After looking at each and every tab to look for a relevant icon, I ended spending time reading the online user manual.
Mate search is a dedicated level...

Maybe a legacy from old Fritz versions: that's admissible from a vintage chess computer or an old chess program, but just puzzling from a modern software leveraging engine modules including a mate search dedicated one. TMHO and logic, setting any level in a modern GUI should be intended for playing... and mate search should belong to position analysis features.
Cheers,
Eric
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towforce
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:57 am
Location: Birmingham UK

Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by towforce »

Albert Silver wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 5:00 pm I worked with Chess Assistant for several years (when they were still called Convekta), and let me start by saying they were great guys, especially Viktor Zakharov. That said ease-of-use discussions were complicated because my complaints/suggestions were often incomprehensible to them. Let me illustrate: In Chess Assistant 5.0, deleting a variation from a game required three steps, including right-clicking on the line, then finding the proper subsection, then telling it how to delete it. I told them this was extremely convoluted for a basic editing function. Bury something else behind that wall of steps, but not deleting a variation. Viktor took this to their developer/programmer meeting, and it was voted down almost unanimously with the core reply being: 'it is easy, just do those many steps.' Thankfully, Viktor was the chief honcho and saw reason and in CA 6.0 a line was removed by hitting the Delete key. The work was full of these weird oddities that fell on tone-deaf programmers. CB6/7 (at the time) had a third of the functions, if that, but was intuitive and easy to figure out, not to mention easy on the eyes (i.e. Prettier). The competition between the two was not nearly as overwhelming as it is today (there is no competition), but these issues were a clear obstacle. It also suffered from an excess of options and functions that while interesting on some levels just left the program seeming bloated and daunting, which are really bad impressions if you are seeking to become popular.

Most computer-savvy people, and especially programmers, cannot begin to imagine how computer deficient their user base is, even pros whose livelihoods depend on these tools, never mind the Average Joe. I most often see them (programmers) placing the blame on the lazy users who need only read the manual, tutorial, or what-have-you, and then complain about why they are not a runaway success when they have X functions the rival does not. Chessbase once had a guy offer to pay airfare and hotel if they would send a person to INSTALL FRITZ ON THEIR PC for them. And no, it did not involve anything more than sticking the CD in the machine and letting the autoplay start the installation, but such was the panic and fear. An extreme example, but the point remains. (They did not BTW, and phone calls resolved the panic-stricken customer).

By today, even ChessBase has a bit of this excess in functions, simply because with almost 40 years of active development, it has accumulated so many features. But it still remains quite intuitive for the most basic features.

Really the key to GUI philosophy should be, IMHO: 'Show it to your mother, or least computer-savvy family member or friend, with no instruction or manual, and if they stumble at core functions, then those are design points that need addressing.'

My 2 cents.

+1

Try being a developer who has worked hard making UIs for a business application easy and intuitive, only to find that another developer (who has now left) kept remodelling your UIs making them so incomprehensible that even I, the original author, could no longer use them. You would either laugh or go into a state that risks your mental health. I recommend the first of those two choices.
The simple reveals itself after the complex has been exhausted.
tapio
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2024 10:33 am
Full name: Michael Scheer

Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by tapio »

LucasChess R2 is awesome, but, for the love of god, in a match vs engine, how can I turn off the move arrows while engine is thinking? I searched like an idiot and didn't find it.
tapio
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 30, 2024 10:33 am
Full name: Michael Scheer

Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by tapio »

tapio wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 11:30 pmLucasChess R2 is awesome, but, for the love of god, in a match vs engine, how can I turn off the move arrows while engine is thinking? I searched like an idiot and didn't find it.