Early test feedback

Hactar Go is go program for Android.

For information on Hactar go, please see http://gowrite.net/hactar.
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paolo
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:58 pm

Early test feedback

Post by paolo »

I noticed your post in the Android thread a few minutes ago and I promptly Hactar. I'll use it during the next days to review games and play against the server. My main use for it will be looking at games from the go4go collection (I'm a subscriber) and that was what I was using GoWriteME for on my old Symbian phone.

My first reaction is that I like Hactar. It looks good and works well. Thank you so much for releasing it! :D
It's got some UI advantages on other go programs I'm using on Android. I appreciate the forward/backward 10 moves buttons instead of the go to first/last move of the best program I found (second best one now).

After looking at a couple of games and playing against Hactar on a 9x9 board I see only two things that could be perfected:

1) The file lists should be sorted. It makes easier finding files and folders, it is what file managers usually do and it's what GoWriteMe was doing. Furthermore, if the file name is longer than the width of the screen (think of date_player1-name_player2_name.sgf) the name wraps on a second line (correct) but the height of the file entry is unchanged and the wrapped part of the file name is unreadable.

2) The game information should display the EV (event) and RO (round) SGF fields. Go4Go (and also GoGoD) use them. GoGoD sometimes also uses the PC (place) and RU (rules) fields. They could go into the extended information tab. GoWriteME was displaying at least the EV field and maybe also the RO one (couldn't remember and couldn't check it anymore).

I'll post more feedback as I keep using Hactar.

Thanks again!
Paolo
paolo
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:58 pm

Re: Early test feedback

Post by paolo »

More feedback after much more testing. I try to rank the issues according to how annoying they are (High: very annoying, Low: I almost don't care). I tested on a Samsung Galaxy S2.

File browser:

F1) There should be an option to set a default file folder to start browsing to. The file system root is confusing because there are so many folders for all the apps installed on the phone. Furthermore people with extensive sgf collections (like me) put them into some folder (maybe shared among different apps) and it's a waste of time having to look for it every time. [Medium]

F2) The back key should go up one directory level and not all the way long to the file system root. [High]

F3) Rotating the phone sends back to the root directory, as the back key does. [High]

F4) The file browser should start from the last accessed folder: Go Tools, Game Records, browse to /a/folder/with/sgf/files, open a file, view it, go back to menu, Game Records, it starts again from root but it should start from /a/folder/with/sgf/files

Recording games:

R1) The setup screen doesn't ask for Rules (chinese/japanese, etc), event, round [Low]

R2) The back key completes the setup and moves on to the goban. This is really unintuitive. Going to the goban is moving forward into the process of recording a game. There should be a Next (or Start or Record) button. The back key should take the user back to the main menu [Low, because I eventually learned it, but it could be a reason to uninstall the app for people that don't learn it]

R3) Tap to insert black 1, white 2, black 3, white 4, tap the < button to undo the last move, tap to insert another white 4 stone. This is ok. Tap < again, tap > (you get the new white 4 stone), tap > again. You should get nothing but you get the old white 4 stone with a 6 label on it. This is wrong. [High]

R4) The editor doesn't understand kos (even the simplest one) and let's take kos immediately [Low]

R5) The back key quits the games and sends back to the menu without asking for confirmation. [High]

Viewing games

V1) Tapping the goban inserts a move. It should do nothing or create a variation. Unfortunately it seems that variations are not supported and furthermore it messes the game record because of R3 [High]

V2) R5 happens also while viewing games.

Playing games (I played from level 5 of 9x9 until I unlocked 13x13 and 19x19):

P1) I played a few games on a slow 3G connection (only one tack) and after a while the AI froze. Maybe it lost the connection. If that's the case it should handle it gracefully, trying to contact the server again and eventually (but let's say within a minute) notifying the player of the problem. I never had problems on WiFi. [Low]

P2) The AI doesn't understand sekis. It counted a seki as if I captured its group (lucky me!). Check the groups on the left in this image. [High]

Image

P3) The AI sometimes keeps playing inside its territory at the end of the game. It would be only a loss of time if we were playing by Chinese rules but we're probably not and, more important, it will confuse inexperienced players who themselves have problems assessing the need to reinforce their own territories. [High]

P4) There should be a way to check rules and komi while playing. [Less than Low]

By the way, do you have a publicly available issue management tool? I rather enter these issues in a trackable format there than in free form here?

