Winboard 4.8.0 question

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Winboard 4.8.0 question

Postby Malatar » 04 Nov 2014, 18:08

Hi there. I've used Winboard for many years, but I'm having some problems getting 4.8.0 to work the way to which I've grown accustomed in my old age. I use Winboard to set up positions and play through my student's games with them.

I got Stockfish up and running fairly easily, but I haven't been able to get the Setup Position working. I got the right click menu to appear so I can assign things to square once I changed /dropMenu=true, but the drop menu is populated with fairy/Capablanca chess pieces like the Archbishop. Is there a way to remove the non-standard chess pieces from the drop menu?

I'm very happy that development has continued on Winboard, and would like to say thank you to all the developers.
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Re: Winboard 4.8.0 question

Postby H.G.Muller » 05 Nov 2014, 08:28

You are referring to the piece menu, which is controlled by /pieceMenu=true. (The dropMenu controls dropping during game play in bughouse.)

The piece menu is really a deprecated feature, which I no longer develop. Exactly for the reason you mention, that it is very hard to adapt the menu to the specific needs of the current variant. (And that the same pieces are often known under different names in different variants, as there is no standardization like for the orthodox Chess pieces.) But I don't really see the problem. If you don't want to set up these pieces, just don't select them. (This is not new to WinBoard 4.8.0, btw. The piece menu has not changed since version 4.3.15.)

The currently supported way of setting up a position, through the piece pallette and/or sweep selection, should be more efficient than using the menu anyway, and would only offer the pieces occurring in the current variant. The XBoard GTK version does not even have piece or drop menus.
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Re: Winboard 4.8.0 question

Postby Malatar » 05 Nov 2014, 10:13

Actually, I feel like many of the user interface functions that have altered are making it more difficult for me to get things done easily.

I switched back to Winboard 4.2.7a, and I find I'm a lot faster clicking on the menu than sweeping with my trackball. The extra pieces on the 4.8.0 menu are distracting, and if I'm only using Winboard for standard chess, it seems that it should be simpler to get rid of the extraneous pieces.

Another example is my custom right click menu, which works fine, but in 4.8.0 I have to hold down the right mouse button while I choose a selection instead of just right clicking to open the menu and select a choice like Windows does.

Thank you for both your work and your reply.
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Re: Winboard 4.8.0 question

Postby H.G.Muller » 05 Nov 2014, 10:28

It should still be possible to use the ICS context menu in the old way. If you release the mouse button off any item the menu stays up, and you can use a second click to select any item from it.

The new method was developed in response to requests of people that wanted it to be possible to have a default response to a static right-click. The menu thus pops up with the mouse pointer above the top-most item. If you want the default response to be just that the menu stays up, you can configure a blank menu item in the default position.

Not sure I understand your remark about the trackball. How would you select a menu item without using a pointer device? AFAIK the piece-menu items do not have accelerator keys. You use the arrow keys for that? And even then you could not indicate the square where you want to place the piece without pointing at it.

The recommended way for setting up positions in WinBoard 4.8.0 is using the pallette board and just dragging the pieces where you want them. It shouldn't be more work to click a square and then a menu item to select the piece than to click the piece, and then the square you want to put it on.
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