Posts Tagged ‘knights’

Zabava ob izidu KDE 4.8

Po enoletnem premoru se tradicionalno druženje ob izidu proste programske opreme skupnosti KDE spet vrača. Ob izidu različice 4.8 si bomo najprej ogledali, kaj se je v zadnjih dveh letih dogajalo v drugi največji odprtokodni skupnosti in predstavili nekaj največjih novosti namizja Plasma in ostalih programov. Sem spada tudi posebno novo okolje Plasma Active, ki bo letos na voljo na tabličnih računalnikih. Predstavili bomo tudi nekaj izmed načinov, kako se lahko svojimi prispevki in izkušnjami pridružite skupnosti KDE. Osredotočili se bomo predvsem na prevajanje in programiranje.
Po predstavitvah sledi druženje s pijačo in kakim prigrizkom. Po načelu »kdor prvi pride, prvi melje« bomo razdelili tudi nekaj daril.

Predavatelji:

  • Jure Repinc je študent računalništva, ki v svojem času poskuša čimveč prispevati k raznim odprto-kodnim projektom, v največji meri pri KDE.
  • Andrej Vernekar je zaposlen kot vodja pisanja tehnične dokumentacije, v prostem času pa prevaja KDE-jevo programsko opremo in je koordinator slovenjenja KDE ter predsednik društva LUGOS.
  • Miha Čančula sem študent fizike, ki pri projektu KDE razvijam šahovski program Knights in Cantor, ki je vmesnik za matematične programe

Lokacija:

Kiberpipa (zemljevid)

Povezave:

http://community.kde.org/Promo/Events/Release_Parties/4.8#Ljubljana

English version

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Knights 2.4.1 Released

Today Knights has reached the stage where some exciting new features are completed and usable. The new release includes saving and loading PGN files, setting the difficulty, and supporting the UCI engine communication protocol. I also added a move history widget, which can display the moves so far in three different notations.

Playing against Stockfish, a strong chess engine using UCI

A handful of new themes appeared on kde-look which can be downloaded from the Knights configuration dialog.

St. George theme by Dave Kaye, with visible history and clock widgets.

Move history can be save quickly from the history widget, or from the dialog which appears after a game is over.

Knights can be downloaded from their usual site at kde-apps:

Knights 2.4 Released

A new stable version of Knights is now ready for public use. There are relatively few user-visible changes, especially considering the long time it took from the last release. However, there are a few behind-the-scenes improvements, which prompted me to bump the version number.

Playing on freechess.org with Knights version 2.4.0

Features

One is the ability to speak opponents’ moves using Jovie. Another, with less immediate advantages but with more effect in the future, is the ability to control Knights via a D-Bus interface. It has no current uses, except with an unreleased version of Simon, enabling voice-only interaction. It could also lead to other interfaces reusing the code of Knights, for example a Plasma widget.As you can see from the screenshots, the feature of turning around the board when the local player changes is now optional, making it possible to use Knights on a tablet as a chess board replacement. I also made use of some recent developments in the KDE libraries, like the nice KMessageWidget as a replacement for the existing offer display.

Finally, some bugs with both the computer and server interfaces were fixed since the last version. The most notable is probably better handling of moves undoing. The XmlGui is also cleaned up, fixing some behavior issues.

Download

As usual, the latest version can be downloaded from KDE-Apps with the help of OpenSuse Build Service.

Alternatively, you can get source from the git repository (tag v2.4.0) or from Dropbox (direct link). Binary packages for most popular Linux distributions are available at the OBS site here.

Bugs and wishes

Please report and bugs (I’m sure there are some) and wishes to http://bugs.kde.org.

Last Month in Knights

It’s almost a full month since the 2.2 release, and I’m proud to say there are some new features in your future favourite chess program.

The first thing I did was to add support for the different dialect of the XBoard protocol that is spoken by some engines. Knights now supports GnuChess, Crafty, Sjeng, Sloppy, Phalanx, Fruit, and probably many more which I didn’t test.

Another is the introduction of several protocol-dependent actions such as Undo-Redo, proposing Draws and Resigning.

Time control got some little love too, so you can specify either conventional Fischer-style timing or FICS-style incremental clock. I’m sure the usability of the dialog could be improved, I’d be grateful for any suggestions here.

