about using winboard

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hgm
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Re: about using winboard

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:29 pm

Yes, very funny. But here we are talking about a button with the text "White: 10:00" (say) on it, and the text "Click clock to clear board" next to it, and a button with "click to clear board" on it. There is a large difference between spreading information that is dead wrong, and spreading information that is basically correct, but formulated in a bit of a peculiar way (but still easy to understand). Like day and night, actually. This is not an 'extrapolation ad absurdum', but goes off in a completely different direction.

Your proposal would, for instance, totally destroy any degree of discoverability, for no reason at all. While asking the user to click the clock to clear the board might make a first-time user frown, but has no impact on discoverability at all. Now discoverability is not my prime judgement criterion, but all things being equal it is still a good 'tie breaker'.

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Re: about using winboard

Post by Ras » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:32 pm

Ovyron wrote:as if starting from a good foundation from scratch was easier than dealing with Winboard's mess.
Xboard is old, which is why it is in C, and GUI programming in C is already quite a downer these days. On top of that, as this thread amply demonstrates, a lot of GUI design decisions from many participating programmers have been fueled by a complete lack of understanding on how the graphic paradigm is supposed to work. It would take a major rewrite to make something decent of it.

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Re: about using winboard

Post by Ras » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:35 pm

Guenther wrote:It seems you have never tried to edit a position in WB?
I did, and nothing worked. The suggestion from HGM was to shuffle the pieces from the initial position.
It escapes me completely why you want to open 'MS-Paint'
Because I don't remember chess positions with 100% accuracy, so if I erase the position and go from the initial position as per HGM's suggestion, I will introduce errors. Therefore the screenshot.
Just add the pieces, which are already given with one click.
Didn't work.
It is clear that you have never looked at a manual or description for
the various WB versions.
If I have to look up a manual of a chess GUI for editing a position, this is because it's a bad GUI, period. I already wrote, in this thread, that the manual is not there for patching up bad GUI design and usability bugs.

Just for comparison: with the Shredder GUI, I don't have to read the manual. That's because the edit function does what it is supposed to do, and because it has been coded by someone who understands the graphic paradigm.

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Re: about using winboard

Post by MikeB » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:54 pm

Ras wrote:
hgm wrote:All the pieces you need are usually there, if you start from the standard opening position.
Oh, great. So the intended workflow how to add a new piece type to a positon seems to be:
- hitting crtl-alt-print.
- firing up MS Paint.
- hit crtl-v.
- back to Winboard, choose "new game".
- menu->edit.
- shuffle the pieces into the positions from the screenshot while taking care to temporarily place pieces to squares unused in the target position.

This is the most ridiculous way of editing a position I've ever seen.
Editing the board is quite simple actually, you can either start with a clear board or starting position. Select the square you want to add a piece to and then while holding the right click button on your mouse, drag the mouse north or south or east and west. To remove pieces, a double left click works. To move pieces, right click and drag....

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Re: about using winboard

Post by Ras » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:23 pm

MikeB wrote:Select the square you want to add a piece to and then while holding the right click button on your mouse, drag the mouse north or south or east and west.
I don't call this "simple". I call it "insane".

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Re: about using winboard

Post by GONeill » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:44 pm

hgm wrote:For me, as a user, it is not so much important what I can do with a GUI in the first minute, but rather what I can do in the 20 years after that. This is what makes me prefer one GUI over another. Discoverability is a nice feature, but if it forces things to work in a simplistic and cumbersome way because otherwise they would be too difficult to discover, I would prefer to use the superior method even if it was somewhat less obvious to discover (or, heaven forbid, would require me to look in the man**l).
I have to say I really admire HGM. Every few months we have this thread attacking Winboard and he always takes the time to reply to every message.

For me, the above quote explains fully why this happens. Winboard is designed as a powerful tool that you need to learn how to get the most out of. But it is for that reason that I personally prefer Arena and LucasChess. I tend to be quite keen on something like chess for a few months then move on to something else. When I return I want to be able to go back to where I was before. By that time I've forgotten what I knew about Winboard, but with the other GUIs I just follow the menus. For example, all I need to remember for Arena is that Engine vs. Engine games are run as tournaments. For me, and I suppose for many people new to any of the GUIs, Discoverability is critical rather than just a nice feature. I'm only interested in the next 20 minutes, not the next 20 years. That doesn't make Winboard bad, it just means it doesn't suit me.

Personally I think it's great that there are people like HGM, Lucas and the Arena team producing GUIs for free. They all have their own strengths and like any tool it's a matter of choosing which one suits you best for the tasks you want to do based on the amount of time you want to put into learning them.

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Re: about using winboard

Post by phhnguyen » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:52 pm

MikeGL wrote: Also, the source is online. Anyone can just grab the source and
include or remove a feature until it fits their needs.
You must be joking!!!

I have read that developing GUIs is about 10 times harder than one for engines.

To understand completely a GUI source I guess a new developer may need months of full time hard working. For a very simple modification I guess it may take few working days.

For me the situation is worse since I’m a Mac user, I cannot compile XBoard straightaway thus I have never tried modifying its source.

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Re: about using winboard

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:25 am

phhnguyen wrote:
MikeGL wrote: Also, the source is online. Anyone can just grab the source and
include or remove a feature until it fits their needs.
You must be joking!!!

I have read that developing GUIs is about 10 times harder than one for engines.

To understand completely a GUI source I guess a new developer may need months of full time hard working. For a very simple modification I guess it may take few working days.

For me the situation is worse since I’m a Mac user, I cannot compile XBoard straightaway thus I have never tried modifying its source.
You can always ask for your money back - how much was it that you paid?

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MikeB
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Re: about using winboard

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:31 am

Ras wrote:
MikeB wrote:Select the square you want to add a piece to and then while holding the right click button on your mouse, drag the mouse north or south or east and west.
I don't call this "simple". I call it "insane".
If that's too hard then don't use it then - I cannot for the life of me understand why people complain when they had paid absolutely $0 - ZERO DOLLARS - go get a paid app or use something else. xboard works for me but I completely understand if if an app doesn't work for you - go get one that does. Why make such a big deal about it. We get it, it's not for you , move on. geeez

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Re: about using winboard

Post by phhnguyen » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:14 am

MikeB wrote: You can always ask for your money back - how much was it that you paid?
0 cent!

Plus a huge love and so many expectations!

I guess XBoard is so lucky to have developers such as HG who are not rude and impatient to listen.

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