Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Language Neutral User Interface - Part II

In my on-going effort to create a language neutral interface and avoid written documentation I have added a small feature that changes the on-screen cursor when you hover over a card or prop that is select-able.

Normally the mouse cursor is the default "arrow" icon. Now when you hover over a card in a pile, or any tabletop prop, that is select-able the cursor changes to a "pointing hand" letting you know that you can click or drag the card or cards. This gives you a visual cue as to what can be done according to the rules of each game. Also when dragging a card around the tabletop the cursor changes to a "cross" symbol.

Of course this feature only applies when playing Quick Solitaire on a desktop or laptop that has a pointing device like a mouse or touch-pad. On tablets or smartphones (touch devices) there is no cursor.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Language Neutrality

My goal for Quick Solitaire (and all of my software products) is to be language neutral. By that I mean little, if any, language specific interaction and certainly no "documentation". In general if my software can't be used or played out-of-the-box without "documentation" then I'm not doing my job. I need to do better.

In pursuit of that goal I have recently released an update that renders empty card piles with graphic indications of their use. For example all empty foundations display an "A" meaning that the pile accepts any Ace as the starting card and builds up from there (A, 2, 3, ...). An empty tableau pile displays a "K" to indicate that it can only be filled with a King. Waste piles display a recycle symbol to indicate that cards placed on them can be used again later. You get the idea.

Any suggestions you may have for improving the user interface are appreciated.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Quick Solitaire for Browsers

Welcome to my Quick Solitaire blog. I plan to use this blog to report on new features and updates for Quick Solitaire and to receive feedback from you.

Quick Solitaire is a port of my Quick Solitaire for Windows to run in a browser such as IE, Chrome and Firefox. I truly believe that web apps are the future of software and so I am directing all of my efforts towards that goal.

Quick Solitaire is my first attempt at building a web application that runs on any and all devices that support a modern web browser (HTML 5). This includes desktop computers, smart phones and tablets. It is the result of about six months of effort to convert the original Pascal source to Dart which then compiles to JavaScript.

I am pleasantly surprised by the results. The JavaScript runs just as fast as the native windows application and the graphics are almost as good. I'm still tweaking that. 

In the meantime you can enjoy the current implementation by clicking here.

I'm making improvements all the time so check back often or, better yet, bookmark the link and enjoy.