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Re: [XBoard-devel] Promotion and piece menus

From: Tim Mann
Subject: Re: [XBoard-devel] Promotion and piece menus
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2011 17:47:23 -0700

That sounds good. The only thing that worried me about it (and why I
suggested what I did) was that it won't be obvious to beginners, but
the message line should pretty much take care of that.

On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 6:16 AM, h.g. muller <address@hidden> wrote:
> Indeed, there is an XBoard version with a graphical promotion
> and edit-position popups, basically displaying the pieces you
> can select on a small board with the same square size as
> the normal board. But I was not very happy with it. It was
> unwieldly large, escpecially in Edit Position when I wanted
> to show both black and white pieces simultaneously,
> (I have always hated the XBoard way of using the middle
> mouse button, as my laptop doesn't have one), and especially
> in variants with a large number as piece types. It would also
> be a lot of work to port that to WinBoard. For these reasons
> I was looking for a more elegant alternative.
> My experience so far is that you really have to try it out; what
> looked good to me on paper was really awful when I tried it.
> I do have a solution that I like ery much now, though:
> the detour "under-promotion". It cycles through the choices,
> but not on a board square, but while you are dragging the piece.
> This works very smoothly:
> When you click the Pawn, it stays a Pawn. But when you start
> dragging it (i.e. as soon as it umps to the mouse pointer),
> it gets represented by the default promotion piece (usually Queen).
> As soon as you drag it forward, (which you cannot avoid to reach
> the promotion square), it is fixed to this representation, and will
> promote to it when you release it on the promotion-square.
> So you see what you get; no way to make a mistake even if
> you are suffering from Parkinson. But if you start pulling the
> mouse backwards, it starts cycling through the pieces,
> Q -> N -> B -> R -> Q. Because you started with the transition
> P->Q immediately, you have to drag it back more than a marginal
> amount to get the Knight as first under-promotion option.
> Even if you are so inept to do that, you will see that it happened,
> and can refrain from dropping the Knight on the promotion square.
> There is no way to cycle through the pieces backward, but you
> can recover by continuing to drag the Pawn backwards until
> you get the Queen in the next cycle.
> If you release after pulling backwards, it counts as a first click
> on the Pawn, which reverts to Pawn as it jumps back to the
> from square, but the promotion choice is remembered, until
> you click another piece, and you can finish a click-click move
> by clicking the promoton square (but no preview then), or
> do a drag-drop move that now starts with the selected piece
> as soon as you 'lift' the Pawn.
> To solve the beginners issue, the message field will display
> "Pull pawn backwards to under-promote", which should be
> enough of a hint to figure it out.
> It also integrates reasonably well in the one-click schem
> we used: a click on a 7th-rank Pawn will not be considered
> a unique move even when the Pawn has only one target
> square, because of the promotion choice. In the old way
> you would get the promotion popup requiring a second click,
> now you can drag to the to-square, possibly through a detour,
> which should not be slower. Clicking the to-square will promote
> auto-queen fashion, as in the old scheme.
> I also pushed this to hgm.nubati.net now (the WinBoard version
> also works!). It also has to be run with -sweepPromotions true.
> So far it is my favorite solution.

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