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- - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 15:59
Although this theme was discussed already in the different threads I decided to start a new one with adequite name.
Currently GUI have reached the level when its design and functionallity are defined and can be tested outside development team. The changes including serious redesign of some modes still will have place, but functionallity and design level is ready to look at it.

We need to say that Rybka GUI is not considered as one more chess GUI. It pretends as to provide some extended features that are not presented in existing GUIs, so to make GUI clear and nice. Motto is strongest engine should have best GUI. It will not be done in one day. But we are ready to do this.

For the first stage of testing we need a small group of technically prepared enthusiasts who can not only find problems but to understand positive ideas even if something doesn't work as it is planned.

We consider that strong features of current version are
1) Advanced game analysis module
2) Rich of functions infinite analysis module
3) Delayed (background) analysis module
4) Totally new aproach for working with trees. Annotating tree positions and moves in new GUI should become as usual as commenting games.

Some other modes will be interesting too. But they are not completed.

For those who are interested write a message to victor@ldis.cs.msu.su
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 16:07
The ideas that I found in another threads

By Michael Waesch   Date 2007-05-16 08:23
-------------------------------------------
* Cross platform book formats. Open standard and some have mentioned that they would like to have the opportunity to add text to moves saved in the book.

In plans. But this is not only GUI decision. Open format has commercial author copyright problems. So I can't promise something definetly here.

* Multi platform availability: Win, Linux, Mac, Palm, Pocket, Atari, Commodore 64 etc, Cell Phone, Toaster and Washing machine. No less!

:) Too much. Imlementing full functionality for some platforms can't commercially justified. Currently 3 platforms are under implementation. Windows, PocketPC, Symbian.

* The rest will range within graphical gimmicks like a weather girl and so on. Everythin will be okay what cutely can side-track people of their on lacking chess skills.

It would be nice to hear more details

* Only few will demand better analysis tools or better auto-commenting tools, may be because they know that it can´t be done.

This should be the major strength of new GUI.
Parent - - By Michael Waesch [de] Date 2007-05-16 19:49
* The rest will range within graphical gimmicks like a weather girl and so on. Everythin will be okay what cutely can side-track people of their on lacking chess skills.

It would be nice to hear more details


Just take a look at Chessmaster and its pre-programmed personalities, training and analysis functions. I won´t be attracted to a new GUI unless it can clearly beat Chessmaster on it.

In the past two days I was again rethinking some of my older ideas, but I simply think that it can not be done in a way that an average Patzer like me can profit from it:

Humans are audio-visible creatures pleasured 24h/day by radio and television, so chess knowledge has to be provided audio-visuably for us. Arrows, high lighted quares and a nice femal voice perhaps will help - BUT simply let the engine display its "thoughts" and comments like "doesn´t get the bull of the ice" or "this trades a Knight for a Bishop" will NOT do it. Even I, Mike Mr. Mega-Patzer himself can see these trivialities without any nonsense squabbling by an engine/GUI.

Mike
Parent - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 20:51
Thanks Michael, looks attractive :). But concepts should be better planned. Currently I didn't have clear plan in my head what to do. Anyway it is very important to remember that "humans are audio-video creatures".
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 16:12
By F.Kling   Date 2007-05-16 11:09 I think the most important points for me are (if I look at the current chess assistant):

- Multi platform availability (Linux!!!)

VZ>Not in the first release. Resources should be concentrated for Windows version. As well Linux version will not have full functionality of Windows.

- Modern design (graphics for the pieces, board colours...)

VZ>In the plans

- New opening book format

VZ>Under implementation. Results look interesting.

- Support for training videos (not in a microsoft format!), it should be easy to create your own videos (or training just with sound) and
- this should also work online, so that you can make video training live

VZ>under consideration.

- Special analysis features (for Rybka, GUI supporting this), primitive things like good and bad pieces could be a good start

VZ>This is seriously considered, but a bit later.
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2007-05-16 16:14
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for taking the time to bring Convekta GUI to this forum. Very cool!!!
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 16:23
I hope to post regular messages. But time to time it will be big delays :(. Don't worry in this case. I will be back.

Anyway it seems that it will be a lot of healthy discussions here :).
Parent - By RFK (Gold) Date 2007-05-16 16:58
Hi Victor,

I think it is a wonderful opportunity for both Convekta and Rybka-what a marvelous experiment in collaboration-the rewards I think will be resounding for all, thanks to Vas and your effects.

robert
Parent - By Felix Kling (Gold) [de] Date 2007-05-17 10:44
"VZ>Not in the first release. Resources should be concentrated for Windows version. As well Linux version will not have full functionality of Windows."

