Ry::Chess - Changes
History of changes to Ry::Chess

Changes 9/20/2004:

Corrected promotion list problem G

There was a problem with the code that displays the list of promotable pieces...

The technical side of the problem was that it seems that if you call a template file which has a block with the same name as a block in the calling template, the newest block will be called from that point on instead of the local block. I changed the name of the custom local block and everything now works correctly.

Mr. SaturatedX is the Man when it comes to finding things for me to fix... Thank you sir!

Changes 9/19/2004:

PGN download C F G

Added the Ability to download the games in Portable Game Notation format. I've tested the pgn files for Ry::Chess and they seem to be both formatted and working correctly.

I haven't found a PGN viewer which can handle castling in Fischer Random games correctly - the PGN file complies to the published specs and it matches the format of sample downloadable PGN tournament files, so we'll have to wait until PGN viewers can correctly handle these games.

Grand Chess is another story: I haven't found any specs for generating a Grand Chess PGN file... and also I haven't been able to find any sample Grand Chess PGN files to check the format. So, I created the file based on the standard PGN variant syntax... and since I haven't found any PGN viewers that can yet handle Grand Chess I'm having to assume it's correct - if it's not correct, and you have a PGN viewer which can handle Grand Chess please let me know so I can correct any problems.

Redliner suggested adding this feature - thank you!

A few menu enhancements C F G

Added a couple of more dynamic links to the Utilities Menu (the King icon), including the new PGN view/download feature.

Fixed another problem with castling F

Found another problem with castling where in certain circumstances castling would incorrectly say that the King had been captured - whoops!

I also fixed a problem with displaying a castle correctly in the History Viewer.

Going Live! G

Finally going live with Ry::GrandChess! Grand Chess is pretty wild, and I have to say it's my favorite of the new variants. It offers up many new dynamics to the game of chess and I've found it incredibly entertaining.

SaturatedX Rocks The House for his invaluable help in testing. He's spent hours playing test games with me - we tend to go back and forth regularly, both winning and losing - and it's been a lot of fun testing Ry::GrandChess with him.

Changes 9/11/2004:

Variants are live! C

After many weeks of serious testing, I'm finally going live with the chess variants I've been working on. Yay!

The two variants are:

Fischer Random Chess, which is very similar to standard chess except the initial board setup is done randomly. And:
Grand Chess, which is very different to standard chess. Too many differences to explain here.

You can find more info about these variants in their respective Help Pages.

Each game type is kept completely separate from all others: meaning all user stats, help pages, changes lists, etc. are all kept separate from all of the other game types. I'm doing this to try and avoid any confusion that may arise from thinking you're playing Ry::Chess but actually playing Ry::FischerRandom.

I thank Redliner greatly for suggesting Fischer Random Chess and getting me rolling on these variants.

I can not thank SaturatedX enough for his help in testing each of these variants. He's spent hours playing through each of the games, finding bugs, and suggesting features. SaturatedX rocks.

New Menu System C

I've finally gotten the new drop-down menu system working which I think looks much better and has a few enhancements to the old menu system.

It's taken quite a while to get these menus working in the variety of web browsers that are out there, but they're looking good and working well in all of the browsers I've been able to test. Well, not in Mac IE 5, but since none of the site works in that travesty of a web browser and since I don't have the free time to make it work in that browser I'm not going to worry about it. Plus I may be the only Mac user in the Ry::Chess community (I'll have to check the logs) and I use Safari. So there.

If you find any problems with the new menu system, please contact me at ryanw at csufresno dot edu.

Again, SaturateX has been istrumental in testing and finding bugs. He's sent me countless screenshots and pointed out various erratic behavior in IE and Mozilla on Windows. Anteup gets some hearty thanks too for his help in testing IE and Netscape on Windows - at one point I even crashed his IE, heh.

Fixed another castling issue F

There was a problem with castling in situations where the Rook involved would not actually be moving during the maneuver, and another problem in the same situation with move previews.

Thanks to SaturatedX for finding this problem.

Changes 9/6/2004:

Added feature to History Viewer C F G

The History Viewer will now honor your Flip Board preference if you are viewing one of your games.

