xboard v1.2

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Dan Sears

Jun 12, 1991, 6:36:45 PM6/12/91
XBoard Version 1.2

XBoard is an X11/R4-based user interface for GNU Chess. It uses the R4 Athena
widgets and Xt Intrinsics to provide an interactive referee for managing
a chess game between a user and a computer opponent or between two computers.
You can also use XBoard without a chess program to play through games in files
or to play through games manually (force mode). In this case, moves aren't
validated by XBoard. XBoard manages a digital chess clock for each player
and resets the clocks if time control is achieved within a given number of
moves. A game can be started with the initial chess position, with a series
of moves from a game file or with a position from a position file. The "match"
shell script runs a series of games between two machines, alternating sides.
The man page xboard.1 describes the features of XBoard.

XBoard was written by Dan Sears and Chris Sears. XBoard borrows its colors,
icon and piece bitmaps from xchess which was written and copyrighted by
Wayne Christopher. We thank him for his work on XChess.


XBoard depends on the R4 Xt Intrinsics and R4 Athena Widget Set. R3 won't do.
XBoard works best with the version 3.1+ of gnuchess. There has been one patch
and it is necessary. This release of gnuchess was dated: Mon Apr 15 10:20 1991
by Mike McGann and should be available from comp.sources.misc archives.
GNU Chess must be compiled with the -DCHESSTOOL option for use with XBoard.

gnuchess version 3.1+ is available on gatekeeper.dec.com
in /pub/comp.sources.misc/volume19/gnuchess

If you DO NOT have the 3.1+ version of gnuchess then you MUST add the following
to your .Xdefaults file:

XBoard*whiteString: white\n
XBoard*blackString: black\n


Version 1.1 -- Mon Jan 7 14:46:03 PST 1991

- Fixed a bug in HandleUserMove() where the user could make a move while the
machine was thinking. The fix detects and ignores these moves. onMove
was not being used and was removed.

- Substantially rewrote and simplified the clock code. If a game was paused
and then resumed, the clocks were out of sync.

- Konstantinos Konstantinides added the -searchTime option.

- Rewrote TwoMachinesPlay mode.

- Rewrote DisplayClocks().

- Hal Peterson contributed a new Imakefile.

- Added a declaration, xtVersion, which will quickly break on R3 Intrinsics.

- For people who don't like or use chess clocks a clockMode switch
has been added. It is on by default. It can be turned off in the
.Xdefaults file with

XBoard.clockMode: False

- Detect if the visual doesn't support color. If so, run in monoMode.
An alternative would be to detect grayscale visual and use a collection
of gray user interface colors.

- Works with gcc now. gcc complained about casting float constants
as XtPointers.

- Added keyboard equivalents. Added an iconify keystroke, C or c.

- Added StrStr() because many systems don't have this ANSI function.

- Substantially rewrote and simplified the Two Machine code.

- The bitmaps have been pushed into the bitmaps directory.

- Fixed a bug where a player could play after a game had been finished.

- Fixed a bug where hint didn't work. The local version of gnuchessr
had been hacked. The fix was to clone stderr and stdout for gnuchessr.

- Kayvan Sylvan contributed a patch for ESIX.
It seems that select() on pipes is broken on his system. We declined
to incorporate his patch though, because it was a work-around for
something that was broken on one system, and selfishly, that system
was not my own. Nevertheless, it is likely that other System V users
on PC's may need to use this patch and it is is included as the file
ESIX.patch. To use it, type

patch xboard.c ESIX.patch

- Any button restarts a paused game.

- Warning messages get displayed in the message box.

- getlogin() does not work in all cases.
It was replaced by getpwuid(getuid())->pw_name).

- For systems with smaller screens, XBoard can use smaller pieces,
and a smaller board. -bigSizeMode False uses a smaller set of pieces.
These are scaled versions of the large pieces. They look ok but could
be improved.

- -iconic doesn't work properly. If XBoard is opened iconic then
iconifying it later with a keystroke doesn't work. I think
this is an Xt bug.

- the remoteShell resource was added for HP-UX systems
and other systems where the remoteShell isn't rsh.

- older non-ANSI versions of Sun compilers complain vociferously.

