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Messages - David

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Support / Unable to Uninstall
« on: May 04, 2006, 05:26:24 PM »
larrykeith, I'm sorry to hear you're having this problem.  Normally, you should be able to simply install the latest version and the previous version is automatically upgraded.  However, if something goes wrong, for example, Smoresoft Sudoku is running in the background while you are trying to install the new version, you may get this error.

It sounds like you have already tried most of the things I would recommend.  Just to reiterate them here:

1. Make sure Smoresoft Sudoku is not running.  The easiest thing to do is to choose "Exit" from the game menu.

2. Attempt the uninstall or upgrade again.  If this does not work, continue to Step 3.

3. Turn your device off and back on.

4. Use "Start, Settings, Remove Programs" to remove " Smoresoft Sudoku".  Again, if this does not work, continue to Step 5.

5. Use File Manager to delete "\Storage\Program Files\Smoresoft Sudoku".  Or, if you installed the program on a storage card, it should be under "\Storage Card\Program Files\Smoresoft Sudoku".

Note that you will lose your game progress if you do this.  You can save the "owner.config" file somewhere else and put it back later to keep your game progress if you wish.

6. Use File Manager to delete "\Storage\Windows\Start Menu\Games\Smoresoft Sudoku.lnk".

7. Turn your device off and back on.

8. Use "Start, Settings, Remove Programs" to remove " Smoresoft Sudoku".

Let me know if these steps work for you.  After following these steps, all of the files that Smoresoft Sudoku installs on your device will be removed and all that is left is the registry key noted by Neverwish below. (Thanks, Neverwish!)  Removing this registry key manually should be a last resort, and hopefully you will not need to do this after following the above steps.

Puzzle Packs / Puzzle Pack
« on: May 04, 2006, 04:53:35 PM »
I copied and pasted your file into a Windows Notepad, saved it as UTF-8, copied it to my phone via ActiveSync, selected the file in the game using the Open menu, and I'm able to play your puzzles, view statistics, etc.  So I'm still not sure why it doesn't work for you.

Can you try the file I created?  Click here to download the puzzle pack I created from your post and copy it to your phone.

Are the puzzles free of copyrights or used by permission?  If so, do I have your permission to publish your puzzle pack on my site?

I wonder why you rated the puzzles Difficult - Level 6, though, since I think the most difficult move required to solve them is a pin, which I consider Easy - Level 2?

Thanks for your patience in working through these problems!

Puzzle Packs / Puzzle Pack
« on: May 03, 2006, 11:35:44 PM »
I have not been able to reproduce this error unless I introduce a syntax error into the spp file, such as forgetting to include the "/" (slash) character in an ending XML tag.  I will look into improving the error message this weekend so it's easier to identify the problem.

In the meantime, I will need to look at the file.  Can you copy and paste it here?

Puzzle Packs / Puzzle Pack
« on: May 02, 2006, 10:00:15 PM »
hm. Maybe you didn't save it in UTF-8 format?  I forgot to mention that if you use the XML declaration above, you have to save the file in UTF-8 format.  If you use Windows Notepad, for example, from the "File, Save As..." menu choose "UTF-8" from the "Encoding" drop-down and click "Save".

If that doesn't fix the problem, I'll probably need to look at the file.

The program doesn't impose any limit on the size of the puzzle file, but there is probably a practical limit for how large a file someone would want to put on their phone with its limited storage space.  Perhaps in the future I can support zip file compression so the files will remain compressed on the phone.

Feature Requests / Feature Requests
« on: May 02, 2006, 07:25:41 AM »
I have created the new topic Puzzle Packs for Puzzle Creators with instructions for puzzle creators that wish to publish their puzzles for Smoresoft Sudoku.

Puzzle Packs / How to create a Puzzle Pack
« on: May 02, 2006, 07:13:03 AM »
About Puzzle Packs
Smoresoft Sudoku supports "puzzle pack" files that contain one or more Sudoku puzzle grids. Puzzle packs can be created by anyone using a simple text editor.

Using a Puzzle Pack
To use a puzzle pack, choose the "Open..." menu item and select a puzzle pack from the list. Smoresoft Sudoku will then display the first puzzle in the puzzle pack, or if you have played the puzzle pack before, the last puzzle you played in the puzzle pack will be displayed.

Creating a Puzzle Pack
A puzzle pack is an XML document that contains one or more coded puzzles. Following is an example of a puzzle pack containing two Sudoku puzzle grids:

Code: [Select]
1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
2. <puzzlePack>
3.    <puzzles rating="1">
4.       <puzzle>...475....67...54..513.682.6..829..13.4...9.88..643..2.437.219..82...37....531...</puzzle>
5.       <puzzle>7.9....4.......813...516.......7.291...321...421.5.......295...162.......3....4.8</puzzle>
6.    </puzzles>
7. </puzzlePack>
(Line numbers are added to help explain the example.)

Line 1 is an XML declaration, which indicates that the following content is XML.

Line 2 is the puzzlePack element. This indicates that the following XML content represents a puzzle pack.

Line 3 is the puzzles element. It indicates that the following XML content represents a set of puzzles. The puzzles element also contains a rating attribute. This attribute indicates the difficulty level of the following puzzles (see the Rating section).

