Evolution of a Go program

About the development of Moyo Go Studio, software to (help) play the Oriental game of Go. Go is a two-player zero-sum game of perfect information. It is considered much harder than Chess. Currently, in spite of enormous effort expended, no computer program plays it above the level of a beginner.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Getting Help

Athough I think it is an admission of defeat, I think it's time to write a Help file.

I have tried to make things so intuitively that a Help file is not neccessary, but not everybody feels comfortable trying things. When I use a new application, I simply move the mouse cursor over the controls and read the hints, then I look at the settings dialog and see what I can tweak, but some people avoid that in fear they might break something. A lot of users simply have never heard of context menus, hints and settings so they never try them. I want to make software that is accessible to all, so a Help file is called for.

Maintaining a Help file is such an enormous resource drain that it has to be justified in increased sales, and as long as an application is in a state of flux, it is impossible to keep the Help file up-to-date.

MoyoGo has however become so powerful and offers so many features, that it is time to systematically explain how it all works.