Author Topic: IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?  (Read 56 times)

Asher Hurowitz

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IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?
« on: September 30, 2018, 07:44:24 pm »
Hello,

What happened to all of the activity we had on here earlier this year? While some remains, It has at the very least taken a huge dive. Do any of you know how we can get activity back up?
Thanks,
Asher
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 07:48:40 pm by Asher Hurowitz »
Indeed it is certain that Chess Variants make me happy.

My Youtube Channel on Chess Variants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-lm6a8XZo0eqAhfR4QWOg

My Lecture at Yale University, aged 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smDO2Dpx5tg

My Youtube Channel on Rubik's Cube
Search"Polyhedral Paradise"

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ebinola

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Re: IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 06:42:20 am »
For me, life has picked up again and I've not got a lot of time to play chess and variants. I've been lurking, just not posting. Honestly, what catches my attention nowadays is when Steve starts posting about Final Wars again on the forums or on reddit and then disappears off the face of the earth. Say what you want about him and his mannerisms and his opinions, I think the game's brilliant and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves in the future.
I think I've also said this before - most people that want to play correspondence games are either going to use the Chess960 forum on chess.com or Jocly. There's no reason not to use them at this point. Correspondence games make up to 95% of all activity on the forums, which, while I've said how I feel about that, is an impressive statistic.
Holistically, this forum's a node that makes up a larger active network of people that share a common interest. Sure, it's inactive for the time being, but I can't think of going to any other forum to discuss historical chess variants. Can't deny yourself the fact that you've connected people.
Something that I think would make the site better - and I'm going to say it to save H.G. from banging on about it any further - is to have interactive diagrams. I don't know the limitations of Create a Forum's software but if you just had some kind of widget or extension to set up a board in a post like chess.com, that would significantly increase this forum's functionality. People wouldn't have to go through the falderal of editing the board in Paint (or however it's done nowadays) and you'd save storage space. Start simple with chess, or thai makruk, don't stress about move legalities, then build up to more complex games. H.G. has shown that it is technically feasible - but if it's not doable within the limitations of Create a Forum, then I'd consider hosting the forum with some other forum software, like phpBB for example.
Chess player, amateur writer and on the side shitposter extraordinaire.

HGMuller

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Re: IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 08:31:54 am »
Yes, the forum is totally dead. The initial activity might have seemed large, but it was due to very few people. When you were not offering something they could not do just as well or better (and for a larger audience) elsewhere, they left. It takes effort to keep people returning to a forum, you need to offer them something that makes it worthwile. This could be a large and active community, giving fast and knowledgeable response to your postings, but initially you won't have that. When the technical possibilities of the forum then also are inferior to what is offered elsewhere (no support for diagrams or games as chess.com has, upload quota saturated, making it extremely cumbersome to show images), there is no incentive to stay here.

As to having diagrams: the technical support for this forum hosting site ensured me this would be possible, and in fact rather easy. The catch is that you have to be forum admin to do it. I have done a similar thing on www.talkchess.com , where, after an upgrade to phpBB 3 they had lost the old functionality for embedding diagrams. But there they were willing to let me become a board admin, so that I could perform the necessary actions (defining 'custom BBcode tags', and put some text in the header of forum pages). I can only make a difference when people allow me to make a difference...
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 08:38:49 am by HGMuller »

Asher Hurowitz

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Re: IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 10:55:32 pm »
HGMuller I have made you a temporary admin to insert the code. Thanks so much!
Indeed it is certain that Chess Variants make me happy.

My Youtube Channel on Chess Variants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-lm6a8XZo0eqAhfR4QWOg

My Lecture at Yale University, aged 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smDO2Dpx5tg

My Youtube Channel on Rubik's Cube
Search"Polyhedral Paradise"

joejoyce

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Re: IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 11:23:30 am »
I come for interesting conversations and ideas, to talk design more than tactics and strategy for one particular game - unless it is representative of a particular type of variant. Like many, I will push my own ideas, but unlike some, I won't only be here to push my game. Make it interesting for more people like me and HG to participate.

"With the lights out, it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us"
     -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTWKbfoikeg


HGMuller

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Re: IS THE CHESS VARIANT FORUM DEAD?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 08:55:00 am »
HGMuller I have made you a temporary admin to insert the code. Thanks so much!
Unfortunately this seems not to have worked. I am 'global moderator' now, which probably means I can edit other people's postings, but I have no access to the admin control panel where I could change the looks of this forum.

In the mean time I developed a server-side CGI program that can render pieces and whole-board images from SVG image files for the pieces. (This type of graphics is scalable without loss of image quality, so the user can request any size he wants.) This produces images that are static on the client-side; to have anything interactive there you really would have to embed a JavaScript program in the forum pages, which could then run client-side. But the latter is non-standard, while the forum does allow to embed images.

So let me try if it also allows embedding of images from a CGI 'script':



[Edit] It seems to work, but not very reliably. Sometimes the image does not appear, and I have to refresh the page with Shift pressed to make it appear.

What I had to do to get the image is put the URL

http://winboard.nl/my-cgi/fen.cgi?f=tyevxkoeyt/llllllllll/10/10/10/10/PPPPPPPPPP/RNBAQKDBNR

into my posting, and put img tags around it. So one just has to specify the FEN of the desired position after the 'f=' CGI argument. And know what letter to use for which fairy piece.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 09:10:09 am by HGMuller »
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