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If Kibitzing doesn’t work for you….

March 21, 2011

I hadn’t really planned on updating the alpha test version. It seemed to me that there were bound to be bugs, I would collect them, fix them, and the fixes would appear down the track in a beta test version.

However, as I blogged yesterday, one of the testers has demonstrated catastrophic behaviour of the program to me. I’ve now tracked down what was happening to him and I feel the need to take immediate corrective action. To summarise;

If you have a vertical screen resolution of less than 768 pixels, the original alpha test version will not work at all well for you. The windows will be in the wrong place, everything will look awful, and kibitzing won’t work. Please repeat your original download instructions, a replacement version of the program is now present that doesn’t have the same problem. If you have a vertical resolution of 768 pixels or more, don’t worry none of this affects you.

The explanation for this is that in Tarrasch V1 I introduced a “small screen mode”. For Tarrasch V2 I decided to put aside support for “small screen mode” initially, and maybe revisit it later. Unfortunately I hadn’t actually properly disabled it, so a horrible, zombie like (half dead) untested, unmaintained version of it was present in my code, ready to run on anyone using a vertical resolution of less than 768 pixels. I don’t have a system with such a screen anymore, and basically just forgot to test for it.

The bad news is that without a viable “small screen mode” (for now anyway) Tarrasch isn’t really equipped to run on small screens. It needs the 768 pixels, and so the bottom of the screen will be chopped off. Not a very good solution.

I am hoping everybody who has reported that kibitzing doesn’t work has been suffering from this problem. Whilst it is true that vertical resolution < 768 pixels means that kibitzing doesn’t work; It unfortunately doesn’t necessarily follow that kibitzing not working means vertical resolution < 768 pixels.

So, if for you kibitzing doesn’t work, please let me know. Unless you have vertical resolution < 768 pixels, in which case try redownloading and reinstalling first.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. David Beagan permalink
    March 22, 2011 1:44 am

    Thanks for letting me try the alpha version.
    For pgn files that only have one game, often the case, it would be nice to bypass the “list of games” screen. Also, it would be great to have buttons on the toolbar to advance to the next and previous games in the pgn.
    Best regards,

  2. Archie Shipp permalink
    March 22, 2011 4:08 pm

    I would like to test the Alpha version for you and will give you feedback. I play in USCF tournaments, and like the ability of the first version to help me do opening prep. I also write a quarterly article for the Colorado Chess Informant called Shipp’s Log. You can find old issues and articles online if you want, particular at Tim Brennan’s websites

  3. ChessPlayer01 permalink
    March 26, 2011 7:13 am

    Could you send me the download instructions for the alpha version? I like the simplicity of V1 so I’d like to test V2

  4. Kostya permalink
    March 27, 2011 5:37 pm

    Yep, now it works! I just switched the screen size on my laptop. I have a special button for that. But for people who do not they will probably will not be able to use kibitzer.

    And thats why I hate GUI programming. 🙂

  5. April 4, 2011 7:01 pm

    I will like to test the Alpha Version for you. Beyond testing – I will like to send feedback on GUI too. I am into internet marketing and have worked a lot on understanding how GUI affects users among websites (although not worked on software GUI studies). However – I am sure that I can contribute my feedback and this may help if not immediately then in the long term.

    Sagar Yadav

  6. Archie Shipp permalink
    September 15, 2011 6:58 pm

    I apologize for not getting back to you with my review comments quicker. I did write down some notes in the spring when I tested the newest version and I will try to decipher them for you now.
    The Tarrasch V2 Alpha only allows the user to capture one line when Kibitzing. Please allow for a selection of lines to be captured. The Undo tab works on one set of moves at a time. It would be nice if the user could select to do more.
    The ability to do a full-game analysis, rather than just move by move analysis, would be wonderful. Currently my favorite interface program to do analysis for annotationing games is Babaschess, which is free and can analyse multiple games simultaneously. (I suggest sticking with Crafty or Rybka as an engine though. I tried Houdini, which is the strongest available, but it will try inserting illegal moves when analysing multiple games at one time!)
    A histogram during the full-analysis would be nice also, but not absolutely necessary. Babaschess doesn’t have the histogram either and the only real reason for one is to see if there were major turning points or just incremental advantages. If I want one, I currently have to use Shredder, but it is more difficult to do annotations in Shredder. I tried other free programs, like Arena, but found most cumbersome to use for all analysis functions.
    I suppose asking it to be a database is way out of the question?
    For the most part, I still love using Tarrasch for opening preparation above all other functions it has. With the above additions…it would become the only chess program I would ever want to use.

    • September 15, 2011 9:16 pm

      Thanks Archie. Things have moved on a bit since the Alpha version though! I have released a Beta, an updated beta with more features, and the final V2. Of your feature requests, I have added full kibitz capture, and completed undo redo (although I certainly haven’t done multiple undo at once). Full game analysis is often requested. Maybe in V3.

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