There is also a link below the board in the History Viewer which will allow you to flip the board of any game your are viewing. So, if you're viewing one of your games where you have the preference set to flip the board, essentially if you flip a flipped board, heh, it will behave accordingly and show the board un-flipped.

Oh, I also set the Observe Game feature to honor your flip board preference. It doesn't allow you to flip the board yet while Observing, however.

Thanks to Redliner for suggesting this feature.

Changes 9/4/2004:

Important change regarding email move notices C

I've switched the default preference of the automatic move notification to now only send the email move notices if you specifically set the preference. This should not affect current games.

This is the exact opposite of how the preference used to be, and I changed it based on popular demand. I think it's a good change and will save you from getting a deluge of emails from Ry::Chess, but the change may lead to confusion.

The preference option now reads 'Enable email notices for this game?'.

I have adjusted all of your current game preferences to correctly reflect your settings, but If I missed any I appologize for the inconvenience.

Even more drastic changes to the templating system C

Once again I've made a bunch of changes to the underlying templating system which should result in less resources being used by the server which should also mean faster page display for all of us. It does mean it's a bit easier for me to maintain too, which is ok with me.

Found and corrected a few problems F

Corrected a few problems with the move previews. Fixed some more castling problems - I think it's correct now. Fixed the board placement mixups.

Fixed the Watch All Games F G

Made the Watch All Games link point to the correct templates... it was showing all your Ry::Chess games - not your Grand Chess games.

SaturatedX gets the credit for finding this one. Thank you sir.

Documentation F

Finished converting the Help Documentation.

Changes 9/1/2004:

Looks like it's ready for testing - Woo Hoo! F

Wow, so some strange problems popped up regarding castling due to the inital starting positions of the King and Rooks - I had to change the move highlighting a little to get it working and had to write a bunch of tests into the code to allow castling under the correct situations.

Also had some issues with the History Viewer which I finally tracked down and which I'm attributing to my overlooking some simple things... ugh.

Changes 8/29/2004:

Many Changes G

Fixed many issues regarding Pawn Promotion - or more accurately Pawn Exchange. Also made some cosmetic changes and fixed some javascript issues.

Fixed a problem with double-quotes entered in the notes field breaking the History Viewer.

Big change to the automatic email preference (it now defaults to 'off').

Also finished the Help Docs including the Marshall and Cardinal pages - I had to guess on the point values for those pieces, so I added the values of their "source" pieces: Marshall (8) = Knight (3) + Rook (5); and Cardinal (6) = Knight (3) + Bishop (3).

Hats off and many thanks to Boodge and SaturatedX for helping me test Grand Chess, finding probems, and offering suggestions.

Changes 8/24/2004:

Fixed "false" problem with Draw Offers C

Fixed (I think) a problem where if you click on "Offer Draw" and then hit cancel the page would refresh and display only the word "false". I think this only happened with Windows IE 6.

MikeJ for finding this one.

Fixed disappearing piece in move preview C

If you had a piece selected but had not chosen a "to" cell and tried to preview the move the selected piece would disappear... Uh: oops! A simple logic operator changed fixed this one.

Changes 8/23/2004:

Fixed problem with custom game titles C

Turns out you couldn't actually give a game a custom title when you created... Oops. Quick and easy fix, but it was still a problem I never noticed: Sorry if this caused any problems.

Thanks to SaturatedX for discovering this one. And luckily he discovering it only after he tried to name that last one, Whew!

Fixed many issues G

Got the History Viewer working correctly. Finessed the promotion code. Fixed the move preview code, including the promotion previews. Many many other fixes.

Turns out the pawn promotion is the most complicated part of creating this chess variant. Who'd a thunk it?

Fixed the Marshall's available moves G

Whoops, I wasn't actually allowing the Marshall to move horizontaly. Was a simple oversight, but it was still an oversight.

Thanks to SaturatedX, not only for being the very first beta tester, but also for finding this problem.

Changes 8/22/2004:

First playable version G

Finished getting Grand Chess into a playable version. Yay!

