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MatPlus.Net Forum Internet and Computing "Dynamic" diagrams on a website
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(1) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 10:14]

"Dynamic" diagrams on a website

One of the things that were discussed at the Computer Matters Committee at Batumi was about "dynamic" diagrams.
You can even find it in the WCCC minutes ( page 9).

It was generally accepted that it would be nice to have a chess problem viewer akin to that on PDB or StrateGems websites available to every webmaster. Just like you may find online PGN viewers on many chess sites.

Long story short, here's my shot at it:

You are welcome to play with the live demo or scroll down to examples. It is absolutely free to use.

It is pretty powerful, actually, although, it is not able to display correctly every popeye output of course.
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(2) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 21:58]

Great effort Dmitri Turevski !!

Will it be possible to add it to your other great software "Olive" ? I recently started using it and loved it. Thank you.
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(3) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 02:14]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-06-26]

Beautiful !!

I presume you are working on left/right arrows & keys, to navigate through the position... and maybe up/down arrows & keys to navigate the solutions...
From what you have already, this should be fairly easy.

I'll share one very minor suggestion (since I've been plodding in a similar vein, but I'm determined to avoid popeye for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with commercial issues)...
If you make borders the standard on your board, you can use CSS border features (e.g., border-right-style: solid; // or dashed, or dotted, etc) to show the various cylinder boards.
This is very minor, of course.

Excellent work -- very professional look & feel.
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(4) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 06:06]

Hi Seetharaman,

Thanks! This is a purely web-oriented project, i don't see it crossed with olive at the moment. But it was written with having it added to the yacpdb in mind.

Hi Kevin,

Thanks! Glad you guys like it.
Popeye was a natural choice. I wanted it so 99% of the time user would copy and paste solutions rather than typing it in manually which is tiresome and error-prone.
But i see your point. There are inconsistencies in popeye that complicate matters.

As for borders - they are CSS indeed, users already can redefine them on per-diagram basis, clever.
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(5) Posted by Julia Vysotska [Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 09:21]

Great project!! Thanks a lot to Dmitri! Yesterday have published the first problem using py2web tool! -
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(6) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 15:32]

Yes. Yacdp is also a great project and I have used it many times with lot of benefits. Thanks for all that you are doing !
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(7) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 18:53]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-06-26]


>Glad you guys like it.

Not just like -- I love it!

>Popeye was a natural choice. I wanted it so 99% of the time user would copy and paste solutions rather than typing it in manually which is tiresome and error-prone.

Agreed, Popeye does greatly simplify this task, and in the vast majority of cases (likely 99%, or more), it works like a dream!

>But i see your point. There are inconsistencies in popeye that complicate matters.

There are numerous challenges -- attempting this without Popeye is but one.
For example, I would much prefer a tool which treats the various unit-images (in all their possible rotations) as resources, such that images can be automatically matched with each unit instantiated in the problem, and specified in a glossary.

For example...
In a problem with only a Locust, the tool may prefer to match this with an upside-down Queen, but in a problem with both a Locust and a Grasshopper, it would prefer two different queen rotations (giving priority to the Grasshopper, for the 180° rotation).
In a problem featuring both a Grasshopper and a Nightrider, it may prefer 180° rotations of Queen and Knight, respectively; however, additional units from the hopper-family (e.g., add a Rook-hopper) would bend the resource matching, to realize the Nightrider with an alternate rotation.

I hope that makes sense...
In the traditional FEN string, we instantiate both the rules of the unit, and the image for that unit -- I want a tool which automatically (and consistently) derives the unit image, from the rules for any specified unit, given the problem specification.

With respect to Popeye, there are inconsistencies, as you correctly mention, but I suppose the primary reason I wanted to avoid Popeye is that I do not see that it facilitates an animation of the transitional features of the various fairy elements.

For instance, I believe that allowing viewers to actually experience the Circe rebirth transition, which takes place in the space between two positions, using animation of ghost-like units (which only become whole again, upon reaching their rebirth square), will take users (especially newcomers!) one step further in understanding the rules of various fairy elements, while in the process of enjoying a good problem.

