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[WXL Menu Bar]

What's New [World Xiangqi League]

[new]Summary of recent changes to our website and software. Please see also our general introduction, the description of the most common problems, and our bugsbase and feedback form.

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V3.1 Changes

  1. Asynchronous client/server communications model, which improves performance and reliability. (E.g., there should be little to no need for Game->Sync command any more.)
  2. Reconnect without having to restart the Java client applet, just by typing the /login server command into the chat input field when you get disconnected. (The window title will say disconnected when you lose server connectivity.)
  3. Join Table is asynchronous (you can do other things while it is loading and displaying the table list) and now has an Update button.
  4. Member List is shown each time you join a new table (if there are more than just you and the other player present).
  5. Member Selection changes commands, e.g., double-click select a member name in the chat output window and then click the "Who" (Member->Here) button to get the profile for that selected member. Or select a member name and click the "Goto" (Club->Join Table) button to join to play at that player's table immediately (no wait for table list dialog).
  6. Game Start is a new command which must be invoked by the blue player to start a game when the red player has chosen a non-standard timer settting.
  7. Practice Mode allows you to move any piece of either army to any position; no validation is done. This is useful to quickly setup board positions for teaching.
  8. Guru of the Week feature to recognize each week one of our top players who is helpful playing and chatting with novice level players.
  9. Game Records are now maintained on your free Xiangqi Game Page, so members can lookup the details of all of your games played at any WXL server.
  10. File Upload command so you can put your picture or anything else on your Xiangqi Game Page on our member server.
  11. Server Command Set documented via /help in the chat input field. For example, you can now enter the chat command "/join ddeng" to play at ddeng's open table.
  12. Instant Activation of new and changed accounts, at any WXL server around the world. (Previously, account changes only got distributed to the satellite game servers once an hour.)
  13. Computer Robot player type, indicated via the letter "C" appended to a rating. This change is in support of some new robotic players that we will be adding.
  14. Sounds Effects are now customizable per satellite game server, for local dialects or tastes.
  15. Startup Status messages and errors are more useful.
  16. Disconnects are now detected and reported (to remaining people at that table) as soon as they occur.
  17. Player Profile above/below the game board should now always show the correct player name, rating and country flag. (FYI, these player profile fields are all hyperlinks--click on them to see what happens.)
  18. Game Page free xiangqi member home pages are now also known by http://xiangqi.com/~yourname in addition to http://members.xiangqi.com/yourname.
  19. Moved USA game server to a new SPARC virtual host better configured for our bandwidth requirements.
  20. Less Memory used by Java applet (client) and server.
  21. Faster Switching between Lobby and other tables. (Don't flip Player Profile canvas off and on.)
  22. Baseline Pawns no longer threaten a second row opponent King. (Bug 364/kdppkd.)

V3.0 New Features (vs V2.2)

  1. Game Pages allow you to save a game to your free home page on our server, from which anyone can review your saved games. The World Xiangqi League is the first game club in the world with this important new feature.
  2. Numeric Ratings which factor the strength of your opponents, based on the ELO system used by the USCF.
  3. Player Profile information shown above and below the game board: player name, current rating (with "P" appended for "provisional" players, those with less than 20 rated games), country flag, game timer, and move timer. You can click on any of these fields to open the related webpage.
  4. Two-Click piece moves allowed; click once to select a piece, then click again on the position to where you would like to move that piece.
  5. Move Hints allow novices to see all possible positions for each piece before moving it.
  6. Piece Names are also shown when you have Hints options enabled.
  7. Context Sensitive Cursors give you feedback when you move the mouse cursor over a clickable item. Also notice the different cursor when it is your turn to move.
  8. Move Timer [timers]of three minutes, if you do not move within your three minutes, you will be resigned.
  9. Faster Piece Animation while you are dragging a piece. getting a list of members and doing game sync.
  10. Wakeup Sound played if someone whispers to you or mentions your name while the xiangqi window is minimized and you have sounds enabled
  11. Privacy improvements [privacy] as we no longer report the name of the domain from where each member is accessing our network.
  12. Server commands available from the client chat input are now validated.
  13. Anonymous email accounts (such as hotmail.com) are no longer allowed since they were being abused by some players to get more than one acccount (which is against our policies).
  14. Function Key changes; press F1 to see a list of all shortcuts.

