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Up Topic The Rybka Lounge / Computer Chess / Chess for Android 10 Year Anniversary
- - By AartBik (**) Date 2018-12-25 22:19 Upvotes 2
I can't believe it, but Chess for Android just passed its ten year anniversary! In November 2008, it appears for the first time on the -then-called- Android Market, together with Reversi for Android. Checkers for Android was soon to follow. The Android Market was later renamed Google Play.

Working on this GUI has been a lot of fun, even though it took all spare time away from further developing my chess engine BikJump. But pioneering support for third party engines (at a time nobody was compiling for ARM), both UCI and XBoard, accessing endgame tablebases on SD card, adding PGN and setup features, simplifying engine setup through Chessbase compatible format and the Android Open Exchange format, using OCR apps to read chess positions, translating text to other languages, maintaining an online manual, and recently adding support for Certabo, DGT, and Millennium electronic chessboards has been just as rewarding. I have compiled many engines for Android back in the days, ran full tournaments, and overall tried to improve the ecosystem for chess on the Android platform. Now, ten years later, we have many excellent chess apps on Google Play, each with their own loyal fan base.

Below you will see all the devices I have used over the years to test my apps. Even today, all apps still run just fine on the Android Dev Phone 1 with Android 1.6 (api 4).

A merry Christmas to all my chess friends out there!

Parent - - By gsgs (***) Date 2018-12-26 10:41 Edited 2018-12-26 10:57
Thanks a lot.

I'm using CfA for my asmFish tournaments on X86 Android Intel Baytrail/Cherrytrail
devices, which I consider the best way currently to run tournaments.
I'm currently running 5 Tolino tablets with CfA tournaments to test the "drawkiller" books.
I have meanwhile ~500 CfA- tournament files on my PC, easily computer-readable
with 1 move per line plus times and evals.
I wrote programs to analyse these, e.g. result-statistics or
draw the average-evals-per-move-number-charts
[ you could include this ?! display a statistics on demand of the tournaments in /storage/sdcard0/tour.pgn
with tables,drawrates,Elos,%of 1:1-pairs,eval-charts,]


Why Google-Play ? [_long_ terms and conditions]
Why not open source ? I'd like to include aome improvements by myself,
although I know nothing about Android programming.
In what Android directory does it reside ? Caused me much trouble

display the engine name , hash , bookname in the pgn
when the tournament terminates after some weeks I had forgotten ...

allow fractions of a second as per-move-increase

terminates the tournament, when the tablet is rotated or accidentally touched

why can't tablets operate on a charger without battery ? Batteries use to blow up,
expand after some time, especially in summer

including,initialising an engine , starting a tournament ,
entering the opening boot   is still a bit tedious.
There should be "batch (as in DOS)" files to do this
or one-button-clicks to repeat something or choose from a list of books and engines with predefined clicks
Parent - - By AartBik (**) Date 2019-01-02 22:06 Edited 2019-01-02 22:09
Thanks for your kind words and suggestions. Some of these are already in the making (e.g. the reset on rotate, that seems to change with every Android version :-)).

Google Play makes sense for me, given where I work of course, but I also really like the distribution channel. I am not sure what terms and conditions you object to, but Chess for Android has always been free of ads, strange permissions, and what not. Open source is not likely for several reasons I am happy to discuss in person, even though in general I am a big proponent. There are already excellent other chess apps out there that are fully in the open source.

Exploding batteries? That does not sound right? Please stay safe in 2019 chess friends!

Parent - - By gsgs (***) Date 2019-01-05 16:55
not exploding but bloating,inflating,ballooning (aufblaehen) , then I remove
the battery (before it explodes ?!?) or it crashes the tablet with the CfA program,
thus stopping the charger's loading.
It's common in warm weather when I run them for weeks on the charger.
It really exploded only once, when I put it in the freezer (-18C) so to avoid heat-throttling
of a (arm-) smartphone. I get a small explosion, when I peek into the battery with a needle.
Unfortunately no replacement batteries are available, nor do I know, how to run the tablets
on a charger without battery.
So, that's the main problem for me when playing tournaments on tablets with CfA.
One tablet consumes 6W and gets 1700kn/s with asmFish.
I have ~50 but ~30 are without battery now.
Parent - - By AartBik (**) Date 2019-01-05 21:46
Well, at the risk of stating the obvious, but excessive usage may exhibit excessive behavior. Mobile devices were not designed to run full-throttle for weeks in a row while plugged in, and any resulting behavior has nothing to do with CfA. So, please stay safe! And "poking a battery with a needle" truly leaves the realm of expected user behavior.

Having said that, I am not sure what you expect from CfA. Pause and resume the tournament after a few hours? I am not sure you would be happy with that either. For what is worth, I have ran many tournaments in the past without problems, and still occasionally do today. I typically let the device run unplugged until power becomes low, or I use a connection with a laptop or PC, which often yields a lower charge compared to a fast-charging adapter of a wall charger.

But beyond hardware issues outside the scope of CfA, I am very happy to hear suggestions on what can be improved. But please also keep in mind that this a free-time hobby project.
Parent - By gsgs (***) Date 2019-01-06 05:59
CfA could hijack and change the operating system and
allow it to run on charger without battery.
Or with a small device that simulates a battery.
While the tablets are not designed to run for weeks,months,years ,  CfA is.
In the typical tournaments you need thousands of games, see rating lists, TCEC, CCCC.

That feature would be very useful beyond chess. All the old tablets with dead battery
could be used again.
Tablets beat notebooks or PCs in power-consumption.
Parent - - By Vegan (****) Date 2019-01-05 03:48
android is largely just another version of open source that goes back to the mainframe era

freebsd was free for all to use
Parent - - By AartBik (**) Date 2019-01-05 21:51
Yes, Android is open source. It is called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) (fwiw, I worked on the Android Runtime (ART) optimizing compiler for a few years, but have moved to the DART team since then). But that does not mean that all Android applications are open source. In fact, most of the apps on Google Play are not.
Parent - By Labyrinth (*****) Date 2019-01-06 19:00

>have moved to the DART team since then

Done any work on Fuschia? I keep forgetting to check on their progress. Ahh, looks like they dropped the UI they were using.
Parent - - By Vegan (****) Date 2019-01-07 02:22
I see you have done some work with sparse matrices. I have done some work in that area too mostly in relation to tensor calculus and numerical methods.
Parent - - By AartBik (**) Date 2019-01-07 04:47

> I see you have done some work with sparse matrices. I have done some work in that area too mostly in relation to tensor calculus and numerical methods.

Good times yes. Research for research's sake! I hope you enjoyed your numerical work too.
Parent - By Vegan (****) Date 2019-01-17 02:57
I wrote some C++ classes for tensor algebra. Then I used it to create numerical solutions for tensor calculus for some amusements.
Up Topic The Rybka Lounge / Computer Chess / Chess for Android 10 Year Anniversary

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