Welcome to the New justCheckers Website

Welcome to the brand new justCheckers website. The site is fresh after an install. It may take some time before all the content from the older sites is migrated over. Over the next couple weeks, the plan is to bring the project back up to full steam. This will include regular release schedules, an active development team and regular updates to the site and codebase.

justCheckers on Hold – Again – Kinda

I’m putting my involvement with the justCheckers project on hold for a while. Progress ground to a halt when I started to dig into the code. In its current state most of the application’s core functionality needs reworking. Meaning to go forward someone would need to reimplement slides and jumps that allows for multiple jumps and so-called “flying kings”. And the GUI needs refactoring to run in a multithreaded manner and with a main game event loop. I already devised the algorithms for the core game engine. But I need to translate that into real code. I plan on implement those eventually. But the amount of effort to reward doesn’t add up at the moment for me. So justCheckers will not be on my high priority list for the next little while.

Just to be clear, I am not abandoning the project. I still want to work on it. But there are higher priorities on my list. If anyone wants to step up to the plate and massage the code, I’ll gladly help. And when once I get my other higher priority tasks done, I will return to hacking on justCheckers.

Mapping Out the Core Application

I hope so far, everyone is having a happy new 2009. On the development front of justCheckers, I designed a generic move algorithm. This algorithm handles the movement of pieces: both slides and jumps. It also accounts for multiple jumps and for the various checker rule variants out there. However before I implement this code, I want to map out the codebase itself.

I plan to do this by mapping out the components, classes and processes with UML. This way I can better understand how I plan to implement the application and what is it actually doing at the moment. This will help with simplifying the user interface and the rest of the codebase going forward.

Refactoring the Game Engine

I hoped to release version 0.1.1 of justCheckers end of last month. However, I soon realized why I temporarily stopped the project earlier on. Before I went on my hiatus from the project, I started to refactor the game engine to allow for more flexible rules: “flying” kings and other interesting variations on checkers. Unfortunately this proved more difficult then I previously expected. So I stopped.

Before I can release the next version I need to fix/implement the game engine. I might take a few short-cut liberties to speed up the process. Might being the keyword. So while I already re-licensed and updated the documentation, a non-working game engine holds back the next release.

Now Available in Mini!

Thats right, the justCheckers project is now in full swing. To make this possible, I cut down on the cruft related to the project. This will let me concentrate less on content management and project management, and more on coding. Most of the older content will stick around, but in a more compact form. I’ll still need some time to polish up the developer resources section of this site. After that I can concentrate on releasing version 0.1.1

Moving House

This has been a busy and productive day. Yesterday I set up the website. And today I am moving content from the old justCheckers wiki into this website. Most of the content on that side couldn’t be edited by non-developers anyways. So publishing everything under a Drupal site makes sense. One thing that amazes me, is the relative ease of creating and maintaining all this content. Yes, I’m a firm believer in coding. And for the longest time, I resisted the whole easy to publish trend. The code must be perfect. It must conform to standards. Cause with standards there is a glimmer of hope, that everything will look the way it is supposed to. But looking at Drupal… Well lets just say… If someone else went out of their way to maintain things, and make sure they work across all the browsers and rendering engines out there. Then I’m happy to use other people’s hard work for free. 🙂

You may have noticed a slight change of heart on my part. Yesterday I discontinued the web application that I mentioned earlier. The web application seemed like an easier way to distribute the game. However, refactoring the game into a JSP would require too much work. In the end, using a simple Web Start launcher script does the trick. People will be able try out the latest stable version of the application, right off the application. Actually one of the main reasons for buying hosting from GoDaddy.com was the availability of JSP hosting. But alas, plans change.

So I’ll be working towards moving all the content in the next little while. After that I will be looking at releasing version 0.1.1 sometime this month.

A New Home

Welcome to the new home for the justCheckers project. I’m still setting this site up, so expect some rough edges here and there. I’ll post more stuff in the near future.