Hello Planet

Since my blog is now shown on PlanetKDE, I believe I should write a formal introduction:

My name is Miha Čančula, I’m a second year Physics student from Slovenia. My involvment in KDE this summer is mainly composed of two parts:

Octave backend for Cantor

I didn’t make it into GSoC with this, so now it’s a part of the Season of KDE, mentored by Alexander Rieder. I should be doing this after I finish my exams, which will be in July and August, but I made quite a progress even before the exam period. Pretty much all the functionality is already there, I’m even using it for my Numerical methods class. What’s missing is completion and syntax highlighting, those will have to wait for about a month, when I’ll have some free time, and when I discuss it with the mentor.

KDE4 port/rewrite of Knights

For my current pet project, I chose something less serious, and something I figured to be quite easy to go. It is smooth sailing so far, but interfacing with console programs (a recurring theme for me, that’s also how Cantor talks to Octave) and the chess server took some time, documentation searching and experimentation.

Currently supported is a hot-seat game on one computer, playing against an XBoard-compliant chess engine, and the Free Internet Chess Server. I’m still not sure how to interface with Crafty, although XBoard and the old Knights support it. I’ll take a deeper look into their sources soon. And as promised in my previos post, a screenshot of playing on FICS:

As you can see, the default theme is the one from Knights for KDE3 with consent from its author, Troy Corbin. He didin’t have a SVG version, so they’re all PNG’s inside a SVG file. I would very much like a new, completely scalable theme as the default one, as it would look much nicer. Also included is a vector Tux theme, which looks much better, but the penguins aren’t really suitable for being the default.


14 responses to this post.

    • Posted by noughmad on 8. June 2010 at 18:34

      Thank you for the pointers, I’ll probably include them in a theme. They still need a matching board style, though.


  1. Hi Miha, you might not be aware of a project called Kaya (http://pcapriotti.github.com/kaya/), which is a generic board game platform currently including chess and shogi, but very easy to extend to other games of the same type.
    It is a pet project of mine, and I would really welcome some help. Please take a look a it, before spending too much time on Knights.


  2. Great to see Knights is being picked up again. KDE4 really needs and deserves a great chess frontend.

    I did start to port Knights to KDE4 myself about two years ago, but gave up halfway through the process mostly due to lack of time.

    If you’re interested in getting a dump of half-finished sources from that effort, drop me a line.


  3. Posted by malte on 8. June 2010 at 14:52

    What about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cburnett/GFDL_images/Chess ?
    The User who created them (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cburnett) also seems to be into Qt and Linux, so why not ask him?

    I’d much rather liked simple figures on plain black-and-white tiles.

    Other than that: Thanks for porting the knights :9


  4. Posted by delinquent on 8. June 2010 at 15:21

    Great job mate, a native chess game is really needed for kde4


  5. Posted by Fri13 on 8. June 2010 at 16:16

    Very wonderfull news about Knights being ported to KDE Platform! I have waited it long time and hopefully it will get support for easily done themes (SVG for pieces and for table frames and grids!)


  6. Neat!

    BTw, is that “smart tasks” plasmoid on the panel with the running apps as icons or what?


    • Posted by noughmad on 9. June 2010 at 08:55

      It’s the normal TaskManager. It becomes that way (icons only) when sufficiently squeezed.


  7. Posted by tuxo on 9. June 2010 at 06:45

    Seems like so far nobody commented regarding your efforts to provide an octave backend for cantor. It’s all about games I guess – panem et circenses. 🙂

    So let me be the first, great to hear that cantor gains another backend!


  8. Posted by a on 13. August 2010 at 14:49

    Is there any news about knights??


  9. Posted by a on 17. August 2010 at 19:50

    maybe could you add one more option – engine vs engine 🙂 to watch how to play the best


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