Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Discussion about development of draughts in the time of computer and Internet.
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AartBik
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Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by AartBik » Thu Dec 06, 2018 22:01

It has been a while, but I recently added something to Checkers for Android I had been planning for a long time: a notation window and full game navigation, similar to my chess app (and recently also the reversi app). No more artificial restrictions on the undo, one can simply go back and forth in the full game, and try different strategies to learn from one's mistakes! Switching between all the different notation schemes is a bit confusing, but hopefully I got it all right (for simplicity, however, the app always just shows the "from" and "to" square for each move or capture, even though technically intermediate squares are sometimes needed to disambiguate multiple jumps).

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Rein Halbersma
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by Rein Halbersma » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:02

AartBik wrote:It has been a while, but I recently added something to Checkers for Android I had been planning for a long time: a notation window and full game navigation, similar to my chess app (and recently also the reversi app). No more artificial restrictions on the undo, one can simply go back and forth in the full game, and try different strategies to learn from one's mistakes! Switching between all the different notation schemes is a bit confusing, but hopefully I got it all right (for simplicity, however, the app always just shows the "from" and "to" square for each move or capture, even though technically intermediate squares are sometimes needed to disambiguate multiple jumps).

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Hi Aart, Just installed it on my Android 8.0 phone. I don't see move history, and only one move-back button. What gives?

AartBik
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by AartBik » Fri Dec 07, 2018 18:14

Rein Halbersma wrote:Hi Aart, Just installed it on my Android 8.0 phone. I don't see move history, and only one move-back button. What gives?
Thanks for your interest Rein! I did a gradual roll-out of the new feature. It is at 100% now, so you should get an update soon. Please let me know if you find any bugs (other than not showing the intermediate squares for ambiguous jumps, that's done on purpose to line up the text nicely).

Rein Halbersma
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by Rein Halbersma » Fri Dec 07, 2018 20:37

AartBik wrote:
Rein Halbersma wrote:Hi Aart, Just installed it on my Android 8.0 phone. I don't see move history, and only one move-back button. What gives?
Thanks for your interest Rein! I did a gradual roll-out of the new feature. It is at 100% now, so you should get an update soon. Please let me know if you find any bugs (other than not showing the intermediate squares for ambiguous jumps, that's done on purpose to line up the text nicely).
It works, thanks! Some tips: as a user I expect the printed moves to be clickable / scrollable, to quickly navigate the variation tree. Is that hard to add? Also, could you add either the move number (I.e. 1. 10-14 22-18 2. 6-10 etc.), or e.g. add parentheses around the 2nd player’s moves: 10-14 (22-18) 6-10 etc. This makes it easier to read a variation in your mind.

AartBik
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by AartBik » Fri Dec 07, 2018 21:51

Rein Halbersma wrote:It works, thanks! Some tips: as a user I expect the printed moves to be clickable / scrollable, to quickly navigate the variation tree. Is that hard to add? Also, could you add either the move number (I.e. 1. 10-14 22-18 2. 6-10 etc.), or e.g. add parentheses around the 2nd player’s moves: 10-14 (22-18) 6-10 etc. This makes it easier to read a variation in your mind.
Cool. Thanks for testing. I like your suggestions (touch navigation has been requested before, and the parentheses are an excellent suggestion [casual users won't care about the move number, but making white/black moves more clear is probably important). These first releases were just to unify the chess/reversi/checkers app look-and-feel again, but now that this is done, any suggestion for further improvement is very welcome!

Rein Halbersma
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by Rein Halbersma » Fri Dec 07, 2018 22:36

AartBik wrote:
Rein Halbersma wrote:It works, thanks! Some tips: as a user I expect the printed moves to be clickable / scrollable, to quickly navigate the variation tree. Is that hard to add? Also, could you add either the move number (I.e. 1. 10-14 22-18 2. 6-10 etc.), or e.g. add parentheses around the 2nd player’s moves: 10-14 (22-18) 6-10 etc. This makes it easier to read a variation in your mind.
Cool. Thanks for testing. I like your suggestions (touch navigation has been requested before, and the parentheses are an excellent suggestion [casual users won't care about the move number, but making white/black moves more clear is probably important). These first releases were just to unify the chess/reversi/checkers app look-and-feel again, but now that this is done, any suggestion for further improvement is very welcome!
Oh yes, the parentheses is something I'd like to see in all your apps, just makes it so much easier to read. Also, (minor nit): why not use thousands separators when printing the number of nodes?

