03 September 2007

Update: CSBoard resurected

I tried to download the new csboard 0.8 from http://download.berlios.de/csboard/csboard-0.8.tar.gz. It requires quite a lot of mono libraries, and you have to manually edit some "/home/ravi/cvs/csboard" lines to where ever you unpack it, but other than that, its a simple "make; su -c 'make install'; csboard" install.

After installation it gave me the little unpolished csboard look I remembered. I was also disapointed that even though CSBoard now supports more than one engine, it still has one C# file for each one. I tried looking at them in meld, and they were actually quite different. But I'd watched the movie, and quickly clicked the "Play Online" button. I logged in as a guest, as I wasn't sure how stable it was yet and wanted to save the goodwill on my fics account for testing my own code.

FICS also looked a bit unpolished, but it used an interesting multiline, onecolumn approach for gamelists, as opposed to PyChess' oneline, multicolumn. I'm not sure which one is the best, but a mix might be good. I very much liked the way CSBoard easily lets you show only e.g. "rated games with blitz".

I tried to play a short 2min game, but I forgot the time and ran out. CSBoard displayed "GuestXYZT has fortified by time". I'm not sure if this means CSBoard automatically sent "resign", but it certanly shouldn't kill me before my opponent calls flag.

Even though CSBoard lets you look at the fics communication, it didn't help much as it was inactive during the game. It didn't let me chat either.

The last feature I remembered from the film was the "Game Viewer" which is a chess database. It has features for tagging, searching, opening books and printing and generally seams very nice. Sure some of those features could find their way in to PyChess within in a distant future. All for now though, theming, engine configuration and fics will be the main areas of development.

02 September 2007

CSBoard resurected

Now will you look at this. Just as I was doing some random surfing - looking at other chess clients to "inspire" from - I reached CSBoard at GnomeFiles. The page wasn't updated since 2006, as well as all the other "search:chess" applications on GnomeFiles, so I just thought I'd have a look at the old chess client that inspired me in the first days of PyChess.

Well, when I clicked the screenshots link, instead of getting to some old image, I was sent to the CSBoard homepage in the screencasts section, and I must say I was extraordinary surprised. The client I thought of as old, simple and dead had suddenly got its gui multiplied by 10 and support for ICS, Chess Databases, More engines and you name it.

So definitely something to try out. Tomorrow at least. It looks like they have a pretty good grab on ICS gui.