Changes 8/18/2004:

Fixed some Javascript errors C

I fixed some Javascript errors that were popping up in Windows IE - they weren't "dangerous" errors but they sure didn't need to be there.

I also took the opportunity to toss in some logic which would trim the amount of Javascript loaded into the page in certain circumstances - nothing too special but it may help trim down the page size, which in turn should speed page loading a smidge.

A hearty Thanks! to Mikej for finding this bug.

Changes 8/10/2004:

Added Decline Invitation / Delete Game (Remove Invitation) Options C

I've added the ability to decline a game invitation if your are the challened (player 1 - white) or delete the game (remove the invitation) if you are the challenger (player 2 - black).

This option is only available on games that have not been started - games that have had any moves made on them will not be allowed to be removed.

I'm a little relunctant about this feature since it really does delete the games: it doesn't just mark them as unused. But I've tested it pretty well and it has been working correctly.

But please let me know if you notice one of these options being available on any games that have been started (any moves made) or if it doesn't work correctly in any way whatsoever.

Fixed the Accept Draw/Decline Draw options C

Another lame code omission fixed... This one had to do with the ability to accept or decline a draw offer. Should be fixed now. At least it's working in my tests...

Changes 8/8/2004:

Added Preview This Move feature C

This one's kinda nice, I think: you may now preview a move before you submit it. This means you can see what the board will look like before you actually make the move and may be able to avoid some silly mistakes. Maybe.

The preview will work correctly for en passant, castling, and pawn promotion. These three move types were pretty much a pain in the butt to get working correctly - ugh. But hey they work now, so whatta you care, right?

Thanks to Boodge for suggesting this option.

Fixed King Highlighting issue C

Fixed a problem with the King's Move Highlights where the highlights would show that you could move your King next to your opponent's King - putting you in check. Yep, showed you could move right on up next to him, all buddy buddy like.

The underlying code wouldn't allow you to make this move (which is good) but the highlighting code would (which wasn't so good). The highlighting now works correctly in these situations.

Thanks to SaturatedX for finding this bug and for testing situations where it occurs: you saved me a bunch of time - Thanks!

Menu Links added to the top of the page C

In my never-ending quest to improve the site navigation I've add another set of menu links to the top of the page. I plan on spiffing up the links eventually with some icons and pull-out menus. Eventually.

More Help Docks C

Took some time to draw up a few more Help pages. These include some info on the Move Controls, the Move Highlights, and a couple of small changes throughout the Help docs.

Who said What, now? C

Little change: added the player name to the Note display, so we don't have to deduce who said what by looking at the history table to see who moved last.

Changes 8/6/2004:

Fixed Concede and Draw features C

Ugh, broke those too. Fixed now.

Player Stats Page C

Added a page that displays a tally of wins, loses, draws of all completed games which weren't played against youself. Also shows any current (unfinished) games. The current games aren't listed in the tally though, so they don't affect a player's win percentage.

Fixed a problem introduced last night. C

It really gets old when, as a developer, you make a simmple little change that shouldn't noticeably affect anything but in real life affects everything. That's what happened last night when I decided to improve something and in turn made it so no player could make a move. Oops!

Anyway, that's now fixed.

Changes 8/5/2004:

Fixed problem creating new accounts C

Whoops! Stupid oversight when I made those big internal changes a while ago made it so no new users could be created. Fixed that one.

Added a "Time Lapse" display C

In the "Current Games" list, I've added a time lapse display showing how long ago a particular game was acted upon. So instead of just showing the date of the last move made, it'll also show how long ago that move was made, as in: "2 hours 23 minutes 18 seconds ago".

Changes 7/31/2004:

Offer Draw feature C

You may now offer to call a game a "draw" (tie game). To use this feature, hit the "Offer Draw" link in the move box when it's your turn. Your opponent will be given the opportunity to accept or decline the draw. If they decline the offer you will have your turn back. If they accept the game will be ended with a status of '1-1' which means tie game.

Testing this caused a few problems, but it looks like it's working correctly now.

