Re: Bundling WinBoard 4.4
Daniel Mehrmann <daniel.mehrmann <at> gmx.de>
2009-04-17 12:40:51 GMT
I fully agree with Tim here !
Xboard is a part of the large GNU-Project and that shouldn't be ignored. The maintask of X-/Winboard is
still playing chess over the internet and viewing games. It might be hurts X-/Winboard if people starts
developing on X-/Winboard with the own only focus on "computerchess" and all related topics with that.
You're guys losing the view, the reality, how and why Xboard is used today from ten-thousands of people out
At least i like the idea of an additional installer over the net :)
-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 20:22:59 -0700
> Von: Tim Mann <tim <at> tim-mann.org>
> An: "h.g. muller" <h.g.muller <at> hccnet.nl>
> CC: xboard-devel <at> gnu.org, tim <at> tim-mann.org
> Betreff: Re: [XBoard-devel] Bundling WinBoard 4.4
> I think we still need an installer rather than (say) a zip file
> that the user has to manually unzip and create his own shortcuts to,
> etc. People who like to tinker don't need them, but I think the
> average Windows user expects and needs one. Maybe you're not
> suggesting that we get rid of the installer, though, but just saying
> you don't personally like them...?
> It seems good to me to reexamine what we bundle with the WinBoard
> installer. I'd definitely agree to get rid of GNU Chess 4, but I'd
> like to keep GNU Chess 5 there just because xboard/WinBoard is
> officially part of the GNU project. However, if the engine you
> suggested that can play a lot of variants is also good at conventional
> chess, maybe we could include only that one -- I'm not dead set on
> including a GNU Chess version.
> Adding other useful stuff seems good too, as long as we make sure the
> extras don't get in the way or cause confusion for beginning/basic
> users who don't care about the extras, but just want to play
> conventional chess against the default engine or on a chess server.
> People like that are usually the majority.
> Mark's idea of an installer that knows how to download more stuff is
> interesting, though I think it could turn into a big project if pushed
> to its logical conclusion. One would really like to be able to
> download and add in more engines and/or other accessories at any time,
> but there are hundreds of engines that can be downloaded from various
> On Thu, 16 Apr 2009 17:53:01 +0200, "h.g. muller" <h.g.muller <at> hccnet.nl>
> > I already raised this point in a private mail to Arun, but I would like
> > put it up for
> > discussion in public. It is about the bundling strategy used for the
> > distribution of the
> > WinBoard executable. For XBoard this is not an issue, as Linux users do
> > appreciate bundling and rely on the package depency mechanism to acquire
> > software. But for WinBoard bundling is really essential, as Windows
> > are in
> > general tot capable to install anything that does not come with the
> > install.
> > So important components, like Polyglot, must not be missing. In
> > we should
> > provide data files for some of the new features to be usable in the
> > install, such as
> > bitmaps for the board texture, and an opening book.
> > From the e-mail extchange between Arun and me:
> > ------------------------ quote -----------------------
> > > I think 4.2.8 comes with some sort of windows installer, do you know
> > anything about this?
> > I have seen that, and I guess I have even used it first time I installed
> > WinBoard on
> > one of my systems (which must have been in 2006). But I positively hate
> > installers,
> > and since that first install, I only copy winboard.exe files from one PC
> > another.
> > (Note that I did ignore the entry where Chessknight did the initial
> > of the
> > installer files in the CVS.)
> > Anyway, the way the installer would install WinBoard on a Windows PC
> > nothing
> > like the way I distribute WinBoard 4.3.15. For one, it contains the GNU
> > Chess engines,
> > which I think we should really abandon. GNU Chess might have been of
> > interest and even
> > instrumental at the conception of XBoard, but today it is just a
> > Chess engine
> > amongst many hundreds. It is not particularly good (there are free
> > that are
> > more than 500 Elo stronger, even as open source), it is not particularly
> > small, (strongly
> > driving up the size of the download), it does not play any variants
> > 'normal'...
> > So to dump not one, but even two versions of it on every WinBoard user
> > really silly.
> > OTOH, much of the essential supporting software is missing in the 4.2.7
> > install. Poor
> > bundling is one of the main causes of the demise of WinBoard as main
> > interface
> > on Windows. For the average Windows user that would benefit from an
> > installer, having
> > to download supporting software is a real show stopper, as in general
> > would not
> > know where to find it, or where to put it to make it work with WinBoard.
> > they cannot
> > run any UCI engines because they lack Polyglot. They cannot run engine
> > tournaments
> > because they lack a Tournament Manager. So they turn to other GUIs that
> > have these
> > functions as intrinsic features.
> > For this reason we created the 'WinBoard Gold Pack', (downloadble from
> > WinBoard forum)
> > which contains a complete installation tree of ready-to-run executables,
> > containing not only
> > WinBoard (as executable), but aso Polyglot, PSWBTM, an opening book, an
> > example
> > WB engine and an example UCI engine, example bitmap files for board
> > textures, PGN
> > and EPD files with test positions, etc. In other words, all the stuff
> > badly need, in stead
> > of the stuff they don't care about from the 4.2.7 installer package.
> > As example WB engine in the Gold Pack I use Fairy-Max, because:
> > 1) it is tiny (some 100KB uncompressed including all docs, only 35KB for
> > the engine proper).
> > 2) it plays many variants next to noarmal Chess (Gothic Chess, Shatranj,
> > Courier Chess etc.).
> > ----------------- end of quote --------------
> > So I want to propose a new bundling strategy for WinBoard 4.4.1
> > to 4.2.7), abandoning
> > GNUChess, including Polyglot and an opening book, and perhaps a
> > Chess font
> Tim Mann tim <at> tim-mann.org http://tim-mann.org/
> XBoard-devel mailing list
> XBoard-devel <at> gnu.org