It would be also OK if you just check if it runs with the windows emulator Wine. I have Windows 98SE as my second OS, so the only chance to start your programs is my Ubuntu 7.04 with Wine...
Of course this should be only done if it doesn't take too much time, since there aren't that much Linux users, I agree.

"- Support for training videos(...)
VZ>under consideration."

It would be interesting to know how many of those training CDs and DVDs Chessbase actually sells, but I guess it would be even better if you create a "Youtube" for chess training videos by allowing the user to create his own videos and to share them.
I guess this would be a good reason for a number of people to buy it.
Parent - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 16:18
By premraj_n  Date 2007-05-16 13:09
-As far as GUI is concerned I want 64bit GUI with possibly no bugs that can work on any OS. ( i am using Windows Vista x64 Ultimate)

VZ> 64bit GUI will be a bit later

-Then the GUI should be less heavy unlike Fritz GUI and features like i seen in Shredder classic GUI.

VZ> We hope to invest good efforts to make GUI less heavy

-It would be good if there is a new server for playing online engine matches like playchess.com or GUI connects to playchess.com otherwise 90% of people would only be using chessbase GUI.

VZ> server exists [url=http://chessok.com/playing_zone.html][/url]
VZ> connecting to playchess is under big doubts as all ChessBase formats are closed
VZ> connecting to ICC is possible, but I doubt that it will be done in the first version
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2007-05-16 20:14
Victor,

I use Rybka extensively for analysing positions in correspondance chess games. During this analysis, Rybka will frequently be run to node counts in the billions and to great depths (sometimes >30 in the middle game). From all this analysis, all I get back is a single line for each PV I am running.

What I would like to see is a method of providing a shallow depth tree that shows not only the PV, but alternate lines and their eval (just an upper limit would be fine) so that I can get a better idea of potential areas of the tree that might merit deeper search, sort of a more intelligent deep positional analysis capability. This extended information is not available in the standard UCI interface, but maybe Vas will consider adding it if he feels it might be useful.

I would be happy to be a beta tester for you. I understand that beta software will have problems and may not be completely stable. I'm pretty good at finding work-arounds in these cases and won't be critical of the effort in this forum or elsewhere.

Regards,
Alan
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 20:43
Alan, I understand you well. It is good that you raised this idea. This needs support from engine side. But may be some things can be taken from hash table already. I think we will discuss this with Vas. GUI implementation doesn't look as a problem. Tree mode is good for this.
Send a mail to me for beta-testing (victor@ldis.cs.msu.su)
Parent - - By Samir C (**) [ma] Date 2007-05-16 20:51
Hi Victor,

we have olso Pocket pc 2002 version ?
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 21:18
I can't state with 100% sure just now. But we will try to support most PocketPC platforms.
Parent - By Samir C (**) [ma] Date 2007-05-17 10:37
Thanks
Parent - - By billyraybar (***) [us] Date 2007-05-16 20:58
I'd really be happy if I was able to set 'flags' when working with opening books.  Right click on any move in the opening book tree and it gives an option in the menu to set flag.  Then you choose what will trigger the flag and what action is taken when the flag is triggered.  Example:  When move x leads to a loss notify me (and then the gui will take pop up a message on the screen and allow me to visit that point in the tree so I can determine if I still want the move played).  Or for example if I have 3 possible moves in a given position I want the ability to prioritize the moves -i.e. move x = priority 1, move y=priority 2, move z=priority 3. And the ability to create a formula that automatically ajusts the priorities like if move x leads to 1 loss move x drops to priority 2 if move x leads to 2 losses then do not play move x, etc, etc.  These kinds of things would be very useful.  Also the played games needs to be in a relational database.  I would be really cool if one could use SQL to query the database.