And I seem to recall that your chess app has much more functionality than checkers (endgame dbs pluggable engines e.g.), is that something you'd consider for checkers? And dare I ask if 10x10 draughts is in the cards?

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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by AartBik » Fri Dec 07, 2018 22:53

Rein Halbersma wrote:And I seem to recall that your chess app has much more functionality than checkers (endgame dbs pluggable engines e.g.), is that something you'd consider for checkers? And dare I ask if 10x10 draughts is in the cards?
All requests duly noted! I have been on the fence on adding third party engine and e.g. DGT electronic checkers board support for a while. I am just afraid such a feature will only be useful for a very small (although of course very distinguished) audience. As for 10x10 draughts, that too I started enthusiastically a while ago, but then found that Google Play is already flooded with similar apps.

I have a few features in the pipeline for chess, so perhaps after that.....

Rein Halbersma
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by Rein Halbersma » Sat Dec 08, 2018 09:36

AartBik wrote:
Rein Halbersma wrote:And I seem to recall that your chess app has much more functionality than checkers (endgame dbs pluggable engines e.g.), is that something you'd consider for checkers? And dare I ask if 10x10 draughts is in the cards?
All requests duly noted! I have been on the fence on adding third party engine and e.g. DGT electronic checkers board support for a while. I am just afraid such a feature will only be useful for a very small (although of course very distinguished) audience. As for 10x10 draughts, that too I started enthusiastically a while ago, but then found that Google Play is already flooded with similar apps.

I have a few features in the pipeline for chess, so perhaps after that.....
Yes, there are many apps for the casual player. Having a variety of game apps with pluggable engine support would cater to engine developers and make your apps the de facto GUI on Android. Anyway, thanks for being so responsive!

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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by AartBik » Mon Dec 10, 2018 22:54

Rein Halbersma wrote:Yes, there are many apps for the casual player. Having a variety of game apps with pluggable engine support would cater to engine developers and make your apps the de facto GUI on Android. Anyway, thanks for being so responsive!
I added the parentheses convention to my reversi app, together with an export ability. See if you like it. The checkers app is soon to follow!

AartBik
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by AartBik » Wed Dec 12, 2018 20:34

AartBik wrote:See if you like it. The checkers app is soon to follow!
I am rolling out a new version of Checkers for Android with:
  • Use of parentheses for alternating moves
  • Slightly nicer layout of columns
  • Slightly improved display while navigating
  • Ability to export game to clipboard or sharing as PDN (portable draughts notation)
  • Disambiguation of jumps
The disambiguation adds an intermediate square in the notation when necessary (this was needed for proper PDN export). In some corner cases, perhaps one is not enough, but this will cover most regular games for now.

Please let me know what you think!

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Rein Halbersma
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Re: Checkers for Android: Full Game Navigation

Post by Rein Halbersma » Sun Dec 16, 2018 18:52

AartBik wrote:
AartBik wrote:See if you like it. The checkers app is soon to follow!
I am rolling out a new version of Checkers for Android with:
  • Use of parentheses for alternating moves
  • Slightly nicer layout of columns
  • Slightly improved display while navigating
  • Ability to export game to clipboard or sharing as PDN (portable draughts notation)
  • Disambiguation of jumps
The disambiguation adds an intermediate square in the notation when necessary (this was needed for proper PDN export). In some corner cases, perhaps one is not enough, but this will cover most regular games for now.

Please let me know what you think!
Nice! It works just fine. But is it possible to make the move history clickable (to get back to when the move was made)?

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