It can be difficult for beginners to guess what has actually transpired, from position to position.

The same should apply to any transitional element -- e.g., color changes (from the Andernach condition, from an Andernach-hopper, from semi-neutrals, etc).
In fact, even if you want to demonstrate that castling across check may not be illegal in Circe Parrain, thanks to shielding by a reborn unit, it becomes clear that it is necessary to carefully animate every step in the castling process.

At present, Popeye does not facilitate a transitional synchronization mechanism; in fact, WFCC does not even provide a rudimentary specification which can facilitate the most fundamental transitions -- there is not even a description for the most elementary of intermediary mechanisms (e.g., for basic castling, or en passant capture).

For the irony of it, I suppose, the problem community likes to wave its hands at every problem.
We tell ourselves that we have a good working definition for a given fairy condition (indeed, for the term itself)...
Never would we dream to admit (even to ourselves) that we actually do not possess the foggiest clue how castling actually works.

What is most startling, is not how little we actually know, but how careless we are to discover the difference!

I set out (from Rivendell, it often seems) with the intention of developing a similar tool, one which promotes my enthusiasm for problems in a variety of Chess rules (wherein the FIDE game of chess is but one intoxicating -- and constantly evolving! -- subset).

I want a tool which gives beginners a tour of the ground floor of problem chess -- to see the pillars of this art form (especially the rules!) at their foundation.
Unfortunately, the foundation was never completed.
Some days, I find that the elevator into the problem chess edifice requires more courage than that necessary to parachute from a perfectly good airplane (after just over 100 years in flight, we have good reason to trust the airplane).

I do wish that the committee -- the very same committee which has rightfully asked others to voluntarily develop such a useful tool -- would have taken just a minute to consider how WFCC might help facilitate the development process -- at the very least, to provide leadership in areas where they have hindered it...

It is true that developers will understand specific fairy rule issues much, much better than will most delegates, but I, for one, am uncomfortable with the prospect of allowing developers (myself included) to dictate rules (particularly the fundamental rules).
This process (insofar as you can declare negligence a process) has not worked -- and the inconsistencies continue to snowball.

caution: dangerous proximity to Fairy Codex issues... circuit overload... rant prevention deployed... soap box deactivated...

There is so much more to say, but want to keep well out of the weeds... so I'll just end with this:

You have gifted us all with a giant leap forward (especially for fairy enthusiasts, hopefully retro enthusiasts too)... I hope many more will follow your lead!

ps: many thanks to you, and to the entire Popeye team...
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(8) Posted by Administrator [Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 23:54]

We have received a delightful present from Dmitri Turevsky!

His Py2Web project adds a new dimension to chess composition, with Popeye and Web connected in a most beautiful way.
All different purposes of this utility are yet to be discovered.

Julia presented one of them right away. I’m adding a hastily prepared document with 27 series problems from BIT 2014. You can follow all 81 solutions on the diagrams:

I believe future awards will be presented with the help of Dima’s wonderful Py2Web utility.
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(9) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Friday, Jun 27, 2014 10:05]

Wow. This is impressive. And works without a glitch on my modest smartphone!
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(10) Posted by Frank Richter [Friday, Jun 27, 2014 16:05]

Yes, very nice tool and many thanks!
One small question - clicking on a move creates immediately the position after this move, sometimes it may be interesting to see the play step by step (like on pdb site), would it be possible to implement such a feature or not?
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(11) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Friday, Jun 27, 2014 17:02]

Just amazing. The award is so interactive. All thanks to Dmitri!. Great development. I second Marjan's hope that future awards will be available in this form.

On the flip side I hope we dont lose the power of visualisation ! :)
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(12) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Friday, Jun 27, 2014 23:26]

Thanks, Seetharaman, but it was Borislav Gadjanski, the MP administrator, who prepared the document, not me.
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(13) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 08:16]


Yes, this feature will be included in the future version.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Internet and Computing "Dynamic" diagrams on a website