Bill   
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-16 21:13
1) Settings flags in tree mode is implemented. It will demand some tuning to make interface fully suited for common functions. But the whole concept is finished.
2) There are flexible formulas to assign weigths to moves. But that is not priorities. For my mind we will collect opinions of different people and then include into GUI the preferable functions.
3) Main Rybka databases are SQL databases arleady. Queries under imlementation. The final idea is to allow not only to use native GUI database but some common databases by user desire (like MS SQL). As well it will be SQL databases in trees too.
Parent - By billyraybar (***) [us] Date 2007-05-17 00:10
Fantatstic!
Parent - - By cma6 (****) Date 2007-05-17 03:42 Edited 2007-05-17 03:44
Hi Victor,
Thanks for coming to this forum.
In the first version of the Rybka GUI, please don't try for too many bells and whistles and keep your eye on the main thing: a GUI which allows the engine to run at maximum speed plus a good complement of keyboard shortcuts, e.g., delete line, promote line, stop analysis, start analysis, clear hash table, etc. 
  One other issue is very important: seamless access to the 6-man tablebases on Convekta's website. This is one of the great strengths of Deep Shredder 10.
                                           CMA
Parent - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-17 11:16
1) This is the most dificult task not to do the list of functions very heavy.
2) But I don't think that even heavy GUI will eat a lot of time that is essential for engine. Usually 1-2% CPU is quiete enough for normal GUI reactions.
3) Keyboard shortcuts are user defined.
4) Access to 6 man tablebases in tree mode is in the "todo" list.
Parent - - By Kapaun (****) [de] Date 2007-05-17 09:09
I would be interested in two things specially: 1) Extensive bookmaking features and book learning features 2) Can the GUI call it a draw automatically in an eng-eng game if the evaluation from both engines is a 0,00 for some moves (like the Fritz GUI does)?
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-17 11:11
1a) GUI will have very advanced features for bookmaking. Final set of functions will be accepted after careful discussion with experienced persons.
1b) Learning features need some discussion how complicated, thay should be. Current verision has no learning.
2) Thanks, there was option for a draw by absolute number of moves. Option for permanent 0,00 evaluation added to "todo list"
Parent - By Kapaun (****) [de] Date 2007-05-17 12:38 Edited 2007-05-17 12:44
Hm, thanks, Victor. My curiosity for that GUI is rising. :) In bookmaking will I have the possibility to enter moves manually? So I could be able to make very small books just manually?
And another question about analysis: In the Fritz GUI there is an option which is called "analyze position" or similar (I use the German version). It works like playing the most interesting moves from a certain position and branching them a few times, so you get a small "variation tree". Several possible settings of course (about time or search depth etc.). It takes quite some time if you use this feature while having a good search depth, but it sometimes coughs up some interesting results, too, which you would not get from just letting the engine calculate normally. Any plans for a feature like this one?
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) [hu] Date 2007-05-17 12:17
It's great to have some discussion about this.

The idea of a "super-PV", with some branches, is a good one. It's not only for long analysis - it should also have some use in normal interactive analysis. Just like users can currently switch between multi-PV and single-PV mode, they could be able to switch between bushier and sparser trees, etc.

The main question will be when to get to this. There are a lot of things going on, and there is always something to be said for simplicity. We will see.

Vas
Parent - By kblaine (**) Date 2007-05-24 14:34
You are probably referring to a feature found on the Fritz GUI and maybe others (TOOLS/ANALYSIS/DEEP POSITION ANALYSIS). I would like to see this feature in the Rybka GUI too. I do not use this for overnight analysis but once that is done I run the suggested PV(s) through it.

We all know that the further into a tree we look the less reliable are the moves. So just displaying a branch from the hash table may not be all that useful. The Fritz GUI forces the engine to work through each branch as a PV (to the level you set). It takes a while because the engine has much more work to do but it is more reliable for evaluating the primary PV.
Parent - - By Igrino (*) [es] Date 2007-05-17 11:39
Hi Victor,
Here are my comments about what I would like in the new GUI.
Currently I use Rybka to analyze my own games through the Chessbase interface: I like to add arrows and mark the squares with different colors (for example: piece pinned, unprotected, weak square, possible fork, etc...).
Unfortunately, in Chessabse, you can use only arrows (and square background) of only 3 different colors, so after a while I have to reuse the same "color codes" and (sometime) the situation on the board is not immediately clear as I would like.
For this reason, I would like the Rybka GUI with the following graphical annotation features:
A] The following (or more!) marking symbols should be available for Squares
. Cross
. Circle
. Box
. Skull
. Background
. Letter (I mean "A", "B", "C"....)
B] The following type of Arrows should be available combining the following styles:
. Different "Head" of the arrow (it is difficult to describe them in words: just look at Powerpoint!)
. Different "Tail" of the arrow (it is difficult to describe them in words: just look at Powerpoint!)
. Different "body" of the arrow (continuous line, dotted, thickness etc...)
. It could be VERY useful to be able to save the built arrows in template to reuse them easily and quickly
. Moreover I would like a special type of arrow to describe manoeuvres (the arrow will be composed by several segments joining a sequence of squares)
. Arrows with optional numbers (useful to show the order of the moves!) I am thinking of a small number near the head of the arrow...
C] General comments
. Unlimited annotation for each position
. It MUST be possible to save the annotation (even if in a not PGN format...)
. The "palette" for the annotations should be easily accessible
. Custom tooltips on the symbols/arrows/squares (for example I would like to have the tooltip "pinned piece" over all the yellow circles (just to help my memory))
. All symbols and arrows should be available in, at least 16, different colors.
. Note that these graphical annotations could also be used by Rybka to provide directly different types of information on the position (maybe when the GUI is set on "Graphic analysis mode" :-)

