New game viewer - Linux users and others: please test along!

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
new game viewerOur switch to a new, Silverlight game viewer back in May led to an enormous protest by especially Linux users. We never liked the idea that they couldn't replay the games on their computers anymore, so we kept on searching for a Javascript-based viewer with similar functionalities, also keeping in mind the growing number of mobile phone users. We think we've found one, and before we implement it we'd like you to test it.

With our May 13th report on the U.S. Championship we stopped using the Palview/Palmate Javascript game viewer because it was just too time-consuming to create the games for our articles. We started using Martin Bennedik's Silverlight gameviewer which is also used by Mark Crowther at TWIC.

In the following weeks the comments under our reports were cluttered with off-topic reactions about... this game viewer. Some of them were useful feedback and Martin Bennedik actually improved the game viewer in subsequent weeks (and we improved the way the moves were shown on the pages).

But from the start we regretted the fact that we had to disappoint many Linux users - Silverlight simply doesn't work on Linux yet. There is something called the Moonlight project, an open-source implementation of Silverlight, primarily for Linux and other Unix/X11 based operating systems. Bennedik’s chess viewer should work as soon as Moonlight 2.0 is stable. This was promised by Novell to be the case "before this summer" but it at the moment they've not managed to keep their promise, as far as we can see.

In the meantime we received a few more complaints about the Silverlight viewer: it was said to be slow sometimes, it could leak memory according to some, the moves were not shown correctly in IE8 (due to an HTML error on our side, this was not an issue of Martin Bennedik's viewer). Besides, we realized that many mobile phone users also can't replay the games. Especially the number of iPhone users is growing rapidly and, well, in general we want to disappoint as few visitors as possible!

Chess Tempo Game Viewer Therefore we'd like to introduce a new game viewer, created by Richard Jones of Chess Tempo, an interesting website where you can train your tactical skills with combinations, endgames and problems. After testing it on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera and exchanging many emails with Richard, which helped him to tweak and improve his viewer a bit more, we're ready to display it over here and ask your opinion. (We can already reveal that it brings back one feature that the Silverlight viewer didn't have: auto-replay!)




Known issues

  • Opera users might have problems when clicking on a move somewhere in the notation window. (Replaying the game from the start shouldn't be a problem.) We're working on this. Edit: as Felix pointed out in the comments, a double-click solves this problem!
  • Internet Explorer doesn't correctly show the drop-down list of the games above the board. The players should always be shown, though.
  • Safari on the iPhone doesn't show a scroll bar in the notation window next to the board (Safari on a Mac should be OK). This is not a problem because the user can scroll using two fingers, just like on a MacBook mouse-pad. For iPhone users it's good to know this trick!
  • The notation is presented with brackets "(" and ")" and without paragraphs - this is a CSS matter which we're working on. Edit: Frank Sträter helped us to get the presentation of the moves just right! Thanks Frank!
  • The flip button sometimes doesn't react - try again after replaying a few moves.


Feedback

We're seriously considering to switch to this game viewer, but before that we would first like to know what you think about this game viewer. What works well? What doesn't? Any other suggestions? Please, do leave a comment below and please mention the Operating System and browser (+ version) you're using.
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