After a big effort to ship Tarrasch V2 Beta one week ago, I have been taking a little break from Tarrasch. Apart from anything else, I have been earning a living :-) Of course I have learned my lesson from Tarrasch V2 Alpha, it is very important not to take too much of a break, else you lose all momentum. I am not going to let that happen. I need to ship the real (not beta) Tarrasch V2. And soon!
Let’s recap for a minute. Where do we stand with this project? Tarrasch V1 has been “out there” for nearly three years. It’s a decent little chess program, ideal for human v engine play and training, and for quickly setting up positions and analysing them with an engine. However, I took a huge shortcut with Tarrasch V1. It has no real .pgn support at all. That’s a huge problem for a chess GUI and it’s been nagging away at the base of brain for far too long! Hence Tarrasch V2, which seeks to be just as simple, intuitive and comfortable as Tarrasch V1, but also to have comprehensive .pgn support like any real, self respecting chess program.
In a way, the sheer magnitude of the effort involved in V2 has legitimised the shortcut of V1. It took months to build V1, but removing the shortcut is taking years. The lesson; It was a good shortcut to take!
A few months ago I made available Tarrasch V2 Alpha to anyone who requested it. This was tangible evidence that V2 was coming. But there were a lot of bugs. And a few missing features as well. In some ways Tarrasch V2 Alpha was an embarrassment.
Now Tarrasch V2 Beta is available. After one week I am happy to pronounce that it is not an embarrassment. Phew! I haven’t been swamped with feedback; I wasn’t surprised by that, experience has taught me that the number of users offering feedback is always a tiny percentage of the downloads. But I have some feedback, some of it of very high quality, enough for it to be very clear that V2 Beta meets its main goal of being much more solid that V2 Alpha. I would like to thank my countryman Iliya Kristoff in particular who has been a star tester this time through.
As well as being more stable, V2 Beta has some new features. I wonder how many downloaders have noticed them? In order of importance;
- Real undo (not just takeback), and redo
- Context menu (right click) for editing move annotations
- Open log file menu command for looking back at previous Tarrasch sessions
I said last week that V2 Beta was a release candidate. Unfortunately, there are some little issues that have arisen, and I have also weakened and plan to sneak a little new functionality into V2. So V2 Beta is not going to be simply renamed to V2.
Soon I will write some more about wrapping this project up and shipping V2. For now my wife is insisting we head to the cinema for Cowboys versus Aliens!