Lines 4-5 contain puzzle elements. Each puzzle element is followed by a coded puzzle (as explained in the Puzzle Coding section below) and an ending puzzle element. A puzzle pack MUST contain one or more puzzle elements.

Line 6 contains the end of the puzzles element started on line 3.

Line 7 contains the end of the puzzlePack element started on line 2.

Puzzle Coding
Sudoku puzzle grids are coded on a single line using a single character per cell, beginning with the top left cell of the grid and progressing first from left to right and then from top to bottom, for a total of 81 characters (9 columns x 9 rows).

Cells with "given" or "clue" values are entered as a single digit (1-9), and empty cells are entered as a "." (period).

So, for example, the puzzle below is coded as "...475....67...54..513.682.6..829..13.4...9.88..643..2.437.219..82...37....531...".

Puzzle Rating
Sudoku puzzle rating is not standardized and varies significantly by publisher. If anyone has information about a puzzle rating standard, please reply to this topic with details.

For the time being, selection of the rating is left to the puzzle pack publisher, except to say that the rating value in quotes should be an integer in the range 1 (easiest) to 10 (most difficult).

Puzzle Pack Naming
Puzzle packs MUST use the file extension "spp". Also, puzzle pack file names should contain a description of the difficulty of the puzzles contained in the puzzle pack. For example, "Smoresoft-Easy.spp" would be an appropriate name for a puzzle pack created by Smoresoft and containing easy puzzles.

Since Smoresoft Sudoku does not currently allow difficulty levels to be selected in the game, it is suggested that a puzzle pack contain only puzzles with a single difficulty level.

The simplest methods of distributing a puzzle pack would be either publishing the puzzle pack unchanged or in a compressed archive, such as a zip file. However, this requires the user to have quite a bit of knowledge in order to install the puzzle pack on their device, especially if they wish to download it directly from the device.

Instead, it is recommended that the puzzle pack be distributed in a compressed CAB file which can be easily installed on the device.

Additional elements will be supported and displayed in-game by Smoresoft Sudoku to identify puzzles and credit the authors and publishers. Elements will be based on RDF/XML and Dublin Core.

Feature Requests / Feature Requests
« on: May 01, 2006, 11:32:09 PM »
Great! I'm glad to have help in making spp files. I will document and post the file format tonight (GMT-8).

Announcements / Smoresoft Sudoku 1.0.7 released
« on: May 01, 2006, 05:42:08 PM »
  • NEW: "Digits (in order)" and "Dots" pencil mark styles in the Options menu.

Feature Requests / PocketPC Version
« on: May 01, 2006, 05:39:48 PM »
I agree. This is one of the top 3 or so items on my list right now (I'm deciding to do this earlier than I originally planned, thanks to your feedback). I primarily use a Smartphone, so the Smartphone version got the priority. :)

Thanks for your feedback!

Feature Requests / Feature Requests
« on: May 01, 2006, 05:20:12 PM »
Thanks for your comments!

RE: the grids, I don't have a good puzzle generator or rater at the moment.  This is not a trivial feature to implement, so I plan to finish up some other features to improve playability first, which I can do more quickly when I get some more free time.  At some point, though, I do plan to tackle the problem of having only a limited number of puzzles.

I will document my "puzzle pack" file format soon, which is fairly simple (you can look at the *.spp file for an example).  Perhaps someone with a collection of puzzles will be interested to publish them in this format.  If so, the "Open..." menu will allow you to play them.

RE: the difficulty menu, I am considering publishing separate puzzle packs, one for each level, and using the "Open" menu to select them.  I'm interested in feedback on that.

RE: red numbers for invalid moves, I will add this to my feature list.

At this point, I don't think I will provide a solver.  I think it's too tempting to give up and let the computer solve the puzzle which takes away from the fun of the game.  :)

Announcements / Smoresoft Sudoku 1.0.6 released
« on: April 30, 2006, 08:31:58 AM »
  • NEW: "Number" pencil mark style in the new "Options..." menu. This alternative to the default "box" pencil mark style works best on high resolution displays.
  • FIX: Fix pixelated fonts on high-resolution devices (was missing HI_RES_AWARE resource).
  • FIX: Properly center pencil marks on high-resolution devices.

Support / Keyboard shortcuts
« on: December 19, 2005, 04:56:44 AM »
You can play the Windows version with the keyboard, similar to the way the keys work on the SmartPhone version.  I actually prefer this to using the mouse.  Once you get the hang of it, you can really play fast.

    Save Dice (Normal):  Press a number on the numeric keypad corresponding to the die value you wish to save (1-6).  This will save the most points possible for the selected die value.

    Save Dice (Extended):  To select fewer dice than the normal save above, hold down a number key on the numeric keypad until the dice corresponding to the key (1-6) are visibly selected. Next, release the key and press 1, 3, or 5 on the numeric keypad to save 1, 3, or 5 dice, respectively.

    Save "Straight" (dice 1-6):  Press "0" on the numeric keypad.

    Roll:  Press "+" on the numeric keypad.

    Keep:  Press "Enter".

    Undo:  Press either "Delete" or "Backspace".

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