V2.2 New Features (vs. V2.1)

  1. Timer Sychronization so each player and observer should now have the correct view of each player's time remaining.
  2. Leave Early: if you resign a game before four moves are made, it is no longer counted on your game record. (#181/wiz)
  3. Game Results server broadcast message and server logfile now also include the game timer setting that was used, the minutes remaining for each player, and the total number of moves made in the game.
  4. Game->Sync command to force synchronization of the current game, including making sure it is up to date with all moves made so far, has correct timers, and reloads any missing army images.
  5. Idle Zombie Sweeper ejects players who have been idle for over half an hour. If you don't want to get ejected, be sure to chat every now and then. (#262)
  6. Toolbar new buttons for the most common operations, so you do not have to use the menus. (The Toolbar is a vertical strip of buttons located between the GamePanel and the ChatPanel, and includes the four "VCR" buttons.) The new Toolbar buttons are Lobby (home), Who, New Table, and Join Table.
  7. Function key changes, press F1 for latest list. F5: open URL; F6: who is at this table; F7: profile; F11: repeat last whisper prompt; and F12: shout
  8. Piece Notations have changed to a new standard.
  9. Game Viewer used for interactive webpage review of a saved game and annotations. Initial use was for the Game of the Week solution, but this will soon be expanded for other uses as well.
  10. Saved Games infrastructure on the server. Not yet exposed via the client, but we can still begin testing this new feature now. This will soon evolve into an Autosave and Resume feature for disconnects, and a general Save Game for later review.
  11. Member Profile now includes idle time, as well as terse prompts for each game record field: Wins, Draws, Losses, and Resignations (explicit, disconnects and timeouts).
  12. Club->Exit confirmation dialog, so you don't exit by mistake. (#215/macleod)
  13. Cheaters quicker detection for players who try to cheat, and better tools to deal with them.

    Bugs Fixed

  14. Microsoft Modal Dialog Bug workaround; when you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 and you issue a command which requires a modal dialog (such as the Member Profile or Mute or Strike commands) rather than hanging your client, a warning message is printed with information about a workaround which can be used for now. (#240)
  15. PlayerPanel would show the wrong player when they logged in with a different case than used for account creation. (#261).
  16. Double Vision self chat duplicated when player logged in with different case than used for account creation.
  17. Member Profile command is faster and should no longer hang. (#263)
  18. SponsorPanel working again in US, and with higher performance. (#21)

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V2.1 Changes (vs. V2.0)

  1. [premium]World Xiangqi League announcement, partnership strategy to connect xiangqi game sites in all countries, allowing a member to use their one account to login to any site; sponsor new international tournaments. (Find out about becoming a registered member.)
  2. Player Interview article
  3. Game of the Week article
  4. [bugsbase]Bugsbase online for public access
  5. Chat Speed has been greatly increased (bug 164/ddeng)
  6. Time Limit default is now 30 minutes vs 20 (bug 112/peteyyy and others)
  7. F1 Shortcut list press F1 to show all the keyboard shortcuts
  8. URL Hotkey press F4 to easily open a webpage mentioned by someone in chat; select URL else it will use most recently mentioned URL (bugno 183/paul)
  9. Softer colors for game client, including default option of a plain untextured board (bugno 184/paul)

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V2.0 Changes (vs. V1.0)

