I’ve been reasonably happy with the debut of Tarrasch V3. I’ve had about 10,000 downloads in the first month. Not too shabby. I must admit I was hoping that with V3 Tarrasch would make the jump from fringe player to first class citizen, but that hasn’t really happened yet. I’m not sure what it will take to elevate Tarrasch’s profile. Basically I will be happy if it is regularly mentioned as a valid alternative to Winboard, Arena and Scid. My own experience with those programs is that they can all do things Tarrasch can’t, but overall I much prefer Tarrasch as a general purpose chess workhorse. Of course it’s possible I am completely crazy. I am definitely completely biased!
Anyway, the real point of this post is to explain a new “bug fix” release of Tarrasch, V3.01a, available immediately from triplehappy.com.
I really wish this release wasn’t necessary, but sadly, almost inevitably, glitches and downright bugs show up. Here is my change log for V3.01a
- Add progress gauge when writing duplicate games, previously this slow operation appeared as stuck progress
- Title of progress bar during duplicate pgn file write allows discoverability
- Write duplicate pgn file after database written – so it is optional and can be cancelled
- Engine dialog box works on smaller screens
- Arrows allow tab navigation when number of tabs fills main screen
- Heading in frame is the default option
- Pattern search – “Don’t allow extra material” no longer the default!
- Avoid slowly leaking memory on meta-data as databases loaded or created
- Problems with pattern and material balance searches using clipboard as temporary database – fixed
- Ctrl-A = select all finally works in game dialogs
- Error handling in append database was broken – sometimes (eg unrecognised file format) leaving user unsure what happened
- Slightly more informative “can’t load database” message
- Never show asterisk = file modified if no current file!
- Order files after database append as intended – so most recent games appear first
I take comfort from the fact that none of these are “showstopper” type problems, despite frantic work and change right up to the last minute before V3 release. So my take is that V3.00a was a decent release and V3.01a is only a modest delta.
The development of Tarrasch V3 was complicated by the fact that I took several steps back, completely breaking Tarrasch V2, before I started moving forward again. So I always had two quite different versions; Stable but uninspiring V2 and fast moving but incomplete and broken V3. I’ll take this as a lesson and try and avoid doing something similar again. The idea now is that V3 is a stable platform that I can incrementally improve. The V3.01a release is the first example of this pattern in practice.
I am going to take a bit of a break now. There are many good ideas for Tarrasch enhancements that I just couldn’t quite fit in. In 2017 I hope to take another look and hopefully I will be able to incrementally improve Tarrasch with new and useful features.