- Roger Dubar, Konstantinos Konstantinides, Wolfgang S. Rupprecht,
Paul Scowen, Mvh Smidt and Kayvan Sylvan all helped immensely during

Version 1.2 -- Tue Jun 11 17:14:12 PDT 1991

- Added a lex parser for algebraic games. It should be easy to use
the parser
for other interfaces such as the Microsoft Windows version.
It parses comments of the form [anything] and ! to the end of a line.

- Corrected the queening code. XBoard was sending the wrong syntax.
It was sending for example h8(Q) when it should have been sending h8q.
Thanks to Paul Vaughan and Mike McGann for pointing this out.

- Moved the man page from xboard.1 to xboard.man. This makes imake man page
installs work correctly. Thanks to Richard K. Lloyd for pointing this out.

- Changed the forwards/backwards/readgamefile code to allow a play to step
back and forth in a game. If he steps all the way to the beginning
he has to restart the game. If he gets into a mated position, same

- Modified the code to use the R4 routines rather than R3 compatibility.

- Added a PopUp dialog for getting file names.

- If the first character of the file is not `1' then the first line
of a game or position file is displayed as the name in a label widget.

- Minor hacks to work with R5 alpha. Had to add an event handler to the
boardWidget to get translations to work. This may go away with the
real R5.
Added <Message>WM_PROTOCOLS: QuitProc() for R5 ICCCM compatibility.

- If the DisplayWidth or DisplayHeight is less than 800, use small size mode.
Also the size of the name widget was reduced from 500 pixels to 400 pixels
because in small size mode there was a gap on the right.
Changed the default font from fixed to helvetica_oblique14 to:
helvetica_oblique14 is a font alias not on all R4 systems.
Curiously enough, the 17 point is not available on 75dpi systems
and the 18 point font is not available on 100dpi systems.
Thanks to Richard K. Lloyd for pointing these out.

- Fixed a compiler warning for gcc and an error for the IBM RT compilers.
This is the VOID_PROC macro in xboard.h. Thanks to David Jensen for this.

- -iconic doesn't work at all now. The Iconify() does work. This was
a tradeoff and it is really an Xt bug.

- fixed a problem with the new version of gnuchessr where xboard wasn't
getting gnuchessr error messages for illegal moves. The problem seems
to be fixed *without* any gnuchess changes but this is likely to be
highly system dependant. There should be a new line on line 246 of

printz ("Illegal move (no matching move generated)");

The xboard fix was to set non-blocking i/o on the read pipe for gnuchessr

fcntl(from_prog[0], F_SETFL, O_NDELAY);

- The bitmap file names were changed so that none exceeded 14 characters.
This is necessary for R5.

- Added the CHESSDIR environment variable. Game and position files are
found in this directory. If this variable is not declared, then the
current directory is used. File names starting with / are treated

- Fixed a bug where saving a long game, resetting and saving a short game
resulted in appending the end of the long game to the short one.
If a game is just being played out and there is no reason for gnuchessr
to be used, ignore pipe signals. This allows people to use xboard
as a chess board without need for gnuchess. Also, trivially bad moves
such as e2e2 are not passed on to gnuchessr but instead ignored out of
hand. This allows people using xboard as a chessboard with gnuchessr
to pick a piece up, think and put it back down without making a move.
Thanks to Jeff Kenton for pointing these out.

- Fixed a bug where the checkmate message wasn't being parsed and xboard
kept playing. Also, the message was added to game file if saved.
Thanks to Scott Hemhill for pointing this out.

- enumerations are not really integers on some C compilers. I added casting.
The new version of gnuchess expects the "go" command for two machine
and machine plays white cases. The whiteString resource is for
compatibility with previous gnuchess versions which get confused by go.
Thanks to Martin D. for catching these.

- There was an off by one error with the clock resetting code. Also,
the clock display highliting was wrong. Thanks to Bill Shauck for
pointing these out.

- Changed the protocol that xboard uses to work with the new version of

- Turned off the easy mode.

- For version 1.2, Jeff Kenton, Richard LLoyd, David Jensen, Martin D.,
Bill Schmidt, Scott Hemphill, Paul Vaughan and Bill Shauck all found
a lot of bugs that we put into xboard just to see if they were paying
attention. They were.

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