  1. Website substantial changes, new design, more content, more online help.
  2. SponsorPanel at bottom right corner of window allows advertisers to help defray the cost of running this site, and ensures we will be able to continue to operate and improve everything here. (For example, in 1998 we will run new international online tournaments with awards and prizes.)
  3. Profile of other members, so you can better choose your opponents. Member->Profile output includes the number of Wins, Draws, Losses, and Resignations (explicit, timeouts, and disconnects).
  4. Join dialog allows you to specify your role (Play or Observe) at an existing table. (Also allows you to change your role at your existing table.)
  5. Army reversal at the end of each game, so the opposing players can take turns being the lead (red) or second (blue) army.
  6. Game Timers [timers] allow opening (red) player to select total number of minutes each player will have for the entire game. If a player's timer runs out, he will automatically resign the game.
  7. VCR: add four replay buttons (between the game board and the chat panel) which allow a player or observer to review the different moves of the current game.
  8. Game List command to output an explicit list of all moves made so far.
  9. Animated Moves, to make it easier to see a move in progress (vs having the piece just immediately snap into the new position).
  10. Check indication, showing ring of opposing army color around your king when he is in check
  11. Sound effects, to let you know when your opponent has moved, warn of illegal moves or other errors, indicate result of game, etc.
  12. Board background pattern selection.
  13. Position Markers shown on the board (rows and column labels) to more easily allow members to discuss moves. The V2 board also has proper ornate intersections. (See also information about our notation.)
  14. Piece character set selection, including Chinese, Inverted, Graphic and Roman.
  15. Endgame display remains until one of the players explicitly Resets the table. This allows members to evaluate and discuss a completed game. See also: vcr buttons.
  16. Slider allows members to allocate screen real estate usage between the game table vs the chat panel. [slider.gif]
  17. Hostname privacy for members, no longer list the actual computer name (or host IP address), only the network name (or network IP address). (This prevents nefarious members from trying to directly access your computer over the net.)
  18. Wrap all lines in the chat panel, so you can type in a long sentence (or a few) and send it out all at once.
  19. Continued chats from the same speaker appear indented below his name, without repeating the name again. (Makes chat output less cluttered.)
  20. Whisper redo shortcut bound to F11 key. After you whisper to someone (a chat which starts with your friend's name and open parens), just press F11 to enter his name again.
  21. Clear command for the chat panel, to clear out old text.
  22. Font family and size selection.
  23. Shout: eliminate shout as a "mode" (Chat to All setting), instead force user to explicitly click the shout ! button (or press F12) each time she wants to shout. (Rationale: V1 users often went into shout mode for a minute but then forgot they set it, and then continued to shout when they did not mean to. This causes embarrassment and too much noise.)
  24. Mute: select member from whom you do not want to hear any chat any more.
  25. Strike: identify a rude member to the system. If a member is struck by enough people, he will be muted to all or ejected from the club. Note that this command gets weaker the more you use it, to prevent someone from striking everyone.
  26. Eject: new command for Club Coaches, to eject rude members. See also: mute, strike, ban.
  27. Ban: new command for Club Coaches, to ban rude members. See also: mute, strike, eject.
  28. Badguy: secret technology to deal with "badguys", in addition to the other mechanisms listed above.
  29. System Messages: allow users to scroll through all system messages. (V1 users complained that these messages sometimes went by too fast.)
  30. Tooltips: hover mouse over a button for a second, and info about that button will be shown in the system status message line.
  31. Feedback: new Help command to invoke new feedback form to make it easier for members to send us bugs and suggestions
  32. Internal changes which will allow us to more easily expand the system:
    • V2 will scale to support a much larger community with faster performance than V1
    • V2 is designed to allow easy plugin of new features, so you will see continuous improvements over the coming weeks and months
    • We are starting to build a network of xiangqi sites, one for each major region (China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Canada, etc). All of these sites will work together to allow new types of international online tournaments.
    • We will add more game-focused sites in 1998 (Club Shogi at shogi.com, Club Wei Qi at weiqi.com, Club Mancala at mancala.com, etc.)

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