I hope that at least some of my suggestions will be implemented!
Cheers,
Igrino
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-18 09:32 Edited 2007-05-18 09:39
Can't prepare quick answer on this detailed post. Will do this later. Current GUI has basic features that possibly is already larger than in ChessBase GUI.
I agree that markers, lines and other graphics can give more information than words. But all this should be CAREFULLY paned to have effect.
The problem is not only in functionallity, but in understanding what to draw by commentator and what he/she seas by user.

As well I thought why don't give hints (specified by commentator) when user places the mouse on the marked area.

Here are the links:

Marker, Lines, Blocks, Chars and Text in Rybka GUI
Editing color markers

Graphics will be redesigned soon.
Parent - - By Igrino (*) [es] Date 2007-05-18 11:28
Thank you for the screenshots!
This interface seems already quite good and with the main features I was hoping for...
I realize this is still a beta (and that the graphics will be polished) however I want already give you few feedback comments:
. More colors (at least 8, better 16 or more!)
. Blocks should be rendered behind the pieces (for example the rook in a8 looks ugly)
. May be it is just a coincidence but I haven't seen arrows in diagonal (useful for knights and bishops). They should be available.
. It should be possible to save these graphical annotations together with the game.
. It would be very nice (at least for me!) to have the possibility of adding small numbers in the top left corner of a square...
Cheers,
Igrino
Parent - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-18 11:54
-- More colors
VZ>Fine, thanks (at least 8, better 16 or more!)

-- Blocks should be rendered behind the pieces (for example the rook in a8 looks ugly)
VZ>You are right, thinking about easy fixing

--May be it is just a coincidence but I haven't seen arrows in diagonal (useful for knights and bishops). They should be available.
VZ>slight update

--It should be possible to save these graphical annotations together with the game.
VZ>Surely, they are saved in the games (or trees by desire, so if you reach some old position in a new game you can see marks again)

--It would be very nice (at least for me!) to have the possibility of adding small numbers in the top left corner of a square...
VZ>You can see them in updated image
Parent - By cma6 (****) Date 2007-05-20 00:11
"Current GUI has basic features that possibly is already larger than in ChessBase GUI."

Chessbase GUI runs Rybka UCI more slowly than does Deep Shredder 10 GUI. So I just hope that the new Rybka 3.0 GUI will not run Rybka more slowly than, say, DS10 GUI.

  If the added functions in the Rybka GUI  slow the engine only by 1%, that should not be a problem. If, however, a user on a particular system, for a given position, can run Rybka UCI in DS10 GUI at 220 Kn/s and in Rybka 3.0 GUI at 200 Kn/s, then Rybka 3.0 will the the first and last Rybka GUI that many of us will buy. We will stick to buying future Rybka UCIs for use in DS10 GUI or some other GUI.

   The great hope is that Rybka 3.0 GUI is specially tuned to the Rybka engine so that latter runs faster in Rybka 3.0 GUI than in any other GUI.

                                                               Amici Sumus,  CMA
Parent - By Igrino (*) [es] Date 2007-05-21 19:13
Regarding the comment "Arrow with optional numbers" in my previous post, I think that the diagrams in this article from Chessbase indirectly illustrates why I would like to have arrows with numbers...
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-17 14:44 Edited 2007-05-17 14:52
My god! I closed e-mail client at night and was amazed in the morning that there are no new e-mail messages in the tray.
Now I opened e-mail client... Please everybody who wrote me, be patient I will not be able to answer to everybody quickly.

It seems that we have more than enough offers for beta testing for the first cycle. So please don't send me knew offers (if you are not absolutelly sure that without exactly your help GUI will not be so good). Very probably that later (June) number of testers will be increased.

Victor
Parent - - By Debaser (***) Date 2007-05-17 15:14
Is there a possibility of seeing a screenshot of the new gui?
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-17 16:13 Edited 2007-05-17 16:32
Here is one.

standard View mode

I need to say that chess board graphics will be fully redesigned (June).
Parent - By Debaser (***) Date 2007-05-17 16:32
Thanks, looks great!

