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This item is a desktop publishing resource
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-04-09
 By Fergus  Duniho. Diagram Designer. Lets you display diagrams without uploading any graphics.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-24 UTC

Yes, just change the set being used. The Alfaerie pieces are not a single set. There are multiple sets that use Alfaerie pieces. To change to another set using Alfaerie pieces, you will need to change the Set Group first. You may select "All" for a complete listing of all sets, or you may select a specific group of sets. The Automatic group contains script generated sets of all images in the same style, and each set in it bases labels on file names. The other groups contain manually written sets using more abbreviated labels. When you change the set, each piece in the new set will show up on the page with the label you need to use for it. Note that all pieces you use must be from the same set. Besides the Automatic sets, the "Alfaerie: Many" set will contain all or most Alfaerie pieces with short, but frequently cryptic, labels. Depending on what pieces are in your game, you might find a smaller set that includes them all.

Thomas wrote on 2020-04-24 UTC

Is it possible to use other pieces from the alfaerie set than those 26 which are displayed and acessible by one letter? I tried around with braces, e.g. {squirrel} or {bsquirrel.gif} but it doesn't work.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-03-22 UTC

The diagram designer has a columns option. That is in relationship with the fen code where the number of blank spaces and pieces added up give the total board size.

Anders Gustafson wrote on 2020-03-22 UTC

Is it possible to adjust the number of ranks and files, on the board, independently?  I can't figure out how to increase the number of ranks without decreasing the number of files, and vice verse. 

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

Sorry, I knew about that. I meant HG's interactive diagram :)! And thanks for the info :)!

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

It can handle hexagonal boards and custom boards with spaces arranged in a grid, but I have not added in code for circular boards or for custom boards with custom spaces.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

The 'diagram designer' was not made by me, but by Fergus. I am only responsible for the 'Interactive Diagram'. Because you explicitly address me, I will answer for the latter:

It is certainly not possible in the Interactive Diagram to use other board topologies, such as hexagonal bords, or circularly deformed boards. All boards must consist of a corner-connected grid of squares. Irregular shapes of such boards (such as e.g. in Omega Chess, with its wizzard squares, or the citadel of Tamerlane Chess) can be emulated by declaring some squares in the smallest surrounding rectangle to be inaccessible 'holes'. The Design Wizard in the Interactive Diagram article has no provisions for defining those, though. But you can just edit the HTML code that it delivers to add the holes; you only need to define an extra 'piece' with the name 'hole', followed by a list of squares that should be holes.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC


Is it possible to make with the diagram designer  boards that are not rectangular?

Greg Strong wrote on 2019-07-09 UTC

Good job tracking down those pages!  Fortunately not too bad.  Gilman has over 250 pages so I was afraid it could be much worse...

Given the scope, I don't mind taking it on, probably manually.  I'll probably take me a couple weeks to get through them but they've been broken for a while so I don't think fixing them is super urgent, so long as it gets accomplished.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2019-07-08 UTC

The change of interpretation of the period from movement-marker to single empty square has affected a few pages.  (The changes were documented in this comment thread; a bug report was made at .) 

I have added the new functionality's description to the introduction here.

I've identified 25 affected pages, all but one of them by Charles Gilman.  (I only ran the search on member-submitted pages' Pieces section.  There were 4 false positives in the regex [from another author], so perhaps not all of these actually have problems.  The other affected page is an old never-published submission.)


There might be a regex solution to fixing all of these pages, which seems superior to doing them by hand or splitting off a version of this script for the old period-markers, but I don't want to accidentally break anything more.  I think the periods that need to be replaced can be described as those following `drawdiagram.php`...`code=`, before any closing `>` or argument-separating `&`.  I'll think/look at it more later, but comments are eagerly solicited.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2019-05-28 UTC

Background images work for the "Custom Grid" Shape.

Greg Strong wrote on 2019-05-25 UTC

Is it possible to get a background image with the diagram desiginer?  It has a pick-list for the option, but it doesn't seem to do anything.

I tried adding &bgimage=marble-gw.png to the code it generated but that didn't do it for some reason.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-11-21 UTC

Uploading images would defeat the purpose of having an on-line generator, as you would have to fix the color and sizes at generation time.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-11-19 UTC

Apparently with Game Courier you can create your own piece set (i.e. a collection of images), which could then be used with GC or Diagram Designer (which uses pieces sets currently available from GC), but if you wish to upload images to this website (for use by GC/DD, at least) you ought to ask Fergus or perhaps another editor to do that for you, I gather from the following GC instruction sub-link (I've never tried to create my own piece set as yet, and it may be beyond my current know-how if I ever wished to do so):

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-11-18 UTC

I don't know anything about GC. But if it allows the use of off-site image files for the pieces (like http://...) it would also be possible to put the URL of the SVG generator there, requesting the desired piece. If the requested 'FEN' is 1x1, it will be rendered with transparent background, as the generator will assume you just want an individual piece to be used in a larger image. This is what I actually did below.

I know this works for the Interactive Diagram. This is what I actually used in the 'Board Editor' posted in the Alfaerie comments; it uses an Interactive Diagram to let the user set up the desired board position, and it uses the SVG generator to supply the individual pieces in it.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-11-18 UTC

That's quite nifty, then. The only problem at the moment for CVP users would seem to be if Game Courier somehow does not yet allow for the use of SVG generated figurines in presets (i.e. for use in actual play on GC), but rather GC users still must use the kind of piece sets found on it, which are also found on the diagram designer.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-11-18 UTC

> It seems it would be great if the SVG generator supplements or is the successor to the diagram designer on CVP at some point. I assume most any shade of colouring can be used for the SVG figurines.

