The Chess Variant Pages

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Charles Gilman wrote on 2011-11-28 UTC
Thanks for the explanation. Taking your points in turn:
	Yes, I had forgotten that the game with who wears what clothes and waves what flag was one of yours. This page isn't quite that bad, which is perhaps why I didn't realise that it was by the same author. In that respect at least, your style has improved.
	Regarding layout, the best advice that I can give is the advice given to me after my first few variants appeared, which was to get to know how to write HTML pages and do all the pages that way. It was certainly not my natural way of writing out a variant page originally, but I have grown used to it now. Normally I write my pages out using Notepad, but I can still open them in Internet Explorer offline before finally posting them, although graphics appear as empty frames save for a red X in the corner. With the modern 'post-your-own' pages, if I spot anything wrong when I do actually post I can always edit it, correcting both the posted page and the master document in parallel.
	I realised by the time I posted my first comment that you hadn't used the same name for different pieces in different games. I was just explaining that I had thought so on first reading to illustrate the confusion that I felt. On the other hand you say that you do vary names to suit a particular game. This does, I'm afraid, add to the learning curve. Should they play your variants, the general membership would most likely refer to pieces moving as King, Queen, Rook, et cetera by those names. Computer implementations would most likely use the familiar images.
	Now that you mention it I do recall someone saying something similar to what you said, but not whether it was you. I recall someone from the Middle East saying that to reflect that side of chivalry the consort shouldn't really be in the game at all - and that in war itself it was still the king himself whose death was the real decider. It would be useful to have either a restatement of your reason in the text, or a link to the page originally stating it. Again, to most players it would be intuitive that the King and Queen mean what they usually mean.
	The gaps would not arise in HTML, as you could paste just the content into images. There are a few tricks for saving space if you're worried about that. If you're set on putting the full piece type and allegience into the starting squares you could have an image for each camp, and then a separate image of height 4 and width 8 (in the 8x8 cases) with pixels of alternate colours for midboard.

'How ironic is it that Gilman found someone else's page hard to read?!' Not at all ironic. Over the years I have taken notice when shortcomings in my pages have been pointed out, both correcting them in the relevant page and keeping the advice in mind for future ones. Here are a few examples of how I have brought clarity to my pages:
1	When I follow a principle over several pages I am careful to include links between them.
2	When two of my variants have a piece with the same move it has the same name.
3	When two of my variants in the same geometry have a piece with the same name it has the same move.
4	When two of my variants in different geometries have a piece with the same name the pieces have the same length move and may be even more similar.
	If anything I feel undercriticised right now, at least as regards constructive criticism. All the errors that I have fixed on my Man and Beast indexes are ones that I spotted myself. I would far rather readers cite some apparent error or inconsistenciy with such qualification as 'Are you sure this link is correct?' or 'Is the word Talipoot or Talipot?' (it is the latter) or 'Have you been lax in your cutting and pasting again?' than just think to themselves that the page isn't up to standard and disregard it forever. Even 'a better name for this would be...' is welcome unless it is an entirely facetious suggestion.