But yes, the board graphics need some work yet ;)
Parent - By Kapaun (****) [de] Date 2007-05-17 16:35
Tree mode really looks interesting....
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-17 17:19 Edited 2007-05-17 17:30
Game analysis

More important lines are analyzed more carefully. Line [18...exd5!?] is prolongated on 6 moves as it was considered by engine as the best chance in the game for advantage, vice versa line [24.Qe3] is not deep.

Look at variations [23...gxf6?  ] and [30...Qb2? ]. Not only better lines are discovered, but possible blunders are illustrated.

Automatical word description is in the plans. But what will be in the first release is unclear a while.
Parent - - By MidnightBlack [us] Date 2007-05-17 20:52
Adding learning features to the GUI would be a great idea.
Parent - By Samir C (**) [ma] Date 2007-05-18 08:48
:-)
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-18 10:00
Surely learning is important part of GUI. But due priority for having GUI for top engine analysis functions have priority currently. As when they will mainly pleasure our beta testers learning parts will have major priority. For now I can't say exactly what we will have among learning features in the first release. But you can be sure that our team will pay very serious attention for learning.
Parent - By Torstein (*) [no] Date 2007-05-27 00:51
I am not so sure that learning functions are mainly interesting for beta testers. If you use the chess program to analyze games, I always hate when I know the engine has a wrong evaluation, but it wont learn, even if you play through the variation, and move back to the original position. And if learned it should stick so you wont have to learn it again next time. But I guess, this is something Vas has to look into for the engine...

Torstein
Parent - - By Torstein (*) [no] Date 2007-05-27 00:44
This GUI looks really great, except for one thing. The top menu is in my view far to large, so that it takes attention from the game and I feel like it clutters the screen. Can it be hidden in some way?

Torstein
Parent - By Dadi Jonsson (Silver) [is] Date 2007-05-27 00:51
Yes, it can be hidden. The Navigation Pane can also be hidden.
Parent - - By Igrino (*) [es] Date 2007-05-18 09:14
Hi Victor,
The interface looks promising but could you please post  another picture at an higher resolution (like 1280x1024) to have a better idea of it?
Thank you,
Igrino
Parent - - By Victor Zakharov (*****) [ru] Date 2007-05-18 10:10
Modern graphics designed is planned for June (vector board, new fonts, color themes, nicer componnents). So may be there is no big sense to look at screenshots with magnifying glass. Currently we mainly need to place every thing on its place on the desktop. Anyway I don't object to discussing all this.
Parent - By Igrino (*) [es] Date 2007-05-18 11:32
Yes,
I guess you are right...
I am just used to the chessbase GUI (with a very large board and the other panels on one side) and I was wondering how the Rybka GUI was going to look like in a similar configuration... but of course I can wait for it!
Anyway, thank you for your quick answer,
Igrino
Parent - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2007-05-23 20:37

> I need to say that chess board graphics will be fully redesigned (June).


I hope we get to use our own pieces as BMP files, and the most used color automatically gets transparent.

iNemesis already does this flawlessly (We use our own graphics) so I think it wouldn't be hard to implement.
Parent - By MightyMouse (**) Date 2007-05-18 13:16
A GUI must have some database functions so it can communicate with the outside world. Which ones are provided with the Rybka GUI?

Specifically... Is PGN notation supported? In other words can games and game collections (databases) be imported/exported in PGN notation? PGN notation seems to be the closest thing we have to a universal standard for such data transfers between different GUIs and database systems. It is OK if you have your own custom database system if it has this communication ability in PGN notation with other GUIs and systems.

Input/output operations with a database of games is also important. Of course we expect the usual Load and Save operations. It is also essential that there be a "Replace" operation which is particularly needed in correspondence chess. In other words user should be able to load a game from the database, analyze and modify it, then save it back into the database in the same position - so the database retains the same sequence of games as previously. Chessbase and Shredder Classic GUIs provide this function, which works fine with PGN databases of games as well as their own custom database formats. Arena does not provide this operation, as far as I'm aware, but I will no longer consider Arena because I don't like their "attitude"!?

The GUI should ideally be able to handle large databases and opening books. For example: My primary personal database has 3.5 million games. My largest opening book in Chessbase format includes a 4 GB file. Your GUI/database system should be able to search and modify such large databases quickly. Chessbase does this the best at present.
Parent - - By Kingmdm (*) [us] Date 2007-05-18 16:54
I love playing on ICC and watching GM's play on ICC while analyzing with an engine.  Having the ability to connect to chess servers, especially ICC is major for me.  That is what I liked most about previous CA versions, the ICC integration.b  I know CA has their own chess server now, which I will use from time to time, but I have been a member on ICC for at least 8 years with tons of friends.
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