Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 990326
xboard is configured to use fairymax by default, which is not available
Last modified: 2015-02-17 11:27:33 EST
Description of problem:
When I launch xboard, it comes preconfigured to use a chess engine called fairymax. Additional configurations seem to exist for (at least) Fruit, Crafty,
and GNU Chess. Unfortunately, none of these seem to be available as RPM'S, the exception being GNU Chess.
IMO, either of the following should be desirable:
* xboard detects automatically, which engines are actually installed, and available (Suggestion: Use a directory /etc/xboard.d/ with config files that are installed as part of the engine, much like /etc/yum.repos.d)
* It should be sufficient to install the respective engine to use it. This is not the case with GNU Chess (error message indicates lack of a file /usr/share/gnuchess/gnuchess.ini)
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
XBoard 4.6.2 + fairymax
Launch XBoard and play a move, or select another engine (Engine/Load new engine.../Select engine from list)
Steps to Reproduce:
Error messages indicate, that the respective engine is unavailable or can't be used for other reasons.
If an engine is unavailable, it should be possible to install it.
The new XBoard 4.8 has a feature aimed at addressing this problem, in a way similar to what is suggested. The directories that XBoard will search to detect the presence of engines are:
(Because of the optional 'local', this is 4 directories in total.)
Note that directories were chosen that are not part of XBoard's installation tree, because this information is of general use: there are other GUIs (SCID, eboard) that support XBoard protocol, and there could be more in the future. So rather than associating this information with a particular GUI, hiding it for others, the idea is that it should be publicly available, grouped by protocol. Then any GUI can search the directories for the protocols it supports. (XBoard protocol is sometimes referred to as CECP, but I thought naming the directory xboard would be less confusing.)
Engines are supposed to drop a file ENGINENAME.eng there (e.g. fairymax.eng, gnuchess.eng). This file should contain as first 'magic' line "plugin spec 0.0", as second line the command needed to run the engine with the given protocol, and the third line a comma-separated line of what games it supports. (Currently only "chess" and "chess960" are defined.
The current XBoard implementation scans the directories at startup, and automatically adds any new engines to the user's list of installed engines in the XBoard settings file. So that the user can easily select them from the Load Engine menu dialog.
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