GNU Chess Sucks
GNU Chess support was already planned for eboard, but
concerned with crafty's non-freeness got me adding support
it earlier than I expected. So I go to GNU's FTP directory,
and start looking for GNU Chess...
1. The only tarball, for 5.02, is 30 MB long. There are no
older versions at the site. I look to the 33.6 kbps
modem. It looks to me.
...4 hours later...
2. uncompressed the thing, as expected there is a 103 MB PGN
file for the book. Those who can't write chess engines
add huge game databases. No documentation, Makefile or
configure script in the toplevel directory.
3. Entered the 'doc' dir. So I must go to the src directory,
run autoconf, configure and make. Sounds right.
4. When I try to compile I get an error from GCC about
trying to use sp as general register for register
variables. Peek the code. Peek the Makefile. Removed the -O3
switch. Ok, it compiled this time.
5. I was almost su'ing and 'make install' when I had a bad
feeling. A voice says 'check the Makefile before'. This is
the install target:
GNU Chess assumes you are running Microsoft Windows.
How did this crap got to bear the GNU on its name ????????
6. The doc file said I should build the binary book file
from the 100-MB PGN file. I follow the exact instructions
happens. No file is written, no error message, no crash, no
nothing. It just does nothing. The 100 MB file that made the
whole thing so slow to download is completely useless
(I can use it for Crafty, but it's useless for GNU Chess
unless it builds the damn binary file)
Well, GNU Chess (in fact, any engine that talks the xboard
protocol version 2) support is added to eboard, the changes
are already on CVS. Wrote a harsh document about the whole
experience, also on CVS by now.
I must now look for older versions of GNU Chess, maybe they
suck less. I must also start looking for GPL'd (or at least
free in the Debian Free Software Guidelines sense) engines.
If you know of any, drop me a note.