Changes 7/26/2004:

New Watch All Current Games page C

Made a new page that will show you the board of each of your current games. This may be handy if you're playing a couple of games at the same time. The page will reload every five minutes and you can jump to any of the games from the Watch page. The link to the Watch page is locaated in the Current Games box on your Start Page.

Fixed the email notice preference (finally) C

Finally tracked down the problem with disabling the move notices correctly. Was a lame problem that hid from my brain for quite a while, the little bugger.

Fixed many bugs introduced from the last rewrite C

Wow, that last batch of changes (7/25/04) introduced many, many bugs which have been hunted down and fixed... Hopefully I've got them all.

A hearty Thanks to Redliner and Jahrizzy for finding most of the bugs for me.

Changes 7/25/2004:

Page Layout Changes C

Many, many page layout changes... I've moved and reorganized the 'Your finished games' list, the 'Observe Game' list and many other display items. I've added and improved some menus. Really, there are too many layout changes to list individually.

Better lists C

Since the amount of games being played has increased (Yay!), the display of all the game lists has seriously needed help. So I've split up the Observe Games list into current and finished games, I've flattened out all but the simplest lists, and I've added the ability to sort most of the big lists.

Separate Observe Game page C

Finally you can stay logged in and observe any other game.

Improved New Game Creation C

Well, slightly improved is probably more accurate. The 'Registered Users' list that was at the bottom of the page has been mysteriously transformed into a drop down list in the 'Create a New Game' form. Hopefully this will be a little bit more intuitive.

Separate Changes page C

Heh, yeah this page you're reading right now. I decided to pull the changes list out to a separate page: so I can have a better games list on the start page; and, so you can view the changes while you're logged in.

History Viewer shortcuts C

Added a history Viewer shortcut so you don't have to first go to the Observe Game page in order to get to the History Viewer.

Internal Structure C

I've dramatically restructured (refactored) the underlying Ry::Chess code and templateing system. As a user, the only difference you may notice is that all the URLs used throughout Ry::Chess are different: if you've linked to any page other than the start page, you've probably already noticed those links don't work. If you're me, then you've noticed the internal code structure is much more efficient and easy to navigate and control.

Changes 7/12/2004:

New History Viewer C

I think this is pretty cool: you may now view all the moves of the game in a VCR style: pressing play will animate the game forward; reverse does the same only backwards (duh); and you may step the game forward/backward without the animation. I think this beats the old method of displaying 50-100 differetn boards.

Problem with emailing the move notices C

I think there's a problem witht the email move notifications. I'm not sure where the problem is so it'll take me a while to find and fix it. Ugh.

Changes 6/27/2004:

Help Documentation C

Have most of the Help documentation completed. Still have a few pages to finish regarding Ry::chess specifics.

Changes 6/22/2004:

Checkmate!! C

Ry::Chess will now let you know when a game is in checkmate! It's still up to the player in checkmate to concede the game. If you notice any problems with this let me know.

Trash talk!! er, I mean "notes"... C

Finally got the "move notes" (trash talk) feature implemented! This means you can enter a note when you make a move. The last "note" (trash talk) is displayed above the board and also sent in the move notification email (if not disabled). The history of notes can be found by mousing over the move history. I plan on finding a better way to display the "notes" (trash talk) in the future. And I'll probably have to come up with a way to filter naughty words to read something like cartoon talk like "you better back of b#@!$".

Improved King move highlighting C

The move highlighting for the King will no longer show moves that would put the King in check. Adding this caused way more problems than I expected - and I think I've got it all worked out correctly, but if you notice anything weird with the King highlighting, again: let me know.

Game specific preferences C

Added the option to save your flipped board preference, turn off email move notices, use a smaller square size on the board, and turn off the move highlight feature (for the hard core players I guess) on a per game basis. This is still rudimentary... I plan on adding other options soon.

Page layout and style C

uh, you probably already noticed the pages look different... I'm trying to find a layout that works and a style that looks good. Haven't had much luck so far, but I'm trying.

Behind the scenes stuff C

Made many structural changes behind the scenes which should allow some aspects of the game to be slightly faster and should eliminate some small problems.