There is also the oft-requested feature from eBoard: The Seek Graph. I used a KPlotWidget, much better than trying to figure out label placement by hand.

And last but not least, both chat and console interaction with the chess server

Unfortunately, due to lack of an exposed API, I could not use the Konsole widget for the console and had to come up with my own.

As usual, comments from any usability experts and/or chess player are welcome.

Knights 2.2.0 Released

Quite some time after a successful move to Extragear and Git, there is finally an official stable version of Knights for KDE SC 4.

Currently, Knights has all the basic chess features:

  • Playing against a human on the same computer, on the FICS server, or against a computer engine
  • Rules checking
  • Markers for possible moves, opponent’s moves and danger
  • Chess clocks, both digital and analog (from the Plasma theme)
  • Four  different themes, with the option to download more from kde-look.org
  • Animations (if using Qt >= 4.6)

Source and binary packages can be downloaded from http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Knights?content=122046. Happy testing, and please report any problems, bugs and wishes.

A note too all people signing praises to the theme: The analog clock is from Plasma, you can change its appearance by changing your Plasma theme in System Settings => Workspace Appearance. Chess pieces and tiles on the second picture were done by Eugene Trounev.

Knights in shining armor

Since there was some negative commentary about the looks of Knights in my previous post, I took the popular advice and used Plasma’s clock in Knights. And you were correct: it looks much more pleasing to the eye now. The Plasma guys know what they’re doing.

And here is a shot with the KDE default widget style and colors. The theme is a variation of the previous one, again from the XBoard program. It doesn’t really fit in either, I know.

This unfortunately introduces a new dependency: You need at least one Plasma theme, and those reside in kdebase-runtime-data. This should not be needed for a chess game, so I plan to add a check for a theme and fall back to the previous solution if none is found. As noted by Aaron in the comments, hard-depending on kdebase-runtime is fine. Thanks for clearing that up, and sorry for spreading FUD.

The second thing was the horrible white background. The easy solution is to use a dark theme, all programs looks better that way. Really, be sure to try it if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, this is not so good on laptops (at least not on mine) because it does not mix well with lower screen brightness. Anyway, the proper way to do it is to allow the theme to specify its own background. I’m no artist, so no themes have it yet, but adding a simple mono-color rectangle that matches the board colors can make a big difference. I did check it though, with an even more horrible blue rectangle, so I’m sure it works. You just don’t want to see my tests, believe me.

The third thing is a kde-styled theme. There are six themes available now, but most are copies from other program and none of them looks kde-ish. I have wrote to kde-artists, but got little response (only about using the Plasma clock, big thanks for that). So if anyone is interested in making a nice kde-theme set of chess pieces, you’re very welcome 🙂

Knights: git, borders and animations

As of recently, Knights has gone through Kdereview and is now hosted at git.kde.org as a part of Extragear/Games. I would like to thank Frederik Schwarzer for the conversion to a git repository and the Sysadmin team for the project page.

Since then, I’ve managed to add some more features. The most notable is the display of borders, known from the KDE3 times.

Of course the numbers and letters change orientation when the table is turned for the other player, as you can see the “Black” configuration on the screenshot. Much credit goes to Dave Kaye for putting the borders in the theme file, not only in this theme but in others as well.

Another one is not visible on the screenshot: When the app window is resized, the pieces have to be moved and scaled. Since yesterday, the scaling is also animated, and both moving and resizing animations have the same duration. That gives a more natural feeling.

There are only three themes shipping with Knights, but there are more available from kde-look.org. They can be downloaded from the Theme selection dialog.

I’ve also fixed some regressions: The color selected from the dialog somehow got reset to a random one. I narrowed it down to the working of QVariant: Apparently, it makes a difference between enums and integers. Now the “Play against the computer” mode works correctly.

Still in kderewiev, the internet play mode also got some fixes, because it did not recognize castling, and reported piece capturing wrongly. Now most of the quirks are gone.

Knights now has all the features I initially intended, feel free to suggest now ones 🙂 As usually, and testing is welcome. You can get the latest source from

git clone git@git.kde.org:knights

(for developers) or

git clone git://git.kde.org/knights

for the common folk.