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.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Finishing Touches On Publishing GUI

This publishing module is large and complex and it needs to be really "done" before I roll it out.

I added pre-defined page sizes and a button to swap page width and -height. I also added a setting for the line spacing, and an alternate option for specifying font size: Characters/line in addition to lines/page. There also is now a progress line, showing which page or figure are being worked on.

Many small bugs in the GUI have been fixed and now it's slowly time to work on the diagram-generation. 90% of the GUI and 99% of the rendering engine is done (at least for "column-wide" diagrams, which are the simplest layout option in terms of rendering). What remains is implementing a plethora of diagramming options according to a functional spec I received from someone who puts serious demands on Go publishing.

My girlfriend comes to live with me permanently tomorrow and I haven't slept much, but I intend to finish the first version before December. It may look intimidating, but the publishing module will be incredibly simple to use. Basically nothing can go wrong and everything is so straightforward that reading the Help will not be neccessary, but there will be a comprehensive tutorial, just in case.

It is a great feeling that my users will get this as a free update. I really feel I'll be giving everyone a nice Christmas present, and repay the investment of the "early adopters" who had faith in me from the very beginning. Updates will always be free but the price might go up in early 2007 because having the best publishing module in existence makes the software more valuable. I am not there yet, but the biggest hurdles have been taken. This kind of stuff takes months to do right.