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[Bug-gnubg] Aesthetics comments and Edit position suggestions

From: Ian Shaw
Subject: [Bug-gnubg] Aesthetics comments and Edit position suggestions
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 14:52:20 +0100

Jørn asked whether we liked the new window layout. My first impression is very 
favourable. It does make it easier to compare.

Also love the dice, pip and cube colour settings. How about a cube value 
colour/font setting? Perhaps we could have an option to show 1 or 64 as the 
initial face - or even some custom engraving that some folks seem to favour!

A few suggestions.

Show the relative pip count for the really lazy. I.e. 159 (-2) 161 (+2). (Idea 
stolen from TMG user interface.)

Show the match score in x-away format in addition to  the current. I.e. Score 1 

Show info from the new Match Information somewhere on the screen. Possibly a 
status line above the board. It should definitely go into the various exports.

When playing with manual dice, the window disappears when the roll is selected 
and then reappears on top of the board. I would like to be able to drag it out 
of the way and leave it visible. I'd also like to be able to resize it smaller 
and have the dice shrink. At the moment they are the same size as the dice on 
the board.

When the dice are displayed on the board the angle should change. I already 
love the fact that they don't appear in different places. (Minor issue, I know. 
There's plenty more important stuff to do.)

A different sound for move with a hit would be good. (Another idea from TMG, 
which uses MoveHit.wav). As an aside, I would recommend the program Awale for a 
delightful user interface. http://www.myriad-online.com/awale.htm. It's a great 
game, too. It's an African game played on a hollowed out wooden board with hard 
seeds for pieces. the implementation sounds uncannily like my "real" set. 
Sorry, no *nix version.

Cubes higher than 64 still show as 64.

When it comes to the end of a game, GnuBg is very decent about resigning when 
the position is gin. However, since I always play with Auto bearoff, I often 
think it would be quicker if the game were played out to conclusion. The resign 
offer is quite subtle and I'm often left wondering why things have stopped. I 
think it's quite natural to relax concentration a bit once the game is on 
auto-pilot and it's a bit of a jolt to realise that the game hasn't completed.


The whole area of setting up who's on roll is one of the least friendly aspects 
of the board edit routines. You can't even tell just by looking at the board. A 
lot of my investigations have been inspired by this shortcoming. When editing I 
have tried to do the following things intuitively:

Click in the blank central areas of the board to bring up the set dice window. 
(My half to set my dice & turn, opponent's half to set his.)

Click on the dice below the board to bring up the set dice window, but they 
disappear when you press edit.

Click on the dice and cube icons to set them up, but they are greyed out. (I 
know you can just click on the cube; I'm just testing.)

Click on the top/bottom half of the area outside the board to set turn, a la 

Pasting the Pos ID or Match ID should not require you to press Enter. If we 
click away from the window the value we have pasted in should remain. This is 
the standard windows behaviour. Not many of us are going to paste an ID and 
tweak it by hand!

Click on the match length to edit it.

Ian Shaw

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