This other image shows the problem I had with long file names. I wrote about it in the previous post.
Also check the Location at the top. It is /mnt/sdcard/gobandroid/sgf/ That's what I'd like to use as the default root of the file browser.

Image

I'm sure that this looks like a long list of issues but actually most of the program works well so this already looks like a beta version and not a development one. There are only some UI details to iron out. Maybe the only big issue related to the game is the way the editor gets confused by moving back and forth in the moves sequence and adding new stones.
lpaatero
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Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Early test feedback

Post by lpaatero »

Hi,

Thanks! This helps me a lot.

Your list is not at all long, considering that only few users have used Hactar so far.

I probably should set up some bug-tracking system... For time being reporting in forum is just fine for me.

I will go thru things and post more later.

regards
Lauri
lpaatero
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Posts: 475
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Re: Early test feedback

Post by lpaatero »

Hi,

Now there is issue tracker (http://gowrite.net/mantis) that may be used for issue reporting. I will enter some of my own plans into it (slooowly)...

I think I got minor problems solved, remaning are R3(important!), R4, V1(related to R3); and P1-P4. P1 is already in mantis as test issue.

- Lauri
paolo
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:58 pm

Re: Early test feedback

Post by paolo »

A little summary of the status of the issues after the last update.

File folders:

F1) Fixed, also fixed sorting of files and folders
F2) Fixed
F3) Fixed
F4) Not fixed.

Recording games:

R1) Fixed
R2) Mostly fixed thanks to the introduction of the Create button. However the back key still completes the setup and moves on to the goban instead of moving back to the folders list.
R3) Not fixed. [High]
R4) Not fixed [Low]
R5) Fixed

Viewing games:

V1) Mostly fixed. It doesn't insert a move now, it only zooms the goban. It's not perfect but it's a big improvement.
V2) Fixed
Furthermore the game info dialogs now display the event and round information.

Playing games:

I had no time to check these issue.

Congratulations for resolving all those issues in so little time and thanks for setting up the bug tracking system. I'll open new issues there.
lpaatero
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Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Early test feedback

Post by lpaatero »

I think I have added all open isssus to tracker now (except F4).

I think F1 and F4 are bit in conflict: Initial folder cannot be both "home" and last visited.
I think in long term some kind of bookmarks would be good. Also home (and go to parent) could be separate buttons in screen.

- Lauri
paolo
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 1:58 pm

Re: Early test feedback

Post by paolo »

I didn't have the time to download the new version and test it yet but I played a lot against Hactar on a long train journey.
I can anticipate two things:
1) It recovers well from network problems now. I was even able to switch from WiFi to 3G during the same game.
2) Unfortunately it's not easy to feel a difference in playing strength in the 9x9 capture games ladder. It gets noticeably smarter after the first couple of levels but after that it seems to play always at the same level.
I'll post something more about those games later.

I add something about the apparent conflict between F1 and F4. I used gobandroid before switching to Hactar. That program has a home directory (as in F1). I browse the folder hierarchy, open a file, view it. When I press back I go back to the last visited folder (as in F4) so I can select another game from there without having to repeat all the folder navigation. That's very convenient and it feels like the Android way of handling the back key (go back one screen). So F1 and F4 might not be contradictory. Gobandroid starts from the home directory only if I quit the program or if I leave it alone in the background for a long time: it seems to autoquit after some amount of time. IMHO that's a bad choice in gobandroid, because I want to be able to keep reviewing a game even after a pause of hours - maybe start reviewing in the morning, work, end reviewing in the evening. I don't remember how Hactar handles that. I'll check it. I remember GoWriteME on Symbian was able to keep a game open for days, if I didn't quit the program but just switched to the phone or to some other app. I really appreciated that.
lpaatero
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Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Early test feedback

Post by lpaatero »

Thanks.
Playing levels probably need adjustment. There is multiple adjustments used, estimating level is axtualy quite difficult.

I see your point relating tof1/f4.

I am travelling for a week, i wil update hactar when baxk.

-- Lauri
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