Setting up engines

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Setting up engines

Postby Dan-the-K » 08 Oct 2015, 20:17

I'm revisiting Winboard after about ten years. Where do I find FAQs or information about how to set it up? As I recall, the engines must be placed somewhere specific and *.ini files must be set up for each engine.

Thx, Dan
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Re: Setting up engines

Postby H.G.Muller » 11 Oct 2015, 21:05

After you have installed WinBoard through the installer, you can go to the WinBoard folder (an entry for that will be made in the Windows Start menu), and in the sub-folders doc\tutorial you can find a html tutorial for how to use WinBoard. (The screenshots might be taken from older versions, though.) The install also includes help files in two formats (.hlp and .chm).

Most should be self-evident, however. Just use the menus. In any case NEVER try to locate or edit any .ini files, unless you are an expert hacker. This could almost be guaranteed to wreck things.

Engines can be anywere. Just open the Load 1st/2nd Engine dialog, and use the Browse button to point out the .exe file. Don't forget to tick whether it is UCI. Some engines might need extra options in their startup command, check that out in their respective README files. You can type those in the ''command-line parameters' field of the dialog. If you have made WinBoard aware of the engine this way, you can then select it from the list box in the dialog next time, or even directly from the Engine menu (if it was recently used).
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Re: Setting up engines

Postby Dan-the-K » 22 Oct 2015, 23:05

Thanks for the information. However,

There aren't any .hlp nor .chm tutorials.

As to .ini files, winboard.ini itself reads,

"; People used to editing winboard.ini, should edit their private
; winboard.ini user settings file in their "Application Data" folder.
; (e.g. "C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Application Data\winboard.ini".)

Mine is C:\Users\kaliuzhkin\Application Data\Winboard48.ini.

As to where to park the engines, the following is from the Ruffian 1.0.5 Readme:

"Unpack Ruffian into your WinBoard directory,
e.g. C:\Program Files\Winboard\ruffian

Add Ruffian to your winboard.ini file, e.g.

...
/firstChessProgramNames={GNUChess
"GNUChes5 xboard"
Ruffian /fd="C:\Program Files\Winboard\ruffian"
}
..."

Who to believe? :?

Dan

H.G.Muller wrote:After you have installed WinBoard through the installer, you can go to the WinBoard folder (an entry for that will be made in the Windows Start menu), and in the sub-folders doc\tutorial you can find a html tutorial for how to use WinBoard. (The screenshots might be taken from older versions, though.) The install also includes help files in two formats (.hlp and .chm).

Most should be self-evident, however. Just use the menus. In any case NEVER try to locate or edit any .ini files, unless you are an expert hacker. This could almost be guaranteed to wreck things.

Engines can be anywere. Just open the Load 1st/2nd Engine dialog, and use the Browse button to point out the .exe file. Don't forget to tick whether it is UCI. Some engines might need extra options in their startup command, check that out in their respective README files. You can type those in the ''command-line parameters' field of the dialog. If you have made WinBoard aware of the engine this way, you can then select it from the list box in the dialog next time, or even directly from the Engine menu (if it was recently used).
Dan-the-K
 
Posts: 17
Joined: 05 Jul 2010, 22:25

Re: Setting up engines

Postby H.G.Muller » 25 Oct 2015, 10:23

Dan-the-K wrote:There aren't any .hlp nor .chm tutorials.

The WB 4.8.0 standard install contains winboard.chm and winboard.hlp files in the WinBoard folder. These are more 'reference manuals' than tutorials, however. But there is a html tutorial in the doc\tutorial sub-folder of the WinBoard folder.

As to .ini files, winboard.ini itself reads,

"; People used to editing winboard.ini, should edit their private
; winboard.ini user settings file in their "Application Data" folder.
; (e.g. "C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Application Data\winboard.ini".)

Mine is C:\Users\kaliuzhkin\Application Data\Winboard48.ini.

Well, ever new version of Windows seems to change the exact location of the "Application Data" folder. I guess what was written in the 'master settings file' applies to Win XP. WinBoard only refers to it as %APPDATA%, and the system then figures out what it wants this to mean.

The file is not intended for editing anyway; the warning in the master settings file mostly serves the purpose of preventing people from editing that file. Obviously they will only be able to see this message when they are already attempting such edits.


As to where to park the engines, the following is from the Ruffian 1.0.5 Readme:

"Unpack Ruffian into your WinBoard directory,
e.g. C:\Program Files\Winboard\ruffian

Add Ruffian to your winboard.ini file, e.g.

...
/firstChessProgramNames={GNUChess
"GNUChes5 xboard"
Ruffian /fd="C:\Program Files\Winboard\ruffian"
}
..."

Who to believe? :?

So when exactly was this written, and to which WinBoard version did it apply?

BTW, note that this doesn't really imply that you should put the engines in any particular place. The only thing that is important is that the engine is indeed at the place where you tell WinBoard it is. So if you unpacked Ruffian in XXX, the engine line should be

Ruffian /fd="XXX"

where XXX could have been anything. WinBoard would automatically add the proper /fd to the engine line when you pointed out the engine .exe file by browsing from the Load Engine dialog.

And if you want to edit the engine list, you can also use the Engine->Edit Engine List menu item for that. Then you would not have to locate the ini file at all, and can be sure it is saved with the settings in whatever ini file WinBoard would be using. But compared to the standard method of browsing to the .exe it only offers the opportunity to wreck it through typos. The Edit Engine List menu item should really be used only for re-ordering the lines, or deleting them after an erroneous install (e.g. forgetting to (un)tick UCI or book checkboxes).
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