"Wish List"


Wow, this wish list of mine is really starting to grow! By the size of it you would think that I didn't care for the program at all! <grin>


  • I wouldn't mind being able to customize a distinctive sound for a few more "events." For example, I wouldn't mind being able to hear my choice of a sound when a friend who is on my notify list logs on. Hopefully, of course, I'll catch the text on the screen that informs me of this, but I wouldn't mind hearing a distinctive sound for this. There are a few other "events" that I wouldn't mind being able to customize this way.
  • With my the old DOS ZIICS program, (my favorite interface before WinBoard) the game clock for you was always underneath the clock of your opponent. (I notice that the popular BlitzIn interface has it this way as well.) Although I'm used to it now, for awhile I'm not sure I cared for the game clocks being side-to-side as they are in WinBoard. With ZIICS, you always knew that your clock was at the bottom. With WinBoard, depending on what color you are, sometimes your clock is the left one... sometimes it's the right one... (I DO enjoy being able to configure the fonts size for these clocks!) If they clocks can't be underneath one another, how about the option for your opponent's clock size to be slightly smaller than your clock? This would help to immediately differentiate the two.
  • I'd like to see an option to "flash last move" or "blink last move" along with "highlight last move." I always have highlight last move turned off, because as I study the position, those two highlighted boxes, on the "from" and "to" squares, are distracting to me. But I would like another way to see my opponent's last move other than the "animate moving" option. I think it would be ideal to have an option to see the piece my opponent just moved, just for a moment, blink once or twice on the "from" square and then on the "to" square.
  • Along a similar note, how about having the "highlight last move" option simply highlight my opponent's move? Shoot, I know where I moved last! (Once again, those two highlighted boxes can be rather distracting.)
  • When I type "exit" and exit a chess server, the WinBoard program logs me out from the server and then immediately shuts down!  Sometimes I exit one server simply because I feel like logging onto another, or possibly to log back on to the same server as a guest. I'm not sure why the entire program has to quit completely, since I then have to start it up again. (Also, the program shuts down so fast that I miss each the chess server's closing screens!) When I type "exit" while on the server, I think I'd like to just have the server log me out, and have the WinBoard program stay open.
  • I'd like the ability to load more than one "mood."  Although I can get around this by simply having more than one "winboard.ini" file, which saves all of my current colors, board sizes, etc., I'd like to be able to, from right inside the program, click on LOAD MOOD 1 or LOAD MOOD 2, which would then load an entirely different set of color values, ICS menu box values, etc. 
  • While I'm playing a game on FICS, I'd like to see an option for WinBoard to suppress the "fics%" prompt, so that doesn't fill the screen when I'm playing a game. I see no reason for that prompt and it should be a simple matter to simply not display it on the screen if so desired.
  • I'd like to see the incoming text from all channels can be configured to the color of your choice. But, with the exception of Channel 1, each channel must be the same color. I wouldn't mind being able to choose a different color for certain channels. (Probably the most difficult part in programming this is simply creating the user interface for it.)
  • I'd like to see more chess piece fonts to choose from.  This is actually very low on my wish list because I absolutely love the default font... I'd probably use it even if there were a dozen other chess fonts to choose from.  Others however, may not agree; it is nice to have a choice.   I do like the fact that one has 18 different chess board sizes with this font to play on, though!!!
  • A gentleman wrote to me and told me that he wouldn't mind seeing a "smartmove" option. (If a piece is clicked that only has one valid square to move to, the program moves it there automatically.) He mentioned to me that he plays a lot of Lightning/Bullet games and this feature, which some other interfaces have, is invaluable to him. It sounds like it might be a nice option to have.
  • When using the servers "examine" mode to examine a previously played game, I'd like to be able to see the game clocks display the time that each player currently had after each move was made. This would give a better feel sometimes of why some moves were made (if time pressure was a factor) and would more accurately depict how the game actually went. Since this information is available for each game, I see no reason why it couldn't be displayed. (It certainly wouldn't hurt anything to see it even if you didn't care about the original clock times.)
  • The option for customized buttons.  I think I would like the option of a tiny, third window of "buttons" for often-used commands. Customized buttons is the one feature that I liked so much with the ZIICS interface. I noticed that the latest beta version of BlitzIn (2.03) has this feature. (These buttons are located in a column off to the right.)

To give you a little better idea of what I mean, here's a screenshot of my entire Windows desktop (which I reduced in size by 50%).

This is often how my window looks when I'm connected to a chess server. (At times, of course, I often enlarge or decrease the board size and chat area.)

Notice the little window in the lower right. Here's a close-up of it.

This is my "Quick Launch" window which holds shortcuts to 35 programs that I am currently using on a regular basis.

This window can be resized and and moved around to anywhere on the desktop simply by dragging it. (I find this more convenient that simply having these shortcuts either in a folder or on the desktop itself.)

It would really be ideal if WinBoard had it's own "third" window, similar to something like this, for common server commands. Via a new ini file, the program would simply read in the data from this file which would indicate the ico, bmp, or gif (or whatever) files and assign those icons to the server command that the user specified! (Users would eventually be trading icons between themselves that they created! Fun!)

Here's another example. The buttons below are from the wonderful ChessBase Light program.


Simply put, "buttons" can often be more convenient than both a pull down menu or hitting a function key.



  • The function keys in WinBoard each have a pre-programmed function. (F1 brings up the help file, F2 flips the board, F9 resigns your current game, etc.) I'd like to see the user have the capability of configuring these buttons to his/her own liking. This could be accomplished very simply by the program, upon startup, reading in a new func-key.ini file. The format of this text file could be something as simple as this:

F1;draw;Offer Draw
F2;say Good luck and have fun!;Greetings

Each line consists of three fields, each separated by a semicolon. The first field is the function key to assign the second field to, which is the ICS command. The third line is the text that is displayed in the "action" drop down box on the menu bar.

If the program sees this file in the WinBoard directory, it loads these values. Otherwise, if this file does not exist, it creates it with the default values. Being a simple text file, the user could then edit it to his/her own liking.