Well, it is there for you to use it. Just type the FEN after the f= in the link I gave. Indeed you can use any color for the pieces or shade for the squares; for details see the discussion in the comments on the Alfaerie piece set.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-11-18 UTC

It seems it would be great if the SVG generator supplements or is the successor to the diagram designer on CVP at some point. I assume most any shade of colouring can be used for the SVG figurines.

Again an aside: For the variant idea I had in mind, it involved  using the RA piece type (besides the BD and QAD types, along with NP, and K) for an 8x8 variant involving eight sergeant pawns per side, but the idea looks like it's not going to pan out, if only because the RAs apparently could be swapped off the board on the flank files early in a game, at little cost to either player. Using RD (plus BA) instead would be no better, on 8x8, for that reason, but on a 10x8 board with the BD's not guarding the RA's in some setup with an extra piece type I've yet to decide on, with the seargent pawns and QAD thrown in, all the ingredients in question might work together better. The toying continues...

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-11-18 UTC

You can get compound pieces of any kind with the SVG piece generator:

( )

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-11-17 UTC

In case anything can be done, I'd note that the Diagram Designer's Alfaerie: Many piece set seems to be missing any symbol to represent a plain Alfil+Rook compound piece figurine, which I happen to be thinking I might use sometime, since I'm toying with an invention idea. The closest symbols are for either elephant rider versions of that compound piece, or else for versions where the rook component is restricted to moving up to just 4 squares. I'm thinking the latter would be a less confusing substitute (if one is necessary) for a plain Alfil+Rook piece, unless something more unrelated like e.g. an upside-down rook figurine would be less confusing than even that. I suppose CVP editors take accepting such emergency substitutions for diagram figurines on a case-by-case basis.

As an aside, oddly enough, Diagram Designer's Alfaerie: Many piece set does have a figurine for the plain Dabbabah+Bishop compound piece, as well as for the (plain) Alfil+Dabbabah+Queen triple compound piece. The latter I recently noticed is a piece type used in the patented 10x10 Big Battle commercial variant. No indication on the CVP page for Big Battle that that piece type is patented, nor is there anything about the QAD type being patented that I could easily find elsewhere on the internet. I know e.g. the Champion piece type (aka WAD) in (commercial) Omega Chess is used liberally in games found on this website alone. On the other hand, every aspect of e.g. Arimaa is patented/licensed (including the piece type names for that, if I recall correctly).

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-08-10 UTC

Until now, the FFEN tool and the Diagram Designer shared a common limitation. Neither one could show capture moves by placing a dot over a space with a piece on it. I have now fixed that for the diagram designer. Enclosed in braces, write the index of the color, a space, and the label for a piece. For example {2 r}. This will draw that piece on the space with a dot over it in the color with that index. So, if you include 3 colors in the colors field, 2 will be the index of the third color, and a dot of that color would be placed over black's rook.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-08-10 UTC

Besides using # and ! for border-colored and text-colored dots, it will now use numbers to specify dots in the color of one of the colors listed in the colors field. This field is normally used for coloring the spaces of the board, but it may be expanded beyond the colors needed for the board. On a regular checkered board, the two colors of the board will normally be 0 and 1, and the next color will be 2. You can set 2 to whatever color you want, then insert {2} in your FEN code to display a dot of that color. Since numbers are normally used to indicate a number of empty spaces, any number used to designate colors must appear inside braces. This lets the number be used as a label instead of information about the number of empty spaces.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-08-10 UTC

The previous change I made to increase compatiblity with FFEN is incompatible with a change I previously made. That change was to use . for border colored dots and ! for text colored dots. The . for border colored dots works if you enclose it in braces, and the ! for text colored dots still works normally. The reason for this, and the reason I didn't catch it earlier, is that these are handled in two different parts of the code. To use periods in the same way that FFEN does, it catches a period when populating the board and inserts a @ to represent an empty space. When actually drawing the board, it interprets a period as a border colored dot. The problem is that now, a period in the FEN code does not get inserted as a period in the array representing the board unless it has been enclosed in braces. I'm going to keep the use of the period for empty spaces, and I will use the # sign for border colored dots. These dots are for use in movement diagrams. Note that these will be overridden if a set uses these punctuation marks to represent pieces.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-08-03 UTC

In order to make conversion of FFEN diagrams easier, I recently modified drawdiagram.php to recognize periods in the FEN code. A single period indicates a single empty space, as it does in FFEN diagrams. Unlike the number 1, which would indicate too many spaces if repeated, the repetition of a . just means one more empty space, not ten more or 100 more, etc.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-07-22 UTC

Images made with the diagram designer will now have smaller file sizes when the color count does not exceed 256. Although the script was outputing images with larger color counts as JPG, and it was outputing smaller pallette images as PNG, it was still outputting the PNG images as true color images. I modied the script to output PNG images as small pallete, and I modified it to use the greatest amount of compression when outputing a PNG. In a test I ran, an image that was originally 12.7 KB got reduced to 7.66 KB by changing it to a small pallette image, and it got further reduced to 6.43 KB by maximizing the compression. In another test I ran, I compared the file size to that of an image I had already reduced the file size of with Ultimate Paint. With its file size optimized with Ultimate Paint, it had been reduced from 12.9 KB to 6.6 KB, but the improved script now outputs the same image with a size of 6.57 KB. This means there is no longer any need to reduce the size of the PNG images created with the Diagram Designer with some other program. Note that this affects all diagrams previously made with the Diagram Designer, since the changes were to drawdiagram.php, the script that draws the